During difficult times most people have anxiety have very high anxiety and don’t know what to do with it all. Anxiety has been part of my life for several years now and I have learned several strategies on how to manage my anxiety but for some people, it has become more difficult. Since this pandemic, it is causing a lot of anxiety and people don’t know know what to do with it or how to control it. People who can work from home worry about their loved ones that have to go into work and wonder will they be okay? I have anxiety almost every day sometimes for no apparent reason and the only way you will get through it without going crazy is taking control of your anxiety. If you are letting your anxiety ruin your life then you will become very unhappy and feel like your anxiety is controlling your life. Constant worry won’t change the situation so learn to cope with the few simple steps.
What is the worst thing that can happen?- When you have an anxiety attack and feel like everything is going to crash and burn take a step back and ask yourself what is the absolute worst thing that can happen? Is it that you could lose or job or you don’t get that promotion? Realistically you need to remind yourself we all have failed and even the most successful person has once has failed before getting to where they are now so don’t stress over not be successful the first time. Failure is a sign that you are trying! Unless the worst thing that could happen is death then you are probably are overthinking this and will be fine!
Move your body- There is a reason why people with anxiety do Pilates or Yoga and it is because most experts agree it can help make you feel calmer and in control. It focuses on breath, mindfulness, and body awareness which is helpful with alleviating stress and being a distraction from negative emotions. Pilates or Yoga will not be for everyone and that is okay it’s only important that you get moving! Pilates has helped me significantly reduce my anxiety but also weight training has also helped burn off some steam when I am feeling anxious. Tons of cardio doesn’t work for me so I don’t do a whole lot because I already sometimes get heart palpitations from anxiety and lots of cardio make them worse and feel more anxious.
Just breathe- When you are feeling anxious you have to make sure you are focusing on your breathing. Meditation is another great to manage anxiety and there have been studies that show it helps focus on mindfulness and train the brain to stay in the moment. Meditation isn’t for everyone and certainly isn’t for me but drives me crazy sitting there focusing on breath and I would much rather do Yoga than meditation any day! If I don’t have time for Yoga and I need a quick breathing technique I close my eyes for a few seconds take some deeps breaths and visualize myself in my happy place. You will never get control of your anxiety if you don’t get control of your breathing so whether that’s meditation or Yoga find something that’ brings you to your happy place and helps control your breath.
Eliminate toxic people- The people you hang around will make a huge difference on your anxiety. When I had toxic friends who didn’t make me feel good about myself I was always anxious because I felt I had to present myself in a certain way and if I said the wrong things to my friends the would think very low of me. After parting ways with these toxic people my anxiety significantly improved because now I have friends who are supportive of the choices I make no matter what it is. If you have toxic family members it can be more tricky because you can’t just cut these people out of your life but if you are getting a negative vibe from someone in your family talking to them might be your best option. Sometimes the reason people act that way is because they are unhappy (or jealous) and have something going on that you might not be aware of and the only way you will get to the bottom of it is not by being snotty back but having a conversation!
Get some fresh air- If you are stuck in the house all day sometimes just being stuck in your house unable to go anywhere can make you feel anxious. Go for a walk or just step in your backyard and breathe nature. A five or ten-minute walk can do wonders for anxiety if you are going stir crazy from being stuck inside your house all the time!
Don’t think about the worst-case scenario- When you have a loved one that has to go into work because they are considered an essential worker it can make anyone feel anxious that someone could happen. What if something horrible happens? What if nothing happens and you are spending all this time worrying for nothing? You can’t have the mindset that every time your significant other goes into work they could possibly catch something deadly because it will drive you crazy knowing if they are okay until they come home. If it hasn’t happened yet try not to think about all the horrible things that could happen but haven’t because just like they could get something from work you could catch something from the grocery store. You will go crazy thinking about it in this way so have a positive mindset and know that you will be fine and until something happens don’t worry too much that something horrible could because it might not.
Limit caffeine- If you have been struggling with anxiety you might need to cut caffeine completely out or limit your intake. Caffeine doesn’t worsen anxiety but it worsens symptoms and anxiety that wouldn’t have been that bad is going to seem a whole lot worse with caffeinated beverages. Change happens with your mindset and if you know you need to eliminate caffeinated beverages like tea, coffee or soda because it worsens anxiety then go for it because you should be doing whatever it takes to get better.
Limit your sugar- Sugar doesn’t necessarily cause anxiety but just like caffeine it can cause a whole lot of other health issues and worsen symptoms.. Sugar weakens the body’s ability to cope with stress because it can cause shakiness and elevated heart rate which will make anxiety worse. When I had a high carb diet I ate a lot of sugar and hate heart palpitations almost daily and it wasn’t until recently I started eating less sugar how much of an impact it was making on my health. I still get some heart palpitations when I am struggling with anxiety but not near as many as I used to because I have a better well-balanced diet. Your diet plays a huge role in your anxiety so keep a food journal so you know what makes your anxiety worse and what helps you feel better.
Limit alcohol- Most people know that alcohol can cause a large range of health problems if you’re overconsuming it. I will have an occasional drink at birthday parties or special events but for the most part, I don’t like to drink because it sometimes worsens by anxiety. There is nothing wrong with an occasional drink but drink it moderation to keep ahead of your anxiety and have lots of water!
Keep track of how medication makes you feel- The medication your doctor prescribes is supposed to help solve a medical problem but sometimes it creates one. If you feel anxious an hour or two after you take certain medications notify your doctor immediately because sometimes it’s a side effect and you might need to be on something else.
Stretch- When you have high anxiety it is common for you to become very tense become of the stress. Stretching it isn’t just beneficial for fitness enthusiasts but also helps people who are very anxious and become tense because of their anxiety. Stretching will give you relief if you feel tense so even if you can’t schedule a workout try and schedule at least five to ten minutes of stretching daily. If you workout it will improve your performance and if you don’t it will make you feel so much better. Some disabilities like Muscular Dystrophy won’t benefit from stretching but if it can help you it is definitely something you want to try!
Find your passion!- You don’t have to love every aspect of your job (I don’t know anyone that does) but it should bring some kind of satisfaction at the end of the day and not make you more stressed. If it is your job could be responsible for your anxiety and you might be in the wrong field. Pay attention to how you feel at the end of the day and if you want to rip your hair out after every shift then it might be too stressful for you and it might be time for a new job or career change! When you have anxiety it’s important that you put yourself in a situation that makes you a little uncomfortable so you can grow but when it is too stressful it impairs your ability to function and will do quite the opposite.
During times of uncertainty, it can be very stressful and cause anxiety that many people don’t know how to deal with because they have never dealt with it before. Constant worrying about something that may not happen will not change the situation but will only drive you crazy so try and remind yourself that everything will be okay even if at times it feels like it won’t be. If you don’t get a handle on your anxiety and let it control you through difficult times they will seem like they last twice as long and you feel depressed. Uncontrolled anxiety can cause some health issues like a weakened immune system which won’t be good if you trying not to get ill. Let your anxiety know who’s boss and take control of your health! How do you control your anxiety?