Coping with Anxiety
Coping with anxiety and eliminating it from your life. It’s normal to feel worried or anxious sometimes. Everyone goes through periods where they are concerned about work, divorce, money or family issues. Anxiety and worry are healthy in small doses because they alert you that something in your life is wrong and give you the opportunity to fix it.
Anxiety only becomes a serious issue when it begins to take over your life and prevents you from doing the things you enjoy. Nobody want to live a life standing on the sidelines in constant fear and worry. Life is meant to jump right in and enjoy every moment fully. If you find you are avoiding people and situations due to anxiety, then it may be time to seek professional help. There are also many simple things you can do to help yourself. You are not stuck feeling as if you have to struggle through life carrying the weight of fear and anxiety.
Coping with Anxiety and 8 Methods
The following are 8 tried-and-true methods for coping with anxiety. If you can start to utilize these methods along with therapy you are on the road to a life of peace and serenity.
1. Practice relaxation techniques. Take time out to do yoga, and meditate. Even if it is just taking the time to listen to music. This can do wonders to lift your anxious and depressed mood. It will clear and calm your chattering mind down and clear your head of worry The Buddhist refer to the chattering mind as the “monkey mind“. Everyone is challenged with the monkey mind. The idea of dozens of monkeys clamoring for the spot light and attention.
One of the loudest monkeys we face is fear. This monkey constantly wants to point out what we are doing wrong, what we should be afraid of, etc. Meditation is designed to bring the monkey mind to a halt. To stop the chattering and allow you to be fully in the present moment. The simple act of taking a few deep breaths has been proven to provide an immediate feeling of calmness giving you the ability to cope with anxiety and stress.
2. Eat properly. A healthy mind and a healthy body work together and help you to cope with stress. If your diet is lacking, your mood and sense of well-being is significantly impacted. To combat and cope with anxiety, it’s important to eat nutritious, well-balanced meals and avoid junk food. Greasy, salty and sugar-laden foods will give you an immediate ‘high’ followed by a slump that will exacerbate anxious feelings. Understand food and the direct correlation it has to your mood. Food and the mood are a direct link to feeling less anxious.
3. Watch what you drink. People turn to caffeine and alcohol when anxious or stressed out. These beverages increase your anxiety. Sugary soft drinks need to be avoided. Herbal teas are great for promoting calmness and serenity. In the Asian mountain regions, teas are used and have been used for hundreds of years for the aiding and treating of anxiety. Certain herbal teas and their ingredients are known to assist with relaxation. People utilize tea as part of their spiritual program. Promoting overall well being and balance. Using a holistic approach to medicine is a great alternative to western medicine.
4. Get adequate sleep. Your sleep suffers when you are anxious. If you manage to fall asleep, it is interrupted by tossing and turning. Many find relaxation techniques before going to bed helpful. This may include an evening mediation to relax. Deep breathing, mindfulness, guided meditation videos and focused muscle relaxation techniques are all beneficial in calming the mind. Remember to avoid caffeine and alcohol. You will have a better quality of sleep and this will help to ease stress and cope with anxiety.
5. Exercise regularly. Exercise is one of the best ways of combating anxiety. It triggers the brain to release feel-good chemicals. Jogging or walking for 30 minutes a day will help to take your mind off your worries and make you feel happier and healthier. The second stress affects the brain, the body feels the impact. Your mind and body work hand in hand. Exercise produces endorphin’s which are chemicals in your brain acting as a natural painkiller. Practice a healthy lifestyle shift if you are not exercising. Exercise alone can work wonders to alleviate stress.
6. Practice acceptance. Worry and stress stem from things we as humans have no control over. It’s important to recognize what you can and can’t change in your life. Understanding that there is nothing outside of yourself you can control. You will start to shift into acceptance. Present Centered Awareness Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are wonderful techniques proven to work in coping with anxiety. You cannot alter the situation to eliminate anxiety. You can change the way you react to it. Working on the way you perceive things and practicing acceptance will help you achieve a better frame of mind.
7. Do volunteer work. Focusing on helping other people can do a lot to reduce anxiety. It gets you out of your own mind helping someone else. The worse thing you can do is isolate and be alone in your head. If you cannot control your thoughts, do not be alone with them. Volunteer work is a great way to get out and meet new people. Volunteering your time helps those suffering with anxiety to put their problems in perspective. It makes you start to realize that in the world of big things, your fears are not ranking very high.
8. Talk to a professional. Many take their anxiety and perceived problems straight to the people that are a source of the anxiety. A parent may be anxious about their son or daughter leaving for college. The parent is very sad to see her child leave and cries on the phone with them. The adult child starts to feel stressed out and responsible for the parents emotional stability. This cycle plays out all the time. The adult child becomes anxious and guilty calling daily to make sure mom is alright.
Benefits of Counseling and Coping with Anxiety
Seek help from a professional counselor. Counseling provides a safe and non biased environment. Counseling can be very effective in alleviating and coping with anxiety. If you have trouble opening up in person, try online therapy or phone counseling. This is a great way to start to open up if your fearful to seek therapy face to face.
Counseling will challenge your belief systems and irrational thinking that are at the core of the anxiety. I seek in my own practice to get to the phrase or self statement my clients are telling themselves. This self statement is one of fear. “I will not make it financially” is a common one I hear. Fear of divorce, loneliness, failure, and on and on. Identifying these statements release you from the monkey mind. Alignment with the present moment opens up. You are pulling up old ideas and conditioned responses from the past to predict the future. The future has not happened. This leaves you paralyzed in a state of fear and anxiety.
Free yourself today from the bondage of your false thinking and allow anxiety to wash away. Mind, body and spirit come into alignment. Staying in the present moment where fear and anxiety do not exist will become a natural way of life.