Simple Tips for Managing Anxiety

Anxiety is a common and natural feeling that we all experience. Studying for a big test, applying for a new job, or moving to a new city are all examples of potentially anxiety-provoking situations. What can we do to help ourselves when faced with a situation that creates uncertainty? Here are some tips for dealing with anxious thoughts.

  1. Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness, or listening to a guided mediation when feeling anxious can help bring anxiety down. Your brain is unable to think about two things at once, so when focusing on the present moment, you will not be able to think about the issue creating anxiety. By following a guided mediation, you are listening to the voice and instructions of the person leading the meditation, which can help distract you from your thoughts, leave you feeling more calm and centered.
  2. Breathing: Taking deep breaths is a natural and effective way to help with anxious thoughts and feelings. By taking deep breaths, you can calm the emotional and physical effects that worry can produce within your body by quieting the sympathetic nervous system.
  3. Journaling: Writing down your feelings can be a very helpful way to get your thoughts in order. Our thoughts can repeat themselves over and over in our heads, making an issue that might be bothering us feel overwhelming or unmanageable. Writing it down can help you sort through what is on your mind and help you change your script, especially if the script is a negative one.
  4. Talking it out: Talking to a close friend or family member about what you are worried about can be a very effective way to work through your anxiety. Sometimes a listening ear is all we need in order to resolve what is on our mind.

These tips and techniques are just a few effective ways to take back control of your anxious thoughts. By implementing these coping tools whenever you are faced with a big decision or issue, you may find that you can work through challenges with more ease.

Brittany Ruane, LCSW