Today we want to talk to you about how to deal with anxiety and strengthen mental health. Anxiety is a natural reaction to stress. Anxious feelings are common and experienced by everyone. They can be uncomfortable, but there are effective tools to calm anxious feelings.
If you are experiencing anxiety that is excessive or distressing, please reach out for help and know that compassionate support and effective treatments are available. A licensed mental health professional from MyTherapist can help you address and manage anxiety.
Symptoms of anxiety may include:
- Feeling nervous or restless.
- Difficulty envisioning that things getting better.
- A bleak outlook and uncertainty about the power to change it.
- Physical symptoms, such as rapid breathing, increased heart rate, sweating, and an upset stomach.
- Feelings of impending doom or panic.
- A lack of concentration on anything other than the present worry.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Finding it challenging to control worrying.
Short-term tips for calming anxiety in the present include:
- Recognizing and labeling what is happening. Tell yourself, “This is anxiety,” and then work your way through steps to manage it.
- Deep breathing. Try inhaling deeply through your nose, holding it in, exhaling fully, and repeating. Deep breathing can help calm your body’s reaction to anxiety. Focusing on your breathing can help distract you from your worries.
- Staying in the present. Ask yourself, “Am I safe in this moment?”
- Focusing on your senses. Try consciously noticing details of a scent, a site, or a sound that’s near you. Try picking three in a row.
- Getting fresh air.
- A quick walk or even just moving to a different place in the room can be calming.
- Listening to music: songs can be soothing.
- Watching or reading something funny. Humor can be the best medicine.
Long-term tools for managing anxiety include:
- Identifying and learning to address what triggers your anxiety.
- Limiting alcohol and caffeine intake.
- Maintaining a nutritious diet.
- Therapy with a licensed mental health professional.
- Medication under the supervision of a physician.
- Regular and enough sleep.
- Challenging your self-talk—looking for alternatives to your negative thoughts and feelings. Try to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Connecting with others.
- Regular relaxation.
- Practicing stress management techniques, such as managing your time and not overcommitting.
- Actively addressing problems as they arise.
- Practicing flexibility and adaptability so that you don’t feel anxious if things don’t go as planned.
Calming thoughts for managing anxiety:
When you experience anxious feelings, try being compassionate with yourself and consider using these calming thoughts:
- It’s your body in overdrive trying to protect you. You can ride out the feelings. They’ll pass.
- Worrying will not change the outcome.
- You don’t need to have everything figured out right now.
- Thoughts don’t always reflect reality.
- The past and the future cannot hurt you in the present.
- There may be things going wrong, but there are also probably things going right.
Tips for strengthening your mental health include:
- Valuing yourself. Treating yourself with kindness and avoiding self-criticism.
- Taking care of your body with exercise, the right amount of sleep, and nutritious meals.
- Connecting with positive people who boost your feelings.
- Regularly relaxing.
- Managing stress.
- Trading negative thoughts for positive ones.
- Helping others.
- Practicing gratitude.
- Setting realistic goals and then putting in the effort to meet them.
- Accepting imperfection.
- Being flexible and willing to adapt if something unexpected or unpleasant happens.
- Being kind to others.
Treatment for Anxiety
- Effective treatment is available for anxiety management.
- Please seek the support of a licensed mental health professional if you are living with anxiety.
- Common, researched-based treatments include therapy, medication, or a combination of both, as well as healthy lifestyle adjustments and learning stress management and coping skills.
- Your healthcare providers can help you find the best treatment plan for you.
- Taking proactive steps to manage anxiety can improve your quality of life and help you feel your best.
More about the author Marie Miguel
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.