Coping with Anxiety: 5 Ways to Heal

how to cope with anxiety

Coping with anxiety, stress, and panic – whether it is keeping you up at night, hurting your confidence, or even making you feel physically ill – is a very real issue. Nearly 40 million Americans are in the same boat. Don’t feel that you have to simply weather the storm alone!

Below are some tried and true techniques to help you, or a loved one, cope with anxiety. Don’t let it control you! You may be surprised how certain activities can impact your anxiety, especially on a daily basis.

  1. Practice Self-Soothing

    At its core, anxiety is a natural human response. It helps us respond properly to dangerous situations like, encountering a bear in the woods. Luckily, today, most of us don’t actually have to outrun bears 🙂 However, despite all of our modern technology, we are still mammals with the same physical and chemical responses to fear, stress, and anxiety. This means that we still experience intense reactions to stressful situations, whether it is an intimidating presentation at work or a challenging assignment at school. These reactions that once saved our ancestors’ lives are now often major disruptors in the quality of life of many anxiety sufferers.

    Experts have determined that one of the best ways of coping with anxiety is to try and trigger the relaxation response in the body. This you relax after experiencing the fight-or-flight response of anxiety. It also decreases your heart rate. One of the most popular techniques for this is diaphragmatic breathing. This technique involves breathing from the diaphragm. It is common in many types of yoga and meditation.

    Once you’ve triggered that relaxation response, the next step is to encourage yourself.

  2. Practice Anxiety Meditation: Challenge Negative Thoughts

    how to stop negative thoughtsFor some, the idea of using self-affirmations to create a calm mental state, may seem a bit odd. However, there is scientific evidence showing that vocalizing affirmations and positive statements can be helpful to the mind. It can often be difficult to think of affirmations or positive statements during moments of stress or anxiety. However, one way to help is to imagine that you are talking to a friend or loved one who is dealing with the bout of anxiety.

    Some ideas for positive affirmations and statements to challenge negative thoughts, include:

    • “I am safe right now.”
    • “This will not be permanent.”
    • “My body is already beginning to relax, I will be fine.”
    • “I am not giving this power over me.”
    • “I am in an anxious state, but my body will help me calm down.”

    These are just a few examples. Feel free to come up with your own.

    Sometimes, working yourself through the logic of a situation can be helpful as well. It can help you determine that your fears are unfounded. Another way is to try and explain your feelings to a close family member or well-trusted friend. Sometimes, outside perspectives can help you understand why you’re anxious, and what you can think of to stop feeling that way.

  3. More Physical Activity

    Have you ever heard of someone who likes to take a walk outside after they encounter a stressful situation? The old expression of “getting some fresh air” definitely has some truth to it. While we know that exercise is good for one’s physical health, recent research is showing that a regular workout routine is associated with reduced stress, improved mood, more energy, and more self-esteem.

    With that being said, don’t worry! You certainly don’t have to be a major athlete. A workout routine at any level of fitness will work, as long as you stick to it. How exactly? The answer lies in the body’s chemicals.

    During exercise, the body releases chemicals called endorphins. These interact with receptors in the brain to cause pleasant emotions, thus helping to combat feelings of stress and anxiety. Even if you’re unable to complete much physical activity, another useful strategy is to do some simple stretches. Stress often causes tension in muscles that we are not even aware of, so stretching can help you release those tensions AND reduce the physical effects of your stress.

  4. Make Simple Lifestyle Changes

    Looking for a favorite drink to try and calm you down from an anxious state? You many want to rethink that.

    bad eating habitsStudies show that fatty foods, refined sugars, caffeine, and alcohol may play a role in exacerbating feelings of anxiety. They may not cause the feelings by themselves, but if you are already feeling anxious, they may make them even worse. Stopping cold turkey on these types of foods may lead to symptoms like restlessness, irritability, or headaches. So, if you are looking to make dietary changes, try to do it slowly rather than forcing it right away.

    Secondly, it’s a good idea to start keeping track of your sleep.  This is because it can be difficult to determine whether it’s anxiety that is causing your trouble sleeping or vice verse.

    Studies show that losing even just a few hours of sleep can lead to added anger, sadness, and exhaustion the following day — all things you don’t want if you’re dealing with anxiety. Here are a few things you can do to help your chances of a successful night’s sleep:

    • avoiding naps during the day,
    • exercising daily,
    • establishing a set sleep schedule,
    • and developing a bedtime ritual (e.g., drawing, reading, crosswords) to wind down before sleep.
  5. Acceptance and Rewards

    If you accept your anxiety, it can help you maintain control. One way to do this is to take notes of the moments that make you feel anxious. Chances are, you’ll likely to find a pattern. If you find one, it is important to accept that you’re struggling with anxiety. Some people try to avoid it, but this can only make it worse.

    Accepting your anxiety helps take some of the mystery out of it! Losing the mystery reduces your fears. Once you know what worries you, set up little rewards for yourself. Complete a task that may give you a little anxiety. Make that phone call you were worried about. Apply to that job you think you might not get.

    Then do an activity such as, eating your favorite (healthy 😉 ) snack or watching an episode (or two!) of your favorite television show. Reinforcing success is a great way to start the path of getting control over your anxiety. Even if the person doesn’t pick up the phone. Even if you have one week until you know the job decision, reward yourself! The biggest/hardest step is always the first.

How do you or a loved one cope with anxiety? Please feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions with us in the comments below.

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10 thoughts on “Coping with Anxiety: 5 Ways to Heal

  1. I have been dealing with anxiety over 8 months, I hate it , I feel like something takes over my body and actions, I also have been noticing that my anxiety starts often when we are in public , or going to unknown place for dinner. How can I prevent this? I want to be me again.

    1. Sorry to hear of your experiences Daniela!

      Legally we cannot give you specific medical advice, but when entering new unfamiliar situations/places, MANY people have feelings of discomfort and anxiety. So those feelings are natural for the body.

      However, if these feelings are overwhelming you, taking steps to alleviate your symptoms is a great idea. So you’ve taken the first step 🙂

      There are many things that you can do to help yourself: change of diet, more exercise, affirmations, course making sure your are getting all your nutrients, and more! Often chemical imbalances can lead to your unwanted feelings…

      Keep on reading through our blog and also check out our many supplements on that will help correct your chemical imbalances.

      Thanks for writing in!

  2. Mine all started after my daughter was born in 1992. I dealt with it, only cause I was unsure what was going on with me and my body. In 2007 I had a major melt down and ended up in the E.R. come to find out I was suffering from Anxiety , Panic attacks, and agoraphobia. This was something I had never felt before. My heart was racing, my hands were sweaty, I felt like I was dying, I had no control over my mind nor my body. Scared and crying for no reason. I also felt trapped and that know one could help me, but at the E.R. my Doctor gave me Effexor XR 25mg. and it was a miracle it helped so much, then. Here it is 2017 and I am still on Effexor XR and I am on 150 mg. I am also on a mood stabilizer, plus I have Clonazepam 1mg. and Lorazepam 0.5 mg. to take when needed. Lately I have been taking as needed. I am one who has a hard time getting my anxiety under control. I have been to a Mental Hospital 3 times in my life and as the first two times Helped this third time did not. Every morning I wake up with Anxiety and I hate it, if it’s a rainy day and can’t get out to do something I have major Anxiety all day. My life sucks, this has done so much to have kept me from doing so much as well. It was worse b4 2007 and I have been able to do more in life now, but getting Anxiety out of the Blue or for something I am unsure about is driving me crazy. I need help and I need a solution to stop all this. I want my old life back b4 I had my child. I know we all get stress, but having all this Anxiety can really destroy your life. I am thankful for a few friends who help me through this, but I don’t want to depend on them for life. I want ME back!! I know I do not suffer alone, I feel your pain. I am just tired of all the crying, anxiousness, worry, fear that it won’t go way, and just the way it makes me feel. Anxiety is real and not something someone says you are making up, it’s a horrible disease, so If there is cure Please send it my way!

    1. Check the DARE program. There is a book about how to deal with anxiety and panic attacks, Facebook page and few others. It does help. It helped me to deal with my horrible panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, physical symptoms and so on. It doesn’t mean that they disappear but how you can accept and not to be afraid of the symptoms that you might be having.

  3. I have been dealing with the anxiety/panic attack jazz for about 10 months now and it certainly has the potential to take over certain areas of life…but you just can’t let it. I found you have to be determined to overcome and not nurse the fact that there’s another issue to be solved. I found the techniques above to be very effective. In a nutshell I….
    -realize I have a purpose in this life
    -realize the root cause(fear and worry) and that there is Hope.
    -during anxious moments,”self-affirm”
    -have a consistant nighttime routine
    -do deep breathing exercises and be more diligent with physical exercise
    -avoid caffeine and sugar completely.This has been huge and highly beneficial in every way. Sugar seems to have an immediate anxious effect on me, though honey (<1 Tablespoon) has been fine
    -drink teas like Tulsi, Turmeric, Peppermint, and Lemon Balm

    Anxiety can be really miserable and life changing but I am so thankful for these tips and information that I read in this blog.

    1. Thank you so much for letting us know how you deal with anxiety and happy to see you have some coping techniques! We appreciate your comment. We know it will help many other people!

  4. I had a panic attack 3 months ago during my sleep…..never had one before! It has progressed to constantly a lump in my throat that makes me think I can not swallow and freaks me out ! I am taking tranquilene but have been doing so only 9 days now…it seems to not really help taking one in the morning and 1 at night , so toady I changed to taking 2 capsules in the morning, but it seems to have played out early on me and not as strong! Is it weakening or can I take a 3rd one tonight? Any suggestions? The only meds I take is hbp and a diuretic. Any advice is appreciated , my life seems to be on hold and I have two small ones to take care of!

    1. We are sorry to hear you are having issues. Have things gotten better for you? Also, yes, it’s completely fine to take two capsules in the morning and one at night. Please let us know your progress. Thank you!

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