Stress and anxiety are very common problems that people face silently every day. When people hold in their anxiety and stress, it can lead to aches and pains, trouble sleeping, and lack of appetite. Unfortunately too many people use unhealthy coping mechanisms to handle their anxiety. When stress is not managed by coping mechanisms, medication, or a trusted therapist, symptoms often worsen. To prevent worsening anxiety symptoms and to stay relaxed in a stressful world, we have compiled some ways to manage anxiety in the short and long term.
Anxiety usually presents in two different ways, first is episodic anxiety which is brought on by a temporary stressful situation. The second is generalized anxiety, which is usually an everyday experience for those with generalized anxiety disorder. Keep reading to find out how to manage anxiety in both the short and long term.
Short Term Coping Mechanisms for Stressful Situations
By using our tips, and speaking with your therapist in Maryland, you can start feeling better and managing episodes of anxiety.
If you experience episodic bouts of anxiety, these tips will help you push through the stress in the moment — so you can get back to doing the things you love symptom free. If your symptoms persist, contact a therapist in Maryland to help you find healthy coping mechanisms that work for you.
- Challenge Negative Thoughts
When you have anxiety, sometimes your brain can distort already stressful situations, making them seem catastrophic. Sometimes the distortion can be so powerful that anxiety levels can skyrocket during everyday activities. However, a technique you can learn to challenge these catastrophic thought patterns is to combat your most negative thoughts. By questioning, “Are my thought patterns helpful or harmful” you can deduce which thoughts you need to work on. Sometimes by simply assuring yourself that everything is fine, you can ease your episodic anxiety.
- Use Breathing Techniques
Many people who suffer from anxiety find solace in taking deep breaths. By getting in the habit of doing a short breathing exercise in moments of stress, you can slow down your thoughts and slow down your heart rate. Breathing techniques usually help those suffering from anxiety quite literally catch their breath and reframe the situation.
- Find Something to Occupy Your Mind and Body
One of the worst parts of anxiety is the repetitive thoughts. Repetitive thoughts sometimes occur when you are placed in an uncomfortable social or working situation. To clear your mind, we recommend stepping out of the situation and focusing on getting your mind and body back in sync. Often going on a short walk, stretching, or doing some yoga will help you relax enough to handle your symptoms.
- Guided Imagery Can Help You Envision Success
If you have never used guided imagery before, it may sound silly, but it is very effective in calming anxiety before major events like speeches or job interviews. To combat nerves, you can imagine that the upcoming event has already concluded and was successful. Imagine every step of the process going well, and then you have already calmed your anxiety and manifested your success.
Long Term Coping Mechanisms to Reduce Overall Anxiety Levels
Generalized anxiety is something that persists past moments of initial stress, lets learn more about how to cope with long term symptoms of anxiety
For many who experience anxiety, it is not episodic, but rather a condition that needs to be managed daily. For chronic or generalized anxiety, there are different healthy coping mechanisms that will help manage your symptoms
- Know Your Anxiety Triggers
If you are suffering from symptoms of generalized anxiety, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what is making you anxious. Sometimes, but not always, people who have anxiety have certain triggers that can worsen their symptoms. It is important to identify these triggers, even if they can’t always be avoided. When you identify triggers before entering a potentially triggering situation, you can plan for the extra self care you may need beforehand.
- Keep a Journal of Your Thoughts
Writing is very therapeutic for many people who have generalized anxiety. Much like challenging your anxious thought patterns, keeping a journal helps normalize your thoughts and feelings. Once your feelings are written down, you may be able to understand them better or even disprove some of your distorted thought patterns.
- Remember To Take Care of Yourself
Having anxiety can sometimes make it difficult to take proper care of yourself. No matter your symptoms, physically taking care of yourself will always make you feel better. That means getting the right amount of sleep, eating regular nutritious meals, and getting some exercise even when you are feeling anxious. In most cases, you’ll feel much better after a short workout or a home-cooked meal.
- Find a Therapist In Maryland
One of the best ways to combat symptoms of anxiety is to start speaking to a therapist. Professional therapy is a great way to talk about your mental health in a non-judgemental space. Sometimes just speaking about how you are feeling is enough to take some of the weight off of your shoulders. By finding the right therapist in Maryland, you will already be on your way to feeling better.
If you are struggling with anxiety, it is always a good idea to reach out and talk about your struggles with someone else. If you or a loved one is having trouble coping with their anxiety symptoms, you can call The Bloom Health Centers to talk with one of their licensed professionals. Better mental health could be right around the corner!