How To Cope With Anxiety

Knowing how to cope with anxiety helps improve quality of life. We may all fall victim to nervous jitters before an interview or before meeting someone new.

However anxiety is different from nervous jitters. Anxiety can severely impact the ability to function properly within society.

What is anxiety?

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a mental disorder that causes excessive anxiety and impacts life function. Essentially the “panic button” (the brain structure that connects to the amygdala) is being overworked.

To learn more about anxiety read here

Why?

Anxiety is caused by genetic factors, brain chemistry and environmental factors. Some, not all, types of anxiety can be caused by genetics passed down through the generations.

An imbalance of chemicals and neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and glutamate can cause an anxious response. Environmentally, anxiety can develop from personal experiences, trauma, stress, depression, work, toxic relationships and depression.

Related Post: How To Help Someone With Depression

How do I cope with anxiety?

There are multiple ways to combat your anxious symptoms and prevent panic/anxiety attacks. I have provided some tips below help you out!

Tip #1 To Cope With Anxiety

Have A Go To Coping Skill


Whether it is meditation, breathing technique or positive self talk, you need a go to skill that reduces your anxiety. This can be irritating because there are a multitude of ways you could relax and/or retrain your brain to not identify the situation as life or death (also known as “flight or fight).

5 tips to cope with anxiety; girl head bent down; gray and black color background

Tip #2 To Cope With Anxiety

Know Your Triggers


When do you feel most anxious? Are you in a crowded space or around stressful individuals? It is important to identify your triggers so that you can avoid them. If you cannot avoid your trigger it is important to schedule the encounter so that you can plan for it.

For example, if you have a paper due in two weeks, plan to do a little each day so that you are not overwhelmed later (which could trigger a panic attack).

Related Post: How To Tell Your Family You Have A Mental Disorder

Tip #3 To Cope With Anxiety

Know Your Signs


There are reactions your body and mind have when you begin to feel anxious. You may notice that your heart rate increases or you are becoming more irritable. When you begin to know and notice your signs you will be able to be proactive in your response. As you become more familiar with your signs you will be able to identify when they are more prevalent (aka identifying the trigger)

Tip #4 To Cope With Anxiety


Exercise

Go for a walk or jog to decrease anxious symptoms. We all have been told for years the physical benefits to exercise but there are also mental benefits from exercising. Although temporary, a walk can increase mood for hours thereby decreasing anxiety and depression.

Exercise releases dopamine and other endorphins that gives the mind the “feel good” chemical to boost your mood. It also decreases cortisol and other stress hormones within the body. Since anxiety correlates with stress and fear it makes sense that as you form a routine exercise regimen, your anxiety symptoms will decrease.

Tip #5 To Cope With Anxiety

Get Help


The stigma surrounding mental health has begun to crack but has not fully been dismantled. Do not be discouraged if you need to see a mental health professional to help work things through.


Often speaking with a mental health professional will help ease your anxiety, reduce stress and you will learn other coping skills that you could try while in a safe space.

Some people need medication when they are beginning treatment, AND THAT IS OKAY! To ease anxiety regarding medication, educate yourself! The most important thing to understand about medication is that it is not life long.

It is quite common that doctors start slow and low with the dosage of prescription medication, in hopes that you will get a psychotherapist and learn skills to manage your anxiety.

I hope that these tips improve your mood and lower your stress and anxiety! I would love to hear if they helped! If you know of any tips that would help others manage their anxiety, leave it in the comments below!

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36 thoughts on “How To Cope With Anxiety

  1. Thank you for sharing these tips. As someone that deals with Anxiety on a daily basis, I appreciate that there are blogs that help bring mental health awareness and support.

  2. Thanks for the tips! I see a lot of posts like these, but I liked how specific this post was about defining what Generalized Anxiety Disorder is, and how it’s past just feeling nervous or having social jitters. It’s important that we in the mental health community can articulate why our conditions are so important for people to understand, and you did a great job of that here.

  3. I love this post so much!
    I write my own post similar to this but I had asked people from twitter their go to methods to share and I feel the more are aware of ways to cope with it the better they will be able too as some of it has helped me.

    Yoga has been the most beneficial thing for my anxiety and mental health in general 💜

    Thank you for writing and sharing such amazing post! – littletinkablee

  4. Exercising and knowing your signs are my fave on this list. Noticing signs helps such a great deal so you can recognize what’s happening early on and can begin your go to coping mechanism. Exercising really does help but I am awful at being consistent in that area!

  5. My friend used to suffer from anxiety a lot and I think this really a great post and I think it might help her. Thank you for sharing it.

  6. I don’t really struggle with anxiety but I can see from the comments how useful it is for people that do. I’ve always found exercising helps when feeling down, and I love some of your other pointers x

    Kayleigh Zara 🌿 http://www.kayleighzaraa.com

  7. I work as a manager at a call center where my employees help people with questions about their credit cards. Over the years I have had several employees that suffer from anxiety. My background and degree in Psychology has been exponential in leading me to provide coping strategies for them at work and sometimes at home. Anxiety seems to be an ever increasing disorder and posts like this, that help explain what it is and how to help, are so important.

    1. I hope that they help others as well. I am so glad that you have the knowledge to handle life an educate others as well

  8. Never experienced true anxiety until i was older. After surviving and beating cancer and now living scan to scan every four months, anxiety can be worse than actual pain. Your post is very helpful. I do a lot of those things, like meditation and exercise. one thing I would add is writing a journal about, keeping notes on what you have experience day to day. Writing has really helped me.

  9. Very solid tips Jess! Anxiety can really take over someone’s every day life and be an enemy of progress. Because it’s so hidden people are normally suffering in silence because it’s difficult for others on the outside to understand hence the stigma behind mental health. It’s important to be self-aware and take action by getting the help needed. Talking to family and friends who are aware of mental health issues and are willing to support can also be one of the biggest kind of support anxiety sufferers can ask for.

    Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures
    https://johnnystraventures.com

    1. Thanks for reading Johnny! Youre so right, mental illness is masked well and it is difficult to know when a loved one needs help. Being open to helping is normally the first step.

  10. For my two anxiety disorders, social anxiety disorder and agoraphobia, I found two techniques to be the most effective.

    The first was ‘Graded Exposure’, whereby you gradually expose yourself to the feared situation.

    You set out a series of steps to take, gradually rising in their difficulty, and then take one step at a time, moving on to the next step as you become more comfortable with the step before it.

    The second method, which proved to be the most useful for me as it helped manage my psychotic episodes, was leaving my anxiety driven intrusive thoughts alone to run their course.

    I found whenever I challenged these thoughts, trying to beat them with reason and logic, they wouldn’t go away and thus the thoughts and the battle would become all consuming, making my anxiety far worse.

    When I left these thoughts unchallenged, although it was painful to do to do, eventually the thoughts lost their power and stopped causing me to have a psychotic episode every time I left the house or was around people.

    This method isn’t for everyone, because it can be extremely difficult to do because it’ll get worse before it gets better, but it has far better long term benefits.

    This approach has had the single biggest impact on any of my mental health problems, and has also had the biggest impact on my quality of life.

  11. It’s nice to read someone explain the difference between nerves and anxiety. Whilst I’m not an anxious person I do have an anxious daughter and I get annoyed when people brush it off as ‘oh it’s just nerves’ if she has something big on.

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