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Effective Steps for Managing Anxiety

Have you ever been in a situation that brought on sweats, rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath? You probably weren’t having a heart attack but an anxiety attack.  If you suffer from anxiety disorders, learning to manage it is the first step to overcoming it. I know I have suffered from Anxiety and it is horrible to go through. I still sometimes wake up at night with anxiety and I have noticed it happens when I am under a lot of stress.

Anxiety is characterized as extreme reactions to fearful situations.  When someone follows you into a dark alley, those anxious feelings of a racing heartbeat and sweaty palms give way to heightened senses and a rush of adrenalin that can save your life.  This is the fight or flight syndrome.  

In the case of frequent anxiety, the fearful feelings are dread of a particular situation and not the situation itself.  Getting caught in traffic can cause an anxiety attack over what might happen when you get to work late.  Starting a new job can bring on anxiety attacks.  You don’t know anyone and fear of that unknown can send you into a panic.

Everyone experiences panic or anxiety in small ways.  Like the fight or flight example, it can save your life.  In new situations, we get panicky but when the outcome we fear fails to materialize, the anxiety stops.  For someone with chronic anxiety, this is not the case.

Every situation that brings anxiety is not life-threatening.  More than likely it is an extremely stressful situation that has brought on the anxiety as a way of dealing with it.  Unchecked anxiety of this type can lead to depression.

If you suffer from anxiety attacks on occasion or a more frequent anxiety disorder, there are steps you can take to keep your anxiety under control.  

1. See a professional.  This is always a good first step.  Self-diagnosis of any type of physical or mental condition is unwise and can be dangerous.  A professional psychologist can help you understand your anxiety and prescribe medication or other effective techniques.

2. Get a good night’s sleep.  During the sleep cycle, your body repairs itself.  You feel more rested after several hours of restorative sleep, reaching the REM stage.  Most people need eight hours a night which varies within an hour or two each way.

3. Exercise on a consistent basis.  Exercise helps you to use oxygen more efficiently.  It helps to get more oxygen to the brain.  It also increases focus which may help you see solutions to problems rather than simply worrying about them.  

4. Meditate.  Meditation is more than chanting mantras.  Yoga is an exercise that involves quieting the mind and controlling your breathing.  Simple mediation such as taking 5 minutes to clear your mind every day can work wonders in the fight against anxiety.

5. Manage the worry.  When you feel your pulse start to quicken, count backward from ten.  As you count, focus on the situation.  What has actually happened? Resist the urge to read anything more into the situation.  

6. Don’t use alcohol.  You might think that the glass of wine is relaxing your tension but alcohol is a depressant.  In anxious situations, you could rely too heavily on it and gain another problem in the process.

7. Find some relaxing activities.  Stress can rob you of your energy.  On a regular basis, do something you like such as gardening, painting, reading or listening to music.   

Anxiety can come into your life at any time.  It’s normal.  When the anxiety becomes frequent you could be at risk for more serious conditions.  If you feel your anxiety is starting to take over your life or increasingly causing you problems, seek professional help immediately.  There is no need to suffer this terrible condition in silence.

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ANN*H

Tuesday 16th of July 2013

Lots of good tips here. We all have anxiety at time but some have it more often. I get panic attacks and you can feel like you are dying. These tips can help those not familiar with this. thanks

YVONNE WOODSTOCK

Sunday 14th of July 2013

Good article and good tips. I am especially glad you mentioned getting professional help for chronic anxiety. I am diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder and post traumatic stress disorder which causes even more anxiety attacks. I do see a psychiatrist and do have to take prescription medication and I do all the things you mentioned too. Another one that is very helpful I would highly suggest to your readers (I am a certified hypnotherapist /hypnosis/therapy\ ) and you can go on youtube and in the search box type in things like hypnosis for anxiety or hypnosis for relaxation and lots of quality recordings come up. Simply find a place to relax where you won't be disturbed, close your eyes and relax and follow along as instructed on the recording. It's 100% natural and safe and really very enjoyable. Hypnotherapy sessions can help quickly and dramatically especially when compared to the years it can take to get benefits from traditional talk therapy. Also the more often you use it, the deeper it goes and the more therapeutic it is. Even if you fall asleep during a session, IT STILL WORKS because your subconscious mind never sleeps and you can still hear! I hope this helps someone as it helps me. : ) Thank you for addressing such an important topic!

Christy Maurer

Wednesday 20th of March 2013

I've had panic attacks in the past. They are not good! Now that I know what it feels like to have one coming on, I can usually walk and take deep breaths and get some water and fight it off. Thanks for these great tips as well!

mitchelle

Wednesday 20th of March 2013

Anxiety attack in this busy, very competitive world is not a new thing. This post is very helpful.

Jenna Parsons

Wednesday 20th of March 2013

I have anxiety, and these are great tips! Anxiety is a real challenge, especially when it gets as bad as a panic attack!

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