This article will give you tools to help you deal with anxiety that you may feel right now. I shall divide this article into two sections. The first will tell you what to do to manage anxiety short term, and the second will explain what you need to do to manage anxiety long term.
Table of contents
Short term ways to manage anxiety.
If you are feeling anxious right now, the following brief videos will help you manage the anxiety that you currently feel.
Focusing on your breathing helps you manage anxiety in two important ways.
- It will allow your breathing to settle, and calm your nervous system
- It will stop you from focusing on everything else that may increase or contribute to your anxiety.
Remove yourself from anything anxiety provoking
This could mean,
- getting out of your head if you are ruminating
- walking away from a confrontation or argument
In both these instances, focusing on your breathing will help you with this. If you are in the middle of a confrontation or ruminating about it afterward, it can be hard to leave it alone. If this is the case for you, tell yourself to
- Get offside
- Focus on what you are then doing
and quite literally just follow the instructions you have given yourself. For example if you are ruminating;
Stop, get offside will be getting out of your thought processes, do a crossword, read a book, focus on your breathing, go into a different room, get outside. Whatever you choose, focus all your intention on your new task.
It might not be possible to get away, for example, if you are at work, but you can still return to your breathing, as you bring it everywhere with you!
If you can, go for a walk. If you are at work you an do this on the stairs, or walking through the office, or on the way to the bathroom.
Walking mindfully is the opposite of moving while you keep all the anxiety provoking thoughts in your head.
Instructions for walking mindfully.
Pay attention to everything that are doing with no judgement. Pay attention to one foot being placed in front of the other, the feeling of your body as you move. Focus all your attention, and therefore, thought processes on the activity of walking.
Notice your environment as you walk. If your mind wanders onto telling you that you are anxious, gently acknowledge this and carry on with what you are doing; just walking.
Long term ways to deal with anxiety
In the first part of this article I showed you some ways to deal with anxiety if you were feeling anxious right now. If you continue to feel anxious on a regular basis, I would advise looking at more formal ways to reduce your anxiety, as opposed to managing it everyday.
More formal ways would be looking at models of therapy that may help you. I have information on my site that you should read. I would start with reading about
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, this will help manage anxious thoughts and behaviours
- Educate yourself on the emotion of anxiety
Once you have read the above, you can find more information on anxiety in these articles.
Healthline also has a very good article on managing anxiety.