9 anxiety coping strategies that will help

Have you tried these anxiety coping strategies? Honestly tried?

We’ve read all the articles. All the books. We’ve sat thru hours of counseling. Lost too much time sitting in uncomfortable chairs waiting for our hour with the professional who can help. And yet, here we are. Let’s be honest, just you and I. Me first, OK? Nothing I am going to share with you is new. I may present it a little differently, but you have heard it before. By this point in time, I do not believe you need me to TELL you what to do for anxiety coping strategies.

Your turn. When following advice, did you make a commitment and follow through with it? Actually put those recommended anxiety coping strategies into practice for an extended period?

Honesty. I do not care if you are honest with me or anyone else. Honesty within yourself is what can and will help you with anxiety and with the other aspects of your life.

Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive,anxiety coping strategies

uncontrollable and often irrational worry. This excessive worry interferes with everyday matters: health issues, money, family problems, friendship’s, or work difficulties. The physical symptoms can include feeling tired, fidgeting, headaches, muscle tension, difficulty swallowing, breathing difficulty, difficulty concentrating, trembling, and irritability, just to start the list.

Relaxation Tips include:

1: Mindful breathing

Mindful breathing involves slowing down your breathing by breathing in deeply through your nose, and exhaling slowly through your mouth. Start with three or four deep breaths and then settle into your normal breathing pattern. The key is to relax and be comfortable. Keep your breathing pattern slow, deep and easy. Allow thoughts to wander thru and be gone as you just breath.

For more information please see: Mindfulness toolbox

2: Concentration

Concentration involves focusing your attention but not thoughts. Focus first on your breathing pattern. How it feels, how deeply and relaxing it is. Move on to how it feels sitting or standing. Not thinking, experiencing.

For more information please see: Concentration

anxiety coping strategies3: Calm your anxiety by relaxing the muscles in your body.

This involves releasing any tension and simply allowing yourself to relax. Start with your feet and allow them to relax, calves, thighs and so on. Try to be aware of the muscles without giving them power over your thoughts. This strategy can help to lower your overall tension and stress levels that can contribute to feelings of anxiety.

For more information please see: Releasing tension

4: Rethink the usefulness of worry.

What most people with general anxiety disorder don’t realize is that they also often believe that worry is actually useful or helpful. And if something is helpful, you are naturally going to want to keep doing it.

To help you manage your anxiety, recognize and rethink any beliefs you might have about the usefulness of your worry. After all, your worries might not be as helpful as you think.

anxiety coping strategies

5: Improving your problem-solving ability.

Worries about current problems or hypothetical situations (two types of common worry issues) are managed differently. Deal with worries about current problems by using
problem-solving skills and solve the problem!

When you worry, you are going over a problem in your head. Problem solving is actively getting out of your head and planning and carrying out a solution. Don’t avoid actually planning and solving, or procrastinate. If you must, schedule a time for each day just to examine your life and develop a plan to improve one aspect at a time. Write it down (in your Journal) and write the plan steps. As you complete each step, mark it completed.

Improving your problem-solving ability helps you to solve the problem, rather than worrying about them. For every problem you solve, you have one less for you to worry about.

Because solutions to real-life problems almost always involves some hypothetical situations or uncertainty, you will also be learning to be more comfortable with uncertainty each time you use problem-solving skills.

Research shows that a major trigger for general anxiety disorder is hypothetical situations or uncertainty. The problem is that almost everything in life is uncertain because no one can predict the future. The best way to deal with it is to learn to become more comfortable with uncertainty.

So how do you become comfortable? The best way to do this is by changing your behavior to act “as if” you are comfortable with it. Examples of this strategy might be:

  • Going to the grocery store without a list
  • Completing a task at work without asking someone else to look it over
  • Delegating a task to someone else (and then not checking)

6: Keeping a journal.

Problem-solving skills is usually not very effective in dealing with worries about hypothetical situations. No amount of problem solving will help you to deal with worries about developing a serious illness.

anxiety coping strategies

Make a journal page entry about one of your worries, and what you are afraid will happen. Use your feelings, your own words. This can be as simple as you wish, or as complex. Start with a very general outline and over the course of a week or so, fill in the details of your feelings. If you are afraid of developing an illness, you might write about how afraid you are of becoming sick, about what you fear might happen as a consequence.

This will help you to experience the negative emotions associated with your fears and worries: not avoid them. This will feel uncomfortable at first. Face your fears in this way; over time, your anxiety and worries will go down.

A journal can also be used for other things. Keep a daily track. Find your triggers and write how you feel. Are there simple steps you can take to bring yourself back to a calm state? Find a “band-aid” that fits you for the triggers; and one size may not fit all. Different triggers may need different anxiety coping strategies.

7. Exerciseanxiety coping strategies

 

If your body feels better, so does your mind. Exercise produces endorphins, chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers, and also improve the ability to sleep, which reduces stress.

Regular participation in aerobic exercise can decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects. A 10-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout. The effects may be temporary but a walk or other simple activity can deliver several hours of relief, similar to taking an aspirin for a headache.

For more information please see: Walking

8. Relaxation Music

It is said that music can soothe the savage beast. If we listen to music that reflects the mood we are in, music can also hype us up or feed into our sadness. I suggest listening to music that leads toward the feelings we want to have right now. Develop play-lists that can keep a calm, peaceful feeling, that keeps a balance in life.

Your favorite genre or type of music may not be suitable for all occasions. For example; for me, listening to Sammy Hagar’s I can’t drive 55 is not the best choice when I am driving in a school zone. It is too easy to get into it and let the speed and driving force of the music take over.

There is a huge selection of relaxation music available for free online. Binaural beats can work subconsciously and is available within a wide range of music styles. Flute music is one of my favorite calming and balancing types. Alternative music is available in many types.

For more information please see: Listening
anxiety coping strategies

9. PRACTICE and PRACTICE!

The anxiety coping strategies presented here are help you with suggestions and tips to deal with general anxiety. If you practice them daily, they can become new habits that are a part of your routine. Like an exercise program, it is important to “keep in shape” even when you are feeling better. Reaching goals, even small goals, can lead to a better enjoyment of life. Make a goal, work toward that goal. Reach the goal and reward yourself! Then, set a new goal and continue on.

My Thoughts

Meditation, in my opinion, is just another word for relaxation. If calling it meditation makes you uncomfortable, think of it as relaxation. Let’s not get caught up in the words, but Let’s do get caught up in the ideas and thoughts. That will lead to taking action and making positive changes in our lives.

I enjoy Stress Tension Sinus Cluster Migraine Headaches. I say enjoy rather than suffer because I refuse to allow that to define me or make me a victim. It does not have that power unless I give it that power. I have used these anxiety coping strategies, some more honestly than others. The one’s that fit me, I continue to use.

Anxiety coping strategies will only be as effective as you make them. Try them, honestly. If one or more does not fit you, thats ok. Use the strategies that help you, not ones taht only increase your anxiety. Be aware, changes to your life will initally cause a degree of anxiety. Balance it, short term against long term.

Have you tried any of these anxiety coping strategies before? Any luck or lessons learned you would like to pass along? How about other strategies you have tried, good or bad? I would like to know.

I would like to hear your thoughts on Generalized anxiety disorder or your type of anxiety. If you have any questions or thoughts or just need to talk it out, please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below. I will reply as soon as I can!

Walking the Path of Peace,

Sanders

relaxationandmeditationmusic.com

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One thought on “9 anxiety coping strategies that will help

  1. Houston

    June 4, 2018 at 11:05am

    Hi Sanders. Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your post on ways of coping with anxiety. I can attest that these methods definitely work. Personally, I exercise, meditate and practice mindful breathing every day. Exercising really helps burn off what I call crazy energy and helps me calm myself. I meditate for 15 minutes every morning and then go right into writing in my journal and it has profoundly changed my life. Thanks for sharing.

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    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      June 5, 2018 at 12:31am

      Hi Houston, Good to know you have found the right fit for you. Sometimes it is just the little things that make the big difference. The great thing is meditation (even for as little as 5 minutes a day) can make a huge difference in our lives. Getting rid of crazy energy helps a lot. I have heard that allowing yourself to just let it all out works great too. It’s like a “Temper Tantrum” but I don’t recommend this for public places!

      Walking in the Path of Peace,

      Sanders

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  2. Darrin

    June 4, 2018 at 3:19pm

    Hi, Thanks for writing such an informative page. I found it a very interesting read. I have suffered from depression for some time and have used some of the techniques mentioned in your article. I have found over time that I become therapy-resistant, and at times cannot concentrate long enough to perform anything. What combination of therapies would you suggest? Do you think it would be beneficial to keep changing therapies? Thanks for your time and your great article.

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    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      June 5, 2018 at 12:59am

      Hi Darrin, Depression is a special kind of monster. It seems to slowly suck our lives away from us. I am not a Licensed Mental Health Provider, I recommend finding a provider that matches with you and that you are comfortable with.

      Following thru with your programs is essential. Think of it this way, that little voice that says “This isn’t helping…” is really letting you know that you are making progress. The louder the voice, the more YOU are pushing it down and taking it’s power over you away. 

      For therapies, I recommend following the advice of the Licensed Mental Health Provider you are seeing. Also, the breathing and concentration strategies may help. Listening to up-tempo, happy-mood music. Also, having a “Gotta-Call” person for those really bad times when you just need to talk it out. 

      I hope this helps, if you would like, contact me at sanders@relaxationandmeditationmusic.com

      Walk in the Path of Peace,

      Sanders

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  3. Michael

    June 5, 2018 at 3:46am

    Hi,
    I very much enjoyed reading this post.
    Although I don’t believe I suffer from anxiety myself there is still a lot of benefit from putting into practice the 9 things you list above.
    I love to take regular exercise and for sure it does make you feel a lot better, It helps you sleep better and just feel generally better all round.
    I know my sister will be able to get a lot out of reading your post, so I’ll be forwarding the link to your site to her.
    Thanks and best wishes,
    Michael.

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    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      June 5, 2018 at 4:23am

      Hi Michael,
      Glad you have a healthy lifestyle and can incorporate the tips into your life. I use about 6 of these daily and find that a mix and match approach is the best for me and I don’t have more than normal anxiety in my life. Of course, I do have teenagers at home…
      Thanks for forwarding the link, I hope the information I share will be useful.
      Walking in the Path of Peace
      Sanders

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  4. Melinda

    June 5, 2018 at 3:53am

    I don’t have anxiety, but I think I just keep it in check with lots of exercise and good nasal, diaphragmatic breathing. Good tips!

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    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      June 5, 2018 at 4:53am

      Hi Melinda,
      The old saying is: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I know it is true because my Grandpa said it and my Granny agreed. Glad that you are getting the exercise and practicing a great breathing technique!
      Walking the Path of Peace,
      Sanders

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  5. Mary

    June 5, 2018 at 8:30am

    Thank you for writing such an informative page. I have struggled with anxiety/panic attacks for years. Over the years, I have learned coping mechanisms by trial and error. Wish I would have had this site years ago. My daily routine includes yoga, exercise, meditation and now MUSIC!

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    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      June 6, 2018 at 12:58am

      Hi Mary,
      Learning by trial and error is the way we learn what works for us as an individual. Nothing works for everyone the same way. I am glad that you have added music to your coping mechanisms. Just finding the balance in life is a great thing and I wish you all the best.
      Walking the Path of Peace,
      Sanders

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  6. Irma

    June 5, 2018 at 12:51pm

    These are all awesome tips for controlling anxiety, and I use all of them regularly! Who knew that anxiety would affect so many people, but I am thankful for the help from you and others in keeping my own at bay.
    I have found that mindful breathing and problem solving combined with keeping a journal to be super helpful in my own journey.
    Thank you for posting this!

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    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      June 6, 2018 at 1:05am

      Hi, Irma,
      It seems each time I see the numbers, anxiety related problems are affecting more and more people. And with our world as it is, the numbers will continue upward. Keep using your “Top Three” strategies and the others. May your journey continue!
      Walking the Path of Peace
      Sanders

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