Tips to Deal with Anxiety
Dealing with anxiety involves a combination of strategies that can help you manage your symptoms and improve your overall well-being. Remember that different techniques work for different people, so feel free to experiment and find what suits you best. Here are some tips to consider:
When you are anxious, your breathing often becomes shallow. Taking slow, deep breaths can help activate your body’s relaxation response. 4-7-8 breathing involves counting to 4 as you take in a deep slow breath, hold for a count of 7 and breathe out for 8 counts. Repeat 3-7 times or until you feel calm. This practice was created by Andrew Weil, MD founder and director of the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona.
The 333 Rule
The “3-3-3 Rule” is a simple grounding technique that can be helpful in managing anxiety or panic attacks. It’s designed to help you refocus your thoughts and bring your attention to the present moment. Here’s how it works:
Look around you and name:
- 3 things you see
- 3 things you can touch and
- 3 things you hear
- Take 3 deep breaths
Regular exercise can have a positive impact on your mood and anxiety levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.
Eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, and avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol. These factors can influence your anxiety levels.
Identify sources of stress and try to reduce or eliminate them from your life. This could involve setting boundaries, delegating tasks, or simplifying your schedule.
Mindfulness and Meditation
When you feel overwhelmed, meditation can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, leading to better management of anxiety. Studies show that practicing mindfulness by focusing on the present moment without judgment can help reduce anxiety.
Talk to friends, family, or a therapist about your feelings. Sometimes, expressing your concerns and receiving support can provide relief.
Challenge Negative Thoughts
Practice cognitive-behavioral techniques to challenge and reframe negative thoughts that contribute to anxiety. Replace them with more balanced and realistic thoughts.
Break tasks into smaller, manageable steps. This can prevent feeling overwhelmed and help you accomplish things more effectively.
Hobbies and Activities
Engage in activities you enjoy to divert your attention from anxious thoughts and promote a sense of accomplishment and pleasure.
Limit Media Exposure
Constant exposure to negative news and social media can exacerbate anxiety. Consider setting boundaries and taking breaks from media consumption.
Prioritize getting quality sleep by establishing a regular sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and avoiding stimulating activities close to bedtime.
If you have specific fears or triggers, consider gradually exposing yourself to them in a controlled way. This can help desensitize your anxiety response over time.
Dedicate time to self-care activities that bring you joy, whether it’s reading, taking a bath, spending time in nature, or practicing a creative hobby.
Joining a support group can provide a sense of community and the opportunity to share experiences with others who understand your struggles.
Remember that overcoming anxiety takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself and celebrate even small victories along the way. If your anxiety becomes overwhelming, don’t hesitate to contact Orange County Therapist Dr. Susan Pazak.
At a Glance
Dr. Susan Pazak, MD
- Bachelors, Masters and PhD in Clinical Psychology
- Voted best psychologist in Laguna Niguel 3 years
- Studied marital & sexual satisfaction in couples
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