Living with anxiety is by no means easy, some days are harder than others but over time I have come across different ways to cope with anxiety. Here I list my top tips for what to do when you’re feeling anxious.
My friends sometimes ask ‘how do you cope with anxiety?’ And so we share tips and open up, which is a coping mechanism within itself.
For that reason I wanted to share my personal strategies for managing anxiety with the hope that this post will help to comfort at least one person out there. And if not? I hope this post raises awareness on the importance of mental health and encourages others to share their stories, coping strategies and experiences. So here we go, here’s what to do when you’re feeling anxious.
I allow the anxious thoughts to pass through my mind, and don’t try to force them out. This was one I actually learnt from reading The Worry Trick by David A. Carbonell, PhD. I acknowledge that I’m feeling anxious, and my thoughts are a result of that but I allow the thoughts to take their place. Why? Because then I feel less scared of them. By creating a barrier between me and my anxiety I only heighten it’s power. Anxiety, for me, is a form of doubt, uncertainty and ongoing worry. By creating space between myself and my thoughts I isolate them as “bad” but actually thinking them isn’t bad, it’s how I act upon them that defines my progress.
I take a bath. There’s something extremely soothing about taking a long bath with a cup of tea and a nice book. Sometimes I imagine it’s as though I’m washing away all my worries with the soapy water. It’s “my” time and I never feel guilty for taking time out.
I meditate and practice yoga. This is one that I’ve adopted most recently. If you’re ever wondering should I take up yoga? Then my advice will always be yes. You don’t need expensive yoga classes, I just watch videos on YouTube. Here’s one of my favourites. I find practising Shavasana before bed really relaxing too.
I write! So even though laurainlimbo.com is still in early stages, I’ve always enjoyed writing to help ease my anxious symptoms. Even if it’s literally a case of writing a list of what is making me anxious to get it off my chest and visualise my thoughts. Self journals are a great place to start.
I take a walk and/or exercise. Fresh air is sometimes all you need and you can do that on your own or with someone. Taking even just a 15 minute walk will lift your spirits more than you think. I try to get some form of exercise in when I’m feeling anxious as it’s a great natural form of relief.
So there’s my top 5 anxiety coping mechanisms. They’re personal to me but I hope that this helps someone.
Mind is a great organisation, they have people available to help and listen online, in person and on the phone. I’d encourage you to visit their website at https://www.mind.org.uk for more information on mental health.
Note: I am not a medical professional and these coping methods should not be used as an alternative to seeking expert medical advice.