11 Ways to Cope with Anxiety

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People with anxiety struggle on a day to day basis in ways most of the population doesn’t have to. Through this cycle, it can often be difficult to properly process emotions and understand where they’re coming from.

The purpose of developing coping skills is to develop your own effort to solve both personal and interpersonal complications. In turn, with the right techniques, you’ll have the ability to live a more fulfilling life.

Before you jump into coping techniques, it’s important to understand there are both positive and negative mechanisms. A negative one would be using drugs or alcohol as a means of self-medicating. Positive techniques, on the other hand, will allow you to:

  • Change any negative thought patterns into positive ones.
  • Develop self-care tactics to improve upon daily.
  • Process emotions.

Throughout this article, we’re going to take a look at 11 different coping mechanisms for you to work on. At the end, we invite you to ask further questions.

#1 – Write in a Journal

If you are currently in anxiety treatment, you’ve most likely been suggested to write down your thoughts and feelings. By doing so, you’re doing more than just marking down how you felt on this day or what you thought on that.

You’re documenting an entry of your thought and emotional processing. You’re developing an understanding of why or how you feel the way that you do. And through this knowledge, you’re giving yourself the ability to grow.

#2 – Eat Well

Study after study shows that our diet is strongly linked to our emotion [1]. Those who eat well tend to be happier than those who don’t. If you’ve developed an unhealthy eating habit, it’s vital to your mental health you start offering yourself more nutritious meals.

Similar to writing down your thoughts, it may help to map out your meals every week or so. This can help you better understand what foods or drinks are necessary for your mental health. And the foods you eat will make a difference.

For example, foods with zinc and/or magnesium have been found to lower anxiety levels and calm both people and animals down [2]. While foods high in probiotics tend to help those with social anxiety [3].

#3 – Exercise Regularly

Going alongside a healthy diet, exercise is a great way to reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress. Part of the reason is physical activity natural releases endorphins (feel-good chemicals) within our brains [4].

The other reason is an exercise routine allows us to feel as though we’ve accomplished something. Through this, we trigger the reward system of our brain.

#4 – Take Up Meditation or Yoga

Both meditation and yoga are great ways to exercise our thought patterns. Through these techniques, we allow ourselves to better understand the emotional process and teach ourselves how to improve on it [5].

Many people who receive anxiety treatment have been using meditation and yoga as a complementary therapy (or alternative medicine). Going back to ancient philosophies, these techniques allow people to curate mindfulness while reducing stress.

#5 – Read Regularly

A good book can do just as much as a meditation session. If you feel as though yoga and meditation don’t settle well with you, there’s always the option to pick up reading.

Though you have the freedom to read whatever you please, we do suggest books covering mindfulness and self-improvement.

#6 – Spend Time in Nature

Anxiety levels have spiked alongside technology progress. And some mental health professionals speculate this rise in anxiety might have to do with society’s retreat from nature [6].

There are a number of different outdoor activities you can take up, including:

  • Going fishing
  • Having a picnic
  • Riding a bike
  • Taking a walk in the park

#7 – Clean Your Living Space

You know the saying, “you are what you eat?” Though it’s true, you’re also where you live. Your environment plays a HUGE role in the way you process emotions [7].

Ever had a bad roommate that drove you nuts day in and day out? It’s the same concept.

For people with anxiety, it’s suggested they clean their living space. A clean, de-cluttered environment can do wonders for one’s mental health.

#8 – Spend Time with Family and Friends

In order to handle anxiety, it’s vital you have a strong support system. A select few people you can reach out to when you need to get something off your mind or you’re going through tough times [8].

This is the importance of spending time with family and friends. Even if you’re not in need of them at a particular moment, spending time with these people will allow them to get to know you better. To better understand you.

So, when moments of need to arise, there’s a potential they’ve developed an understanding as to what to do.

#9 – Take Vacations

We live in a hustle-and-bustle society that really emphasizes the importance of hard work. Though hard work in itself can help your mental health – as it has the ability to allow you to follow through with your passions – it’s just as vital to take step backs from these efforts.

Whether you’re taking a break for a day or a week, we all need to take these steps back. Since all our minds work differently, there’s no universal answer to how many vacations you should take.

However, there are signs to keep an eye out for. If your stress levels are through the roof and you feel like you’re losing control of yourself, it’s time to take a step back.

#10 – Pick Up a Mindful Habit

We could write a whole article surrounding habits that make for better mental health. Some people find gardening to be a relaxing pastime while others will prefer to pick up an instrument.

If you’re unsure as to a mindful habit that’ll work for you, don’t be afraid to experiment around. There are tons of different mindful habits for different kinds of people. And these habits, similarly to vacations, are ways for you to take a step back from stress and anything else that triggers your anxiety.

#11 – Practice Certain Philosophies

We at Bedlamite have a strong belief that philosophy can offer answers to many people about their mental health. Since there are so many different philosophies, it can be difficult to figure which ones best vibe with you.

However, there are some universal philosophies that can benefit everybody walking this earth. These include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Practice Acceptance – it can be difficult accepting the fact that you have anxiety, but once you do, you’ve moved one step closer to beating it. By comprehending your anxiety, you’ll have the ability to stop and make thoughtful decisions about how to handle it.
  • Practice Compassion – Don’t just be kind to yourself, but also to those already around you. We sometimes get caught up in judgemental ideas and critical thinking and don’t take a step back to allow ourselves and others to feel good.
  • Practicing gratitude – knowing what you’re grateful for will allow you to appreciate what you already have and spend less time focusing on what you don’t have.

Your Questions

Still have questions concerning how to cope with anxiety?

We invite you to ask them in the comments section below. If you have any personal experience or coping advice, we’d also love to hear from you.

We try to reply to each comment in a prompt and personal manner.

Reference Sources

[1] Harvard Health Publishing: Nutritional strategies to ease anxiety

[2] MDPI: The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress

[3] Annals of General Psychiatry: The effects of probiotics on depressive symptoms in humans: a systematic review

[4] frontiers in Psychiatry: Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity on Anxiety

[5] Psychology Research and Behavior Management: An update on mindfulness as a self-help treatment for anxiety and depression

[6] frontiers in Psychology: The great outdoors? Exploring the mental health benefits of natural environments

[7] P&T: Current Diagnosis and Treatment of Anxiety Disorders

[8] Better Health Channel: Managing and treating anxiety

Featured image by caroro (original source)

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