Wouldn’t it be nice to live a life without anxiety? Today, I’ll show you 33 proven ways to reduce your anxiety and cope with difficult situations.
This post, 33 Ways to Deal With Anxiety, originally appeared in May 2013. In the next couple months I’d like to reshare some of the blog’s more popular posts. My goal is to help you live a happier and fuller life.
We all can benefit from learning ways to deal with anxiety. This is especially evident when you step out of your comfort zone and it stirs up that negative feeling. Another example might be how a great majority of people get anxious when they go on an airplane or if they speak in front of an audience. We all wish this feeling would completely disappear. But often it doesn’t. Whether you have mild or severe anxiety, there are many things you can do to decrease this as much as possible.
Below is a list of thirty-three effective ways to deal with anxiety that I teach my patients. After many of my patients master this list, their anxiety is almost entirely gone. Take the example of one thirty-two-year-old woman that I counseled who had so much anxiety that it kept her from dating. She was also barely able to work and function. As we worked together, her anxiety began to decrease and she was no longer terrified each day that she was going to run someone over with her car. Once her anxiety greatly decreased and she was feeling good, I encouraged her to start dating. She was nervous to start dating; however, she took action and began online dating. Sure enough, she immediately connected with the love of her life. She is now happily married and doing fantastic! She knows how to keep her anxiety under control and is no longer afraid of anything. If this list could work for her, and many of my other patients, then it can work for you as well.
To begin, circle everything that you are currently doing on the list. Then pick one thing that you did not circle and begin doing that today. Once you master that one thing, pick something else that you can master. Keep doing this until you are doing everything on this list. Be patient with yourself. It does not matter how long it takes. Just take one baby step at a time toward decreasing your anxiety. The more you do these things, the more you will be able to enjoy your life and be at peace. (Please check with your doctor to rule out whether or not your anxiety is health related. If so, this needs to be addressed first).
Thirty-Three Ways to Deal with Anxiety:
- Keep your thoughts positive.
- Whenever you ask yourself a “what if” question, tell yourself “Stop It.”
- Stay focused on the moment.
- Write your thoughts and feelings in a journal.
- De-stress often.
- Rate your stress from one to ten each day.
- When your stress is more than a six, immediately de-stress.
- Exercise at least four days a week. (Talk to you doctor about finding an exercise program that is right for you).
- Eat Well.
- Avoid caffeine and sugar.
- Limit your intake of alcohol (With high anxiety, it is best not to drink alcohol at all.)
- Stretch for ten minutes a day.
- Do deep breathing (Slowly Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.)
- Take time to rest every day.
- Be kind to yourself at all times.
- Set boundaries.
- Set limits on the amount of time you spend with someone who is draining.
- Say no when something is not right for you.
- Stop people-pleasing.
- Break things down into manageable parts.
- Give yourself permission to take care of yourself in every situation.
- Surround yourself with people who make you feel good.
- Work through unresolved feelings/situations.
- Do things that add joy to your life.
- Listen to soothing music.
- Put yourself in nature.
- Visualize what you want for five minutes a day.
- Ask for what you want.
- Let other people help you.
- Delegate whenever you can.
- Put limits on how much you give.
- Be your own best friend.
A great way to stay motivated with accomplishing the goal of mastering this list is to reward yourself every time you succeed with doing one thing (Tweet this). What are some ways that you can reward yourself? Perhaps a relaxing bath or watching a good movie will be a good reward. You also need to reward yourself once you master the entire list. How are you going to ultimately reward yourself? This reward needs to be a big reward. Maybe you can treat yourself to a massage or go away for the weekend. Be sure that this reward excites you!