Coping With Anxiety

Have you ever woken up feeling nauseous in the morning? Have you experienced sweaty palms or feeling like your heart is beating out of your chest? Do you ever think that you just can't stop thinking about what if something happens? Do you have shortness of breath? These are all thoughts and feelings some individuals may feel when they are experiencing anxiety. Anxiety can be challenging to control and you may not know where to begin.

The first step in identifying whether you are experiencing anxiety or if there is an underlying medical condition. You may want to schedule an appointment with your general practitioner if you are unsure of what is going on in your body. Once you have a better understanding if you are actually experiencing anxiety, you will be able to start the process of finding ways to help you cope with your thoughts and feelings. The goal is to be able to identify what triggers your anxiety.

Journal. Journal what triggers your anxiety and the symptoms you are experiencing will be helpful in starting to recognize your patterns. Knowing your anxiety patterns will be helpful in identifying a treatment plan that will best fit your needs. It is important to start this process with a professional counselor that can help guide you and provide you support and recommendations. You do not have to tackle this challenge alone.

Breathing. Breathing… what is that? Sometimes we forget to just breathe and take a moment to relax and calm our body. When you start to feel anxious and recognize that you are experiencing certain symptoms, become mindful of what is going on in your body and begin your breathing exercises. One example of breathing is breathing for a 3 count. Inhale through your nose for 3... 1, 2, 3…. hold your breathe for 3... 1, 2, 3, and release your breath through your nose for 3...1, 2, 3. Repeat 10 times or as many times as you need to return to a better state of mind.

Positive Self-talk. How many times have you intensified your anxiety by thinking, "I am going to die," "I can't breathe," and you begin to feel trapped and out of control? Positive self-talk helps you take your thoughts when you are feeling anxious and reframe your thoughts to be more positive and in control. For example, let's say an individual is feeling like they are going to get stuck in the elevator. They may begin thinking: "I am going to be stuck in this elevator. I am never going to get out. I am going to die in here." If this individual was to use positive self-talk they would tell themselves: "I am not going to get stuck in this elevator and even if something happens where I am stuck, someone will be able to come help me. I won't be stuck forever. Everything will be okay." By reframing your thoughts to be more positive you decrease your anxiety and develop a solution that can help you during challenging experiences.

Above are some brief tools you can use to help you manage your anxiety. Contact a Professional Counselor that can utilize various approaches such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy to help you take control of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in relation to anxiety or other mental health conditions. A counselor can also introduce you to more helpful tools and techniques that can help you manage your anxiety. It is important to find tools that can help you with your experiences. Each individual is different and what works for one person may not work for another.

Don't give up! There are many different solutions that can help you feel more in control of your anxiety.