Why Am I So Anxious? 10 Tips from an Anxiety Therapist
With everything going on right now in the world, it just makes sense that you are anxious. With the global pandemic and its effects on you over the past year, being isolated from your regular support system peeps, and all the changes at work and at home, of course you are having some anxiety! Studies show that we are more anxious than ever, and the number of people seeking treatment for anxiety has definitely increased. But there are some things that you can get started on to help manage your anxiety from the safety and comfort of your own home. Check out this list of 10 Tips of How to Manage your Anxiety, and get started on treating your anxiety today!
1) Improve your Sleep
Getting better sleep is key to managing your anxiety while you’re awake. To help you sleep better at night, there are many things you can do during the day. Turn off your TV, computer, or phone 1 hour before trying to fall asleep, and do something relaxing like reading, writing, or meditating instead in that last hour before you fall asleep to calm your mind.
2) Do Something Creative
Remember when you used to build, craft, or cook, and how calming that was for you? Get back to your creative self by scheduling time into your day for creativity. Being creative with something you’re passionate about helps focus the mind on the present and not the future, which helps you manage your anxious thoughts.
3) Eat a Healthy Meal
Eating nutritiously has a whole host of benefits for your body and your mind. You can think more clearly when you put nutritious food in your body and your body feels stronger and healthier. When you feel better physically, you have more mental energy to combat your anxiety.
4) Get Active
Exercising or even just walking regularly will help you take your mind off your anxious thoughts. When your body is moving, you’re more focused on bodily sensations instead of your ruminating thoughts. Exercising hard will most definitely take your mind off your thoughts, but even the bipedal motion of just walking is soothing for your anxiety.
5) Go Outside
Getting sunlight not only helps your body get needed Vitamin D, it’s also a mood-booster. Hearing the birds chirp, feeling the breeze on your skin, and seeing the beauty of nature automatically makes you feel better. If you can focus on the sensations you’re seeing, feeling, and hearing, the more likely you can distract yourself from your anxious thoughts.
6) Stop Multitasking
Practice focusing on 1 thing at a time instead of constantly multitasking. It may be difficult at first to retrain your mind to concentrate on one thing instead of many, but your mind will be less fatigued by the end of the day. When you focus on one thing instead of many, you move away from your anxious thoughts and give your mind a much-needed anxiety break.
7)Pet your Animal
If you have a dog, or cat, or any other kind of animal that tolerates touch, take a 10-minute break and just sit there and pet your animal. Focus on the soothing sensation of touch and how it makes both you and your pet feel. This is another mindfulness exercise that takes you away from your anxious thoughts and into your body.
8)Get Some Downtime
When you’re anxious, you likely are feeling like a chaotic mess. Slow down and plan 30 minutes of complete downtime each day. Whether that’s just laying still and resting, reading a book, or journaling, schedule some downtime into your routine and benefit from the result of calming your anxious mind.
9) Be More Social
In contrast, connecting with others socially is also going to help you manage your anxiety. If you are unable to do this in person, even a phone call or online Zoom catch-up will suffice. Getting a break from your own thoughts to focus on someone else is a form of distraction for your anxiety that is beneficial to everyone.
10) Focus on the Present
When you are anxious thoughts stray to the future, bring your mind back to what you are doing right now, at this very instant, wherever you’re at. When you think too much in the future, too many possibilities exist and your thoughts can be constantly swirling about each of these possibilities. Bring yourself back to the present and what is going on right now, and that will help mitigate your anxiety.
Now you have 10 tips you can try when you are feeling anxious! I would suggest you pick one or two of these tips and try to implement them into your daily routine. Once that is done and you’re feeling a bit better, you can add another 1 or 2 tips, and so on. Or, if you think you’re ready to learn more about anxiety treatment at Catalyss Counseling, check out our 2021 Anxiety Treatment and Pricing Guide. Anxiety is very treatable with the right professionals, and we know anxiety.
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Shannon Heers is a psychotherapist, guest blogger, and owner of Catalyss Counseling in Englewood, CO. Shannon helps adults in professional careers manage anxiety, depression, work-life balance, and grief and loss. Follow Catalyss Counseling on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.