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Practical Coping Strategies for Anxiety

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Table of Contents
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We have all felt anxious at times and in places. But, if this sense of anxiety is more common recently, it is a serious concern. So let’s begin by gaining a little insight into coping strategies for anxiety.

Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety is the state of general discomfort and fear. It is quite a normal thing to become an anxious person from time to time, especially before exams and job interviews. And most of the time, the feeling lasts only for a while.

But if that fear and anxiety have been going on for months, it is high time it became an anxiety disorder. And, in extreme cases, it can even require professional medical intervention.

Common Symptoms and Triggers of Anxiety

The first thing to do before knowing coping strategies for anxiety is identifying the symptoms and triggers.

Symptoms

At times, it takes years for most people to realize that they have an anxiety disorder. The reason for this is that the symptoms of anxiety can vary to a large extent from one person to another. It could be something else for you and something different for those around you. Still, some of the most common symptoms experienced by people are:

  • Constant Worrying: Overthinking is one thing, but if it crosses the line and a person is worrying all the time about all things in life, it could be a sign of anxiety.
  • Restlessness: Difficulties with relaxation were also present in anxious individuals, which may serve as a further marker of anxiety.
  • Difficulty in Concentrating: Having difficulty concentrating on normal day-to-day tasks can really be a problem in the case of an anxiety disorder. Overthinking never lets the mind be empty of anxious thoughts.
  • Trouble Falling Asleep: It is difficult for some people with anxiety to sleep because they always have a sense of fear.
  • Fatigue:  a person is evidently in a state of wearing out even if they may have had enough sleep. This is mostly due to the fact that one drains all of their energy by overthinking all of the time.
  • Muscle Strain: Chronic anxiety also causes aching and muscle tension in some regions of the body.

These were some of the most common symptoms that are observed in people with anxiety. If you identify most of these symptoms in a person there could be chances that they are having anxiety. Also, you have to find out what might trigger your anxiety and make sure that condition doesn’t worsen.

symptoms to know before trying coping strategies for anxiety

Triggers

Triggers could vary from person to person, but some of the most common triggers that people with anxiety share in common are:

  • Stressful Events: The roots of this problem are to be found in the personal, and, indeed, financial, life – which is full of stress.
  • Trauma: There are forms of anxiety which are caused by a traumatic experience, such as abuse or accidents, that even go so far as to trigger the very symptoms of the anxiety one could experience.
  • Health Concerns: Health-related worries about oneself and close relatives can be one of the main sources of anxiety, sometimes being the cause of anxiety and setting it in motion.
  • Social Situations: Social interaction and other situations in which an individual has to face many people can be a cause of anxiety.
  • Chronic Illnesses and Pain: Chronic illnesses and pain may provoke feelings of distress and overburden one, both physically and mentally.

What are Coping Strategies for Anxiety? 

In the long run, dealing with anxiety is a physical and emotional drainer, and it shows the negative impact in our daily lives. And, in serious cases, this can even be life-threatening and may require assistance. If your anxiety symptoms are in the early stage, however, they can be managed with just a few coping strategies for anxiety. These coping strategies for anxiety are minor lifestyle changes that you can be able to pull with ease in a little practice over some time.

Here are some of the most effective coping strategies for anxiety:

Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises are one of the simple coping strategies for anxiety. All you have to do is find a quiet space, close your eyes, and focus on taking slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. As you breathe deeply, allow your abdomen to rise and fall with each breath, and pay attention to the sensation of air entering and leaving your body. Regular practice of deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress levels, promote relaxation, and increase feelings of calmness and well-being.

Mindfulness and Meditation Techniques

Mindfulness and meditation techniques help you conquer your inner doubts and cultivate boundless positivity. You can begin by finding a quiet, comfortable space. You can sit or lie down undisturbed. Breath in and breathe out and with each breath. Let go of all the tension and distractions, allowing yourself to sink deeper into relaxation.

meditation as one of the coping strategies for anxiety

With mindfulness practice over time, you’ll learn to observe your thoughts without judgment. You will gain control over your mind and emotions and gain a new perspective to see your life. 

Physical Activity and Exercise

Physical activity in general includes brisk walking, running, or yoga. Physical exercise causes the release of the hormone endorphin into the body. Being natural mood lifters, endorphins in the body cause a reduction in the level of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Incorporating these exercises in your schedule can help your body and mind and decrease the frequency of anxiety symptoms. 

Healthy Lifestyle Habits 

Healthy lifestyle involves a wide range of changes. It affects literally all spheres of life and therefore demands changes in those spheres too. That includes what we eat, when we sleep, how and what we eat, and general substance abuse.

  • This is because a balanced diet can help one cope with stress by giving up unhealthy food habits. Intake of foods rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains supports necessary nutrients in the body that may result in a boosted brain function and stabilization of thoughts.
  • On the other hand, ample sleep is also known to be a contributing factor to stress. As per research, proper sleep, which occurs over 6 to 8 hours, can contribute to the management of symptoms of stress and anxiety. Plus, a balanced diet is helpful in improving the quality of sleep naturally, so you can focus on that as well.
  • Avoiding substance abuse over time, including alcohol, drugs and prescription medications will make it easy to avoid the stress associated with it. The doses should be reduced and slowly reached to the stage in which it can be completely cut down to avoid the symptoms of withdrawal.

Cognitive Behavioral Techniques : Challenging Negative Thoughts, Reframing Perspectives

Cognitive-behavioral techniques, or CBT, encompass a few of the techniques used in this rather short therapy. It normally involves the identification of your negative thoughts. On the flip side, reframing them so that your perspective changes to something positive.

The techniques used as coping strategies for anxiety can differ according to the goals you wish to achieve, and common CBT techniques for anxiety include:

  • Cognitive reframing
  • Thought challenge
  • Journaling
  • Behavioral tests
  • The relaxation techniques

Setting Realistic Goals and Priorities

Setting realistic goals is mostly helpful for working professionals who mostly suffer from the problem of setting unrealistic goals. These realistic goals largely reduces stress. It provides clearness in a vision, helps take a view of control, and identifies one’s priorities more clearly.

These two things go together: One approach is to follow priorities of what matters most to you, and the other is to make goal-setting manageable.

Goals with a specified deadline

Set the goals according to its urgency. This can be short term or long term based on your preference and urgency. This way, you can focus on what is important at a particular time.

Setting Micro-Goals

Setting micro-goals can save you from getting overwhelmed because of the workload. Small goals can be easily fulfilled one by one.

Professional Help

Therapy or medication helps you manage some of the mild symptoms related to anxiety. But if you are experiencing severe symptoms, please do not hesitate to see your healthcare provider.

A professional therapist can provide you with personal advice and medication appropriate to your condition and medical history. This way, you will recover from your anxiety feeling even quicker.

What is the 3-3-3 rule for panic attacks?

Another common technique is the 3-3-3 rule, which can be applied during immediate panic attacks in order to cope with anxiety symptoms. This is the process of looking at your surroundings through a keen observation.

  • Look around and focus on naming 3 things that you see.
  • Identify and focus on 3 sounds around you.
  • Focus on 3 things you can touch or move.

What are the practical solutions to anxiety? 

Anxious thoughts follow you everywhere you go, and these anxiety symptoms could be attached to particular occasions or situations.

Such self-help tips for depression generally work while one is feeling anxious. To stop your anxious thoughts and relax at the moment, do as follows:

  • Share your feelings and thoughts with someone you trust. Instead of avoiding them, talk over your thoughts with a close friend or family member; it can shift your negative thoughts.
  • Living in the present and reminding yourself that you are safe at this very moment can also help you relax.
  • Allot a limited period—say 10 to 15 minutes—a day for worrying, so you don’t end up thinking negatively the entire day.
  • Practice mindfulness exercises, such as deep breathing or meditation, to relax and be in the present moment.
  • Distract yourself with your favorite activities and hobbies.

Final Words

It is never a cool thing to be in a state of depression and anxiety, but staying in the same mindset would take you nowhere. Therefore, it becomes important to step up and make the decision of ending the series of constant fear for yourself. Now that we’ve found some coping strategies for anxiety and the 3-3-3 rule, the control of your life is in your hands. Go follow this guide and change your mindset with it.

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