8 Tips for Coping with an Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety can be overwhelming and may stand in the way of your daily life. Finding ways to cope with your anxiety disorder can help you gain control again.
There are many techniques you can try to help distract your mind and body from your anxious feelings. Learning about the methods that best suit you will give you tools to overcome these emotions.
Receiving a treatment plan and sticking to it can help you manage your anxiety and find consistency in your day to day. LifeMD can help you reduce the impact of anxiety on your life.
Anxiety can be an all-consuming feeling that interferes with daily life. Intrusive thoughts may saturate your mind, even causing physical reactions such as chest pain, dizziness, or an accelerated or irregular heartbeat.
Learning to manage your anxiety may help you maintain a sense of calm throughout the day, enable you to focus on the things you want to accomplish, and get you back to doing the things you love.
Here are eight tips to help you cope with your anxiety disorder.
1. Stay Active
Consistent exercise is important not only for the body but also the mind, as it can regulate serotonin distribution to your brain. Studies have shown that motor activity increases the firing rates of serotonin.
Going on walks, running, participating in team sports, or even lifting weights are all ways to stay active and help you cope with your anxiety.
Practices such as tai chi and yoga get the body moving while also clearing and relaxing the mind.
Finding the right form of exercise can help you stay healthy and feel better about yourself. When your body is healthy, your confidence rises, which may help reduce your anxiety.
2. Prioritize Sleep
Sleep is vital to managing anxiety because good sleep gives your brain the rest it needs to properly function throughout the day. When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain becomes overloaded, causing brain fog, short-term memory loss, and confusion. These symptoms of sleep deprivation only heighten anxiety.
Unfortunately, it may be hard to drift off when your mind is racing and you’re feeling overwhelmed. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to fall asleep and sleep soundly through the night. These strategies include::
- Taking a warm bath
- Drinking sleepy teas
- Trying aromatherapy
- Listening to white noise
- Using a weighted blanket
3. Avoid Recreational Drugs and Alcohol
Anxiety disorders and substance abuse co-occur at incredibly high rates. Drugs and alcohol affect the chemical balance in the brain, and when used frequently and in excess, they can cause or worsen anxiety.
Drugs and alcohol might seem like a temporary solution or distraction when you’re feeling anxious, but ultimately, they can exacerbate your anxiety and may lead to long-term issues.
If you are struggling with substance abuse or find that your use of alcohol or recreational drugs is worsening your anxiety, a licensed medical professional can provide the support you need or recommend treatment options or programs.
4. Distract Yourself
When you’re overwhelmed with anxiety, there are a few things you can try to help distract you and calm your body down.
Breathing exercises, such as the box method, can help you compose yourself quickly. The technique consists of inhaling deeply for four seconds, exhaling for four seconds, and repeating until you feel like you’ve calmed down.
The five senses technique is also a great coping tool for when you’re feeling anxious. By using all five senses at once, you are shifting your focus to five things you can see, four things you can feel, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. You can repeat this process until you feel your mind and body slow down and you’ve regained some calmness.
Listening to music can help you decompress and take your mind off the stressors that may be causing you anxiety. Exploring new genres of music and making a personalized playlist that relaxes you may help to reduce your anxious feelings.
If you are looking for guided therapeutic musical practices, talk to your doctor about finding a music therapist.
Calling a family member or friend is an effective way to distract yourself from your anxious thoughts. Talking about a completely unrelated subject, hearing about how their day went, or recalling a happy memory you share together can reset your mind and temporarily rid you of your worries.
Talking to a licensed medical professional can also help you manage your anxiety. LifeMD offers online anxiety treatment. Make an appointment today to learn more about anxiety and effective ways to treat it.
5. Focus on What You Can Change
There are many uncontrollable variables in life, and it can be challenging to cope with feelings of helplessness.
Although controlling everything isn’t an option, controlling your reaction is. Addressing your mindset and figuring out what you can change (and what you can’t) may help you overcome your anxious thoughts.
Making active changes to better manage the aspects of your life that are controllable can empower you to release the stresses of everyday life that contribute to your anxiety disorder.
6. Be Kind to Yourself
There are many ways to practice self-love that can reduce your anxiety.
Being kind to yourself can be as simple as forgiving yourself for your mistakes or acknowledging that doing your best is enough. An easy approach to self-love can be repeating positive affirmations in the mirror every morning and night to help you regain confidence – which in turn can ease your anxiety.
When under stress, it can be difficult to remember that you are your harshest critic. Learning to love and appreciate who you are may help you overcome your anxiety.
7. Make Time for Yourself
The stresses of life often add to anxiety. Sometimes being so focused on what needs to get done can cause you to forget about the things you want to do.
Finding a hobby or honing in on one that you haven't gotten to in awhile can help you relax and manage your anxiety. Schedule time to do it regularly, and stick to it.
Taking the time to relax by yourself while doing something that you love is important for restoring your inner peace. Eating your favorite meal and watching a nostalgic movie — or listening to your favorite playlist and going for a walk — can provide the reset you need to manage your anxiety.
8. Stick to Your Treatment Plan
Having a treatment plan and sticking to it can help you manage your anxiety. Being consistent and talking to your doctor regularly can help you cope with your anxiety disorder.
LifeMD offers personalized anxiety treatment plans with licensed professionals to help you reduce the impact of anxiety on your life. If necessary, licensed healthcare providers can also prescribe anxiety medications to help you manage your condition.
Take control of your mental health by scheduling an online appointment today.