Dealing with anxiety is never a walk in the park. While it can manifest itself differently in different people, living with it can be chaotic, exhausting and sometimes really scary as well. However, whether you are dealing with diagnosed anxiety or are going through a phase of increased stress, there are tools and resources available that will make everything all that more manageable. Here are some practical tips that we swear by that will teach you how to deal with anxiety.
1. Make a to-do list
Some days things can get so overwhelming that every completing regular functions can be daunting, especially when you are particularly stressed. A to-do list will simplify everything. Break down the big tasks ahead of you into smaller much more achievable goals. Give yourself a pat on the back every time you finish one task. You will be able to get much more done this.
2. Positive affirmations
Prone to self-doubt and negative anxious thoughts? We suggest journaling every morning. Before you tuck down to have some breakfast, sit down in one place (preferably someplace quiet) and jot down everything that you like about yourself. This will keep those negative thoughts at bay and is a great way to start your day.
3. Make your bed
A lot of times a cluttered mind is a result of a cluttered living space. Clean your room and make your bed. Not only will that activity make you feel better but a comfortable bed is key to an undisturbed sleep.
4. These apps are lifesavers
There are a number of websites and apps that are available to help people deal with depression and anxiety. Pacifica is by far one of the most popular ones. The app is built upon principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and promotes mindfulness. There is also an in-built community in the message forums. People dealing with stress, anxiety, depression and other problems exchange ideas and provide vital support to one another. Another app that helps calm the mind is very aptly called Calm. It offers various kinds of guided (and non-guided) meditation modules. The website and the app are both very easy to use and offer guided and timed meditation modules.
5. Here’s how you can curb that panic attack
The key to controlling any anxiety or panic attack lies in breathing. Panic attacks are generally accompanied by hyperventilation that can make everything so much worse. Hence, the 5-4-3-2-1 method comes really in handy. Find a place to sit and list out five things you can see in your vicinity. Then use your fingers and touch four things around you that you can recognize. Next, list three things you can hear – this can even be the sound of your breathing and the conversation between your next-door neighbours. Think about the two things that you can smell at that very moment and one thing you can taste (your lips for instance).
This exercise pulls you away from your panicked thoughts and forces you to think of your present environment. It also distracts you enough to slow down your breathing back to normal. Crisis averted.
Make exercise a part of your daily routine. Even if you can only dedicate no more than 10 or 15 minutes, make sure you work up some sweat. Exercise will keep your body healthy but also provides a sense of accomplishment at the very end. As it was once immortalized in Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.”