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The Top 25 Tips for Dealing with Anxiety

anxiety-tips

As one person puts it, the feeling of anxiety can be like having worms crawling through your brain.

Overcoming anxiety is not easy, but here are 25 of the top tips to do so that we’ve seen.

1) The first question is, what is causing the anxiety?

It sounds like a simple enough question but finding an answer to it is essential.  You may notice that you feel anxious in a certain situation but aren’t sure why.  Until you figure out what is going on, you’ll be in the dark.

So, what is causing the anxiety?  To figure this out you may have to be creative – and you will also likely have to be honest with yourself.

For instance, a person noticed that they were feeling anxious when they had to take the train, but only on a certain line.  Until they thought, “wait, why am I feeling anxious?” and remembered they had a bad experience at one of the stops, they didn’t know what was going on.

2) How can you deal with the anxiety?

What are your options?  What can you do to make the anxiety more manageable?  By thinking rationally about it and coming up with ideas, you’ll feel more in control and better able to deal with it.

3) Realize or admit that you have anxiety

It can be hard to admit that you have a problem or an issue.  But once you identify the problem and are able to think about it in a certain way, you can become resistant to it and better able to deal with it.

Especially with anxiety.

This would be tip #1 because it is so important – but you likely know or suspect you have some anxiety issues, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this article.

4) See a therapist

If the anxiety is serious enough to cause issues in your life and isn’t getting better, maybe it makes sense to see a therapist.  They are trained to help you work through these issues.

5) Exercise on a regular basis

Going to the gym on a regular basis helps you work out your tensions and makes you more relaxed and feel better in general.

7) Ask yourself questions like: “How likely is it?” and “If it is true, what does it matter?”

An extremely useful technique some people use to deal with stress and anxiety is to ask themselves rationally how likely something is.  For instance, let’s say you walk past some people and they laugh.  Were they laughing at you?

Two questions can make that moment less stressful.  First, “how likely is it?”  Be honest – on a scale of one to ten, how likely is it that they were laughing at you?

Second, “And if it is true, what does it matter?”

Even if the random strangers were laughing at you, how much does it matter to you?

8) Cut back on caffeine

Caffeine and other stimulants can make you more anxious or nervous.  Cutting back on the amount of caffeine that you consume can help reduce the anxiety you feel if you are consuming a significant amount.

9) Consider medication

There are many medications that help with anxiety.  They are strong drugs, however, so their use should be reserved for more serious cases and done under a doctor’s supervision.

10) Talk to a friend

Have a good conversation with a friend.  Talking things over with someone can help put them in perspective.  Not to mention that studies show that when we spend time with friends, we simply worry less and feel better.

11) Exposure therapy

A very effective treatment for phobias is gradual exposure.  Someone who is scared of snakes might think about being 50 feet away from a snake, then think about being 10 feet away from a snake.  Then they might imagine seeing a snake, and keep working up until they can handle seeing a real live snake.

Use a similar concept.  Expose yourself to whatever it is you are anxious or nervous about and slowly build your tolerance up.

12) Write down your fears

When you write something down, you gain a sense of control over it.  The action of putting words to paper of what is bothering you can help reduce its power over you and make you feel better.

13) Listen to music

Listening to music can be very calming and induce relaxation.  Different types of music are good for different emotions.

14) Keep busy

Most worrying is done when we aren’t busy.  Instead of letting your anxiety control you, be active!  Maybe cook something or do an enjoyable hobby if you are at home, for instance.

15) Set a time to worry

Give yourself a set time to worry about things.  Say, “I’m going to think about all the things that stress me out and make me anxious from 9 to 9:15.”  Doing so is a bit counter intuitive – but for some people works wonders.

16) Think about something positive about the situation

Some of the best humor is macabre in nature.  Being able to joke internally about whatever is concerning you can help make it easier to deal with.

17) Think positive thoughts

Force yourself to think positive thoughts.  At first, it’ll be a bit awkward and forced, but with time, you’ll think the thoughts automatically.  For instance, if you think, “I can do it,” before something that might make you anxious, you’ll soon think that thought automatically.

18) Sexual activity

Engaging in sexual activity, whether alone or with a partner, releases neurological factors that induce calm and pleasure.  Sex is a great stress and anxiety reducer.

19) Do Yoga

Yoga gives your whole body a workout while emphasizing breathing and stretches that promote overall health and wellness.  It can be extremely good for reducing anxiety and tension.

20) Do deep breathing

Hyperventilation is bad, but practicing controlled, deep breathing can induce a state of calm and relaxation.

21) Take a walk in nature

Return to nature!  There is something deeply relaxing for some people in walking through a forest or park, enjoying the natural scenery.

22) Reduce the amount of stress in your life

Figure out ways to make your life have less stress and anxiety in it.

23) Watch something funny

OK, so watching a comedy isn’t going to get rid of your anxiety for good – but it might make you laugh a few times.  And laughter helps you feel better and fights stress.

24) Get involved with activities are social in nature.  Spend time with friends.  And if you don’t have them, make them!  Join social groups, clubs, organizations and get involved.

Maybe consider joining a support group.  Or volunteer – you’ll help people, make new friends, and probably feel better about things.

25) Write in a journal

Write a daily journal!  It doesn’t have to be restricted to anxiety related topics, but you can also keep track of how you are doing in dealing with it.

Hope this list helped!  And if you have your own tip for dealing with anxiety, please leave a comment and let us know.



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This post was written by on Wednesday, June 23, 2010. This author has written 223 posts on this blog and has 4851254 total posts views.


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9 comments

  1. yes yes I spend most of the time with friends, We love adventure and fun it helps the activity at work and innovation

    10) Talk to a friend …
    Have a good conversation with a friend. Talking things over with someone can help put them in perspective. Not to mention that studies show that when we spend time with friends, we simply worry less and feel better.

  2. Hi-I am reading this while fighting off a bad episode of anxiety-I am on 150 mg of wellbutrin xl with 20 mg of Prozac–On the latter for 4 weeks now-the question and problem I have in solving the anxiety is I do not know if it is the prozac or wellbutrin xl-I took it months with Pristiq and sometime with cymbalta, and I did not have the problem that is debilatating to me now and for the past few weeks, I was upped on the dosage to 300 mg in one pill and that caused meltdown with depression and anxiety-so they had me cut back to 150 a week ago and I have anxiety every other day, the inbetween days I am ok and think it is over with but it is not!!! My Dr does not seem to know how to help me with this and I feel desperate. Sandy

  3. Dear Sandy,
    I just read your comment posted in June and hope that something has been done to help you. I can tell you from experience that drugs, albeit necessary for some of us, can cause us greater problems than the symptoms themselves.

    I had an awful experience when I developed anxiety as a meningioma was growing in my left frontal lobe and I didn’t know it. I felt more and more anxious, couldn’t eat or sleep and got thinner and thinner. Once the diagnosis of the tumor was made, the explanation of the onset of anxiety was explained to me.

    the purpose of the history report is to let you know that anxiety can be treated in some many ways. I too am on Wellbutrin and it is only very recent, and in reading this column, I see that many people have been effected by the drug. I’ve had some weird behavioral issues since I started it and my personality hasn’t felt right. I honestly didn’t realize it was the drug. As I said earlier, drugs can do a number on us and we must be vigilant about how we feel, taking notes and getting back to our doctor about it.

    I would encourage you to study up on the best meds for anxiety and realize that Wellbutrin is probably not one of them.

    I wish you luck and hope that you will not continue to suffer. Ask for help. If you can’t get it from your doctor, then you might consider finding a new doctor. There is an answer out there and you can be helped. Try real hard to remain positive and to follow all the natural tips for anxiety reduction. Be sure to get enough fresh air , exercise, entertainment, friendship, and all the tips above are really excellent. I often times will find something funny to watch on TV and low and behold I feel better suddenly and the anxiety has lifted.

    Hope to hear from you.
    Wishing you the best,
    joni

  4. Hello – If anybody’s out there… I believe Wellbutrin has been the epicenter of major personality issues for me. I’ve been on it for years. The reason is that I had no energy and was depressed. It has helped with my energy but it has made me crazy paranoid, reactive, mean in ways I never would have been before the drug. I do not recommend any prescription drug unless EVERY OTHER ALTERNATIVE HAS BEEN EXHAUSTED. Try acupuncture, try heavy exercise, try meditation, try worshiping a doorknob – anything other than prescription drugs. It is my personal experience they do more bad than good.

  5. i have dealt with alot of anxities in my life whether it was a death, moving, kids getting into trouble i have learned to listen to music that is soothing and relaxin also to play or spend time with your kids they do have a way of alot of anxities to slow down and concentrate on them and there future also talking to someone who can relate to your problems. you can also write down how you are feeling then you can go over it and read what you have written then you can also have other ideas when you read it… some people can play games on the comp. do laundry do dishes watch t.v. everyone is different and every one has different lifestyles alls we can do is find out what helps us to help us…

  6. Hi guys, wow, it is neat that there is such a great community of people that are willing to share their stories and support each other. Depression/anxiety are so common but can be so debilitating. I treat these in my clients/practice and have also had my own experience with them. Wellbutrin doesn’t work the same way as other “SSRI’s” and stimulates norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain instead of going to work on the seratonin. This drug works wonders for some people while for others, in my experience, it can be way too overstimulating. Myself, I was agitated, hostile, and miserable on it. Oh and, having even a cup of coffee or tea with it made me feel like I was coming out of my skin – I had to stop it immediately. I have a friend who’s been on it now for 2 years and loves it. Depression is better, she’s lost weight, etc…she also has to watch the caffeine but is fine other than that. Everyone is different and it largely depends – I think- on what is going on with the neurotransmitters in your brain. After I tried WellB, I had my blood drawn about 1 year later by my naturopath. I have elevated levels of dopamine already as well as norepinephrine. This could be why elevating these levels of neurotransmitters even more overstimulated me. Just a thought. She put me on a natural product called Travacor made by Neuroscience which has helped so much. It is the only thing I’ve ever taken that has both worked and given me no side effects. It has helped with low level depression, situational anxiety and sleep. I was skeptical at first but tried it and noticed a great difference. The ingredients are Taurine (amino acid), 5htp (helps tryptophan and seratonin talk in the brain), and L-theanine (calms & as a extra benefit can make you less affected by caffeine!). All have a calming effect and promote relaxation.  Of course, I can’t say enough about exercise and the positive effects all those endorphins have as well as good breathing habits and good nutrition. I read recently that only a couple minutes of deep belly breathing releases seratonin in the brain – also calms anxiety by reducing that “fight or flight response” we get chemically when we are sad and anxious, tending to breath shallowly.

    OK, guys, that’s my two cents. I think pharmaceuticals can be great for many people but if they aren’t working, think about seeing a naturopath and trying some natural products!! What do you have to loose? I think getting a blood draw to look at what the levels are for neurotransmitters in your brain is a great idea so your doctor knows where things and how to treat. They can also test for other things, thyroid, vitamin levels, hormones, etc…there are so many things that cause us emotional problems and info is power! Always be under the supervision of a doctor though before getting off or weaning from medication. They are very strong and nothing to play around with on your own as the results could be very serious. Of course I believe in therapy and having your doctor collaborate with your therapist can give you great wrap around support…Good luck!   

  7. I would first start with a healthy, whole food diet when dealing with anxiety. I recently switched to a gluten-free diet and my GAD is all but gone. Most people don’t realize that certain foods and drinks can cause feelings of anxiety in the body.

    Another tip for reducing anxiety is to get some control in your life. Lose weight, start your own business, move to your dream house, etc.

  8. Hi,
    I have been diagnosed free floating anxiety aand panick attack a month ago.
    It was a very tough time for me.I couldn’t breath,I couldn’t sleep actually I was thinking I won’t
     able to wake up and die if I sleep.psychiatrist gave me valdoxan.It helped me.regular exercise helps a lot.
    Also caffein and alcohol triggers anxiety symptoms.Don’t drink them,if not possible,drink minimum.
    Hope It helped.

  9. You just have to say constantly to yourself RELAX , THERE S NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT , ITS IN YOUR BRAIN and after some time will become a such relieving thins which is unbeliavable!!! I did that and after an year of practisizing i had a fabulously amazing period of joy ,happiness, anxious free totaly !!! A little anxiety is not a bad thing although but contrary :) The best way is probably to beat the fear by doing what ur afraid of , many of us do not have a courage but once you do it , you ll feel more free!!! hope it helps , as for drugs i hate them!

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