If you struggle with anxiety daily, you may find yourself using unhealthy methods, such as drug or alcohol abuse, to cope with it. For obvious reasons, this is not the best approach, but what really is?
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Shamelessly speaking, I used to run to alcohol whenever my anxiety was a major issue. It never got to the addiction point but it was still a very toxic method that I used to help cope with my anxiety.
I clearly don’t do this now. I’m just sharing my story so that you know that’s not the way to go. It’s not a life you want to live when you only feel okay after having a few sips of alcohol. Do you get what I’m saying?
In this post, I am here to share with you 8 different ways you can cope with anxiety without the use of drugs or alcohol.
1. Deep breathing exercises
Deep breathing exercises are great for coping with anxiety. Whenever you feel your anxiety triggering, stop, and try a couple of exercises. Breathe in deeply and out for 4 rounds and do even more if you have to.
That will tell your brain to calm down.
Benefits of deep breathing:
- Decreases stress and anxiety
- Increases energy
- Lowers blood pressure
2. Progressive muscle relaxation
This technique involves tensing your muscles and then relaxing them one at a time. When you do this you’re teaching your muscles that when you’re stressed, which often causes muscle tension, that you need to relax.
This is a common technique used to reduce anxiety. With mindfulness, you put your full attention to what you’re doing at that moment. You notice
the sights, sounds, and smells around you. When your full focus is on the
present moment, there isn’t room for feelings of anxiety.
I like to practice living in the moment because it really does help with feelings of anxiety. I notice that I don’t worry about what’s going to happen next.
What triggers your anxiety? It may be that certain people, events, or situations cause you to feel anxious. Once you figure out your
triggers, you may be able to do something to prevent the oncoming anxiety.
You may find this funny but one thing that triggers my anxiety is when I have to schedule a doctor’s appointment. For some odd reason, I have to sit and think about what I am going to say and how I am going to say it at least 15 times in my head before actually making the phone call.
Ridiculous. I know. But that’s really something that brings on my anxiety believe it or not.
5. Get support from others
It has been found time and time again that support from friends and family is incredibly important when dealing with anxiety. Having someone you trust that you can talk to can be helpful. There are also therapists and various groups available full of like-minded people dealing with similar issues who may be able to help too.
6. Self-soothing strategies
While support from others is beneficial, sometimes you may find yourself alone. One self-soothing technique involves being positive and telling yourself that everything will be okay and that you can handle the situation.
It’s important that you don’t allow any negative thoughts into your mind
while performing this strategy.
I like to recite positive affirmations. It helps me a lot whenever I’m having a bad day.
7. Write down your thoughts and feelings
Rather than keeping how you feel inside to linger around, it would be better for you to get those thoughts out of your mind and onto paper. I say this because it will help you to better understand and process your feelings.
If you don’t have one now, then it is time for you to get a journal. They’re affordable and convenient so you have no reason not to get one. Having a journal is like giving your mind an escape. Something like a safe place.
When shit takes a turn, you write down your feelings and watch how much better you feel. Even the good feelings you have, write them down. Anxiety has a way of getting us all worked up and stressed out but if we put all of those worries and various thoughts onto paper, it can make things so much better.
Just give journaling a try before knocking it. It could really help you. Grab your journal here.
8. Distraction techniques
Sometimes focusing on your emotions can make them even stronger and leave you feeling more out of control of the situation. By using a distraction, you’re taking your mind off your emotions, making them easier to manage. You can do anything you want to distract yourself. A walk is commonly used as a distraction. I recently started going for morning walks and they are so peaceful and relaxing.
Coping with anxiety
These strategies can help you to cope with anxiety. Some may work better for you than others. Some may work better in different situations. And some may not work for you. The key is to practice them and then try them out in anxious situations to see which ones work best for you.