Tips for Managing Anxiety

AnxietyOur emotional responses result from how we interpret a situation.[1] Anxiety is a normal part of life, and to deal with an overwhelming version of it, we need to seek out challenges to increase our belief that we can handle the situations life brings our way.1 Here are some tips on how to handle overwhelming anxiety:

  1. Remember your past victories. Recall the times that you’ve faced a seemingly impossible challenge and overcame it triumphantly.1 Remember the feelings of joy and pride that you felt at those moments.1 Use these memories to rejuvenate your body and soul.1 Think about the strengths you possess that allowed you to feel that success.1 Write them down and look at them when you feel overwhelmed and anxious.1
  2. Focus on the solution. Look on the bright side of these difficult tasks.1 Use the “one minute on the problem, two minutes on the solution” rule: take a minute to acknowledge your concerns and your discomforts and then focus for a couple more minutes on finding the answer to conquer the situation successfully.1
  3. Be happy for others’ success. Instead of becoming envious of your friends’ achievements, celebrate with them.1 This will help you take your focus off of your own anxieties for a while.1 If they can succeed, so can you.
  4. Assume rapport. Anticipate that people like you, and you will give off confidence and enthusiasm, which is friendly and appealing.1 The other person will feel that you like them, they will like themselves more, and they will be friendlier to you, making you feel better about yourself.1 It’s a pleasant domino effect.1
  5. Develop a group of imaginary mentors. Author of “Think and Grow Rich,” Napoleon Hill spoke of his Cabinet of Imaginary Counselors that included Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.1 He mentally consulted with them to make decisions.1 He compiled quotes from them and principles they embodied, deriving benefit from their wisdom.1 Create your own Cabinet with famous people that demonstrate qualities you wish to emulate.1 Write down their names, their qualities, and quotes they spoke for you to refer to on a regular basis.1
  6. Slow down! Life isn’t a race, and as long as you are headed in the right direction, you’re doing great.1 Rushing induces stress and anxiety, and it doesn’t always get you where you want to go sooner.1
  7. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Take another. And another. Abdominal breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, stimulating the body’s relaxation response.1 Your body and your mind will calm down and allow you to think more clearly, with less anxiety.1
  8. Feel the fear and keep on going. Allow yourself to be exposed to fear—you’ll learn from it.1 You will also be able to deal with it better in the future.1 Practice makes perfect. By dealing with fear, you learn courage and your anxiety will lessen a notch each time you are faced with that situation.1
  9. Ask others to support you. People generally are unaware of when you may need encouragement, so ask for it.1 Express gratitude when they support you and request additional encouragement when needed.1
  10. Watch your language. Instead of saying, “I can’t,” say, “I can.”1 Words are powerful and can change your mind.1 Use positive phrases, like “I can handle this,” “I’ll take this one step at a time,” and “I will succeed.”1 You’ll start to believe it.1
  11. Get the ball rolling. A body at rest, stays at rest, so get moving!1 Set a timer for five minutes and work on a project.1 Chances are, when the timer goes off, you’ll be immersed in the task and continue to work on it.1 When it’s finished, it will relieve some anxiety and you will feel better.1
  12. Define success as being willing to try. If you make your goal to step out of your comfort zone, you will develop greater strength, wisdom, and courage.1 Even if things do not go as you’d like, it’s not a failure, but a success.1 You tried, and many may not have even gone that far.1

[1] Fintzy, R. (2013, October 2). 14 Ways to Manage Anxiety. PsychCentral. Retrieved October 3, 2013, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/cultivating-contentment/2013/10/14-ways-to-manage-anxiety/

One Comment

  • Kenneth

    October 27, 2013, 5:04 pm

    I always spend a half an hour to read this website’s blog posts every day with a cup of coffee.

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