Have you ever told anyone about your anxiety issues only to be told, “Yeah, I worry about stuff sometimes too.” Unless you’ve only told one or two people, chances are you’ve heard this response.
These people may not be trying to be insensitive. They just don’t realize what life is like for the 40 million American adults with anxiety disorders. In the same way that many people don’t understand your struggles, they also don’t know how to offer advice to help you either.
If you’re having a hard time dealing with anxiety, try these tips from true experts.
Tips for Dealing With Anxiety
As helpful as a mental health professional can be, your anxiety doesn’t stop when you walk out of their office. These tips can help you between appointments.
1. Use Trial and Error
Chances are you’ve already tried the old Google search for ways to relieve stress. You’ll find a massive pile of suggestions. What if they don’t work?
It’s important to realize that every person with anxiety is unique. When your anxiety is at its peak, different strategies work for different people.
All you can do is to take a “trial and error” approach. Don’t get discouraged if breathing exercises or meditation aren’t for you. Move on and try something else to lower your blood pressure and stress levels.
2. Avoid Intensifying Factors
This is true for everyone: when we’re physically uncomfortable, our emotions escalate faster. To keep your anxiety as low as possible, take steps to keep yourself comfortable.
Wear clothes that make you feel both confident and comfy. Have a mobile stash of snacks to carry with you to avoid getting too hungry. Have pain relievers like ibuprofen available too so you can stop headaches in their tracks.
3. Keep Watch Over Your Remedies
As helpful as non-medical remedies can be, medication has a clear place in the anxiety world too. The important thing is that you use it correctly so it doesn’t become another problem.
If your doctor has prescribed an anti-anxiety medication, ask questions and educate yourself.
As this blog points out, anxiety medications can be addictive. Make sure you understand your doctor’s instructions about when to take them and how much to take. Be careful not to overuse them because it puts you at risk for becoming addicted.
4. Identify Your Triggers
For people with anxiety disorders, some level of anxiety is constant. There are times, though, when it surges far higher than your normal level.
In most cases, there are certain triggers that cause these surges. Finding out what they are can help you keep your anxiety to a minimum.
Start by journaling any time you have high anxiety. Take note of what your conscious anxiety is about. Write down what has happened recently in your life or what is coming up on your schedule.
Look for patterns in these notes. If you can identify your triggers you can either avoid them or know how and when you need to prepare for heightened anxiety.
Living Life Above Your Anxiety
As countless people have discovered, there’s no magic wand for anxiety disorders. They won’t disappear, but by learning how to manage your anxiety, you may be able to find a level of relief that you didn’t know was possible.The tips above for dealing with anxiety are a great start. For more ways to live your best life with or without anxiety, check out more articles on our wellness blog.