Photo credit: Salvatore Vuono

Ways to Handle Anxiety

Photo credit: Salvatore Vuono

Your mind is racing. Your chest feels tight. You want to scream. You just don’t know how to deal with the anxiety. I don’t know a single person who hasn’t felt that way before. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to handle the everyday stress that results in those anxious feelings.

  • Prepare– Nothing says “stress” like waking up at the last minute in a mad rush. Consider instituting a routine that places you awake and alert with plenty of time to get ready. Also, take a few minutes to prepare mentally for your day.
  • Early Morning Exercise– Starting off your day with a workout gets your blood pumping. Working out not only gives you more energy, but it also puts you in a better mood. Never mind the fact that getting in shape just makes you feel better all around. However, try to stay away from end of the day workouts. The last thing you need is to rev up your engine right before bed.
  • Yoga– Whether you believe in the inner peace stuff or not, it’s irrefutable that Yoga teaches you relaxation techniques. Yoga shows you how to breathe deeply and slowly, making you aware of each breath. It also teaches you slow moving stretches that relax your muscles. Eventually the movement and breathing techniques will translate into your everyday life, allowing you to remain calm during times of anxiety.
  • Tea– The jury is still out on whether or not drinking tea actually reduces anxiety. While I’m not going to claim it does, I do see value in the ritual of drinking tea. Putting the kettle on, hearing it whistle, pouring a steaming glass of tea, and holding it in your palms while breathing deeply- there’s no anxiety in that scene. If you’re skeptical, give it a try and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.
  • Ease Up on Coffee- I used to be one of those people that drank 2-3 cups of coffee before I even left the house in the morning. Needless to say, by the time I climbed behind the wheel, I felt jittery and ready to freak out on the first driver who even looked at me. While I never quit drinking coffee completely, cutting down to a one cup in the morning has drastically reduced the anxiety I feel on the road. So if you’re a coffee lover, remember “moderation.”
  • Journaling- Even if you aren’t much of a writer, putting your thoughts on paper can help you sort out your feelings. That, combined with the alone time journaling requires, gives you the chance to really think about and your emotions and alter your reactions.
  • Get Some Sleep- You can argue all you want, but you need your 8 hours. Anxiety proves much harder to deal with if your body is exhausted. Unfortunately, anxiety can also keep you awake at night. If that’s the case, try taking a hot bath before bed. Also avoid caffeinated drinks in the evenings. Establish a routine, such as journaling before bed, that helps you wind down. And turn the AC down a few degrees. The cool air will help.

Remember, if you think you have an actual anxiety disorder, you should see a professional.

What methods do you use to handle anxiety during your day?