Updated: Mar 22
5 Steps To Deal With Anxiety
Alright, let’s cut to the chase. You don’t want to feel anxious, I don’t want to feel anxious, and we're both over it. So let me share 5 things that you can start right now to manage and prevent your anxiety in the long term.
Step 1: Prevention
Have you ever had the experience of driving and then suddenly realizing you are at your destination and don’t remember getting there? Well, listen closely then! Your living on auto-pilot and that means you are in survival mode. You need to teach your body that you are safe and that it’s okay to stop and smell the roses every now and then.
Try this: when you are about to leave your house, take a minute to be present. Take a deep breath, feel your feet on the ground, and notice the feeling of the keys in your hand. Acknowledge the fact that you are now transitioning from being at home to going for a drive (or another activity). Feel each step on the ground as you walk towards your vehicle. Now when you are in your vehicle, try to notice the seat underneath you, the sturdiness of the steering wheel and the sounds of the vehicle.
This can look different for everyone and the options are endless. You need to create some kind of mental or physical transition between activities for you to not collapse at the end of the day into a pile of anxiety. Think of it like creating checkpoints throughout the day for your brain to rest and re-group.
Step 2: Action
Move Your Anxious Body
Relieve anxiety instantly by moving your body. You can burn off that anxious energy by going for a walk, singing, having a dance party, going to the gym, whatever you like! Anxiety and excitement feel the same in the body. If we can help our body label that feeling as excitement rather than anxiety then we can have a better relationship with that feeling in our body when it shows up.
Step 3: Fuel
Fuel Your Body
Sometimes our body can mimic feelings of anxiety if we are not getting the proper nutrients we need to function. You can relieve anxiety, stress and fatigue by consuming a good amount of food and nutrients. Just the act of having water and snacks with you at all times can relieve anxiety. No really, even just having your water bottle visible on your desk can reduce anxiety.
Step 4: Compassion
Manage Your Self-Talk
What happens when you share with others that you are feeling anxious? Have you ever had someone say “it’s fine”, “don’t worry” or “don’t think about it”? Oftentimes when we confide in others about our anxiety they often respond in a way that can make us feel even more anxious. Why does this kind of response make us more anxious? Because now your experience is being challenged and your anxiety might increase because now your anxious because this person isn’t worried about the very real thing you might be worried about.
Make it a habit to self-soothe so that you can self-regulate easily. When you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, say to yourself “thank you body for alerting me, but there is no danger here”.
Step 5: Rest
Calm Your Anxiety
Calm your anxiety by resting often. Make rest a part of your daily routine or weekly routine. Often anxious people can become overstimulated and need time to themselves, away from noise, lights and other kinds of stimulation or information.
I think we can agree that when it comes to anxiety, most of the work revolves around prevention. However, you can start implementing just 1 of these strategies today and it will make a difference. When dealing with anxiety, you need to keep a consistent healthy routine to keep the anxious feelings at bay.