We all have faced some anxious situations. Some more than others. That’s okay. Anxiety isn’t something to be ashamed of. Thousands of people face anxiety daily. For some it’s just a moment, for others it’s a diagnosis that can be treated and managed. For those who are having an emotionally hard time; I am going to provide five useful coping mechanisms to help you manage your anxiety.
Anxiety can happen suddenly that there is no time to process. It can be an emotion that washes over you or even lead to an anxiety attack. There is no need to feel embarrassed or ashamed if this happens. Identifying what triggers you is the first step to managing anxiety. There are questions you must ask yourself once you have experienced these moments of anxiety:
- Where was I?
- What Happened?
- What was I thinking about?
- Has a boundary been crossed?
- How does my body feel?
If you can manage to answer a few of these questions after recuperating from that anxious moment, it is one step closer to being prepared when another attack or feeling occurs.
Write Your Feelings Down
Write, write, write. Writing is a great way to lay your feelings out. Sometimes it’s hard to communicate how you’re feeling to others out loud. Sometimes you don’t want to say anything at all. Well, keeping your own personal notebook is a great way to vent. It is private and it’s up to you how much you want to write and what the contents are inside. I recommend writing daily just to check in on how you’re feeling.
It doesn’t necessarily need to be used when you’re not feeling great. Writing down your thoughts can help you long term. This is another way to cope with stress or other forms of anxieties that trigger you. Once it’s all laid out in front of you, it can be easier to help yourself.
Anxiety can cause a fast heart rate and issues breathing properly. In order to calm down, focused breathing is the way to go. One popular technique that is used is the 4-7-8 technique. This technique is used in yoga and other relaxation activities. First, you inhale for four counts. Next, you hold that breath for seven counts. Finally, you exhale for eight. Do this focused breathing technique for five minutes, or if needed. Your heart rate should slow down.
Walking is a relaxing exercise that can ease anxiety. Whatever triggers your anxiety can increase stress levels. Having some time to yourself, walking is a way to stay healthy and calm, go find a park or a nice sidewalk/street route. Plugin some soothing music and work those legs! Creating a routine is a bonus. Walking is a way to cope because it’s one focused action. Walking keeps the body moving, mind-focused, and healthy body. When we physically feel good our mental health can also get affected. A nice atmosphere and an opportunity to step away from any triggers can be what you need.
What better way to cope with anxieties than to not let them invade your mind. Yes, anxiety won’t just “go away” because you want it to. Another way to cope is to distract yourself. Get involved in other activities. Volunteer, help your family, draw, read, sing, dance. Find activities that are enjoyable and help you get out of your head for a while. Although you must face your anxieties, sometimes we all deserve a break.
Managing anxiety is a long-term process. Everyone has their own coping skills that help them. Let these five coping mechanisms be an extra resource for those who need them.
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