Top 10 Ways to Cope With Anxiety at Home
If you experience anxiety, certain situations can trigger it; but, what’s important is remembering is there are effective solutions available for managing it.
One strategy can be to become curious of any rising anxiety, noting the physical sensations it causes and instead focus on what’s happening right now instead of dwelling on negative thoughts that don’t help.
While these tips can provide relief to most with mild anxiety, if your anxiety becomes a chronic, severe issue affecting daily life and relationships, seeking professional treatment from either therapy or medication is recommended for optimal care.
Focusing on breathing to relieve symptoms of anxiety such as fast heart rate and sweaty hands can help ease its impact. Furthermore, practicing mindful meditation, exercise or other stress-reduction techniques may also be effective.
2. Stay in the present
Mindfulness techniques can help refocus and settle your thoughts. Practice becoming aware of anxiety-inducing sensations without judgment or disbelief.
If your mind is racing, try thinking of something funny; laughter has a calming effect that reduces stress and anxiety. Additionally, practicing measured breathing techniques may provide immediate relief from feelings of anxiety.
While anxiety is often related to stress, if your feelings of worry become persistent or excessive it’s best to seek professional assistance. A skilled therapist will be able to show you ways to minimize symptoms.
Exercise can activate your parasympathetic nervous system–the “rest and digest” function which reduces stress levels. Focusing on all senses during exercise may help, including listening to music while following your heartbeat and feeling the tingling sensation when moving your hands.
4. Get some fresh air
Exercise can help to soothe anxiety. Aim to jog or walk around your block daily and perform jumping jacks as an additional form of physical therapy.
Learn what’s triggering your anxiety by keeping a journal and looking for patterns in writing or talking with a trusted friend about how you’re feeling.
Employing your sense of touch can also be effective. Pet your cat or self-massage your neck or hands regularly to provide added benefit.
5. Talk to someone
Talking with someone you trust can help ease your worries, while having someone listen can provide invaluable comfort.
Leahy advises her patients to consider their anxious thoughts as something they’re witnessing from an audience–just background noise–for an alternative viewpoint on them, which can help identify potentially detrimental thoughts more easily.
6. Take a break
If anxiety is impacting your daily life, consulting with a mental health professional could be beneficial in diagnosing an anxiety disorder and providing effective treatments (including medications ).
Do not judge yourself for having random or “maddening” thoughts; everyone experiences these.
Write down all of the things that cause anxiety and rank them on a scale from 1-10. This can provide valuable perspective while alleviating your worries.
7. Eat a healthy snack
Diets rich in fruits, vegetables and healthy fats such as vitamin C and E, folate, magnesium and zinc may help alleviate anxiety symptoms. When selecting food items to add to your daily meal plan for anxiety relief.
Try eating more sardines, salmon or tuna (packed with omega-3 fatty acids). Or opt for eggs which provide protein and vitamin D.
Zinc can also help lower anxiety levels, and oysters are an excellent source of this mineral. Cashews, liver and beef also contain zinc for this purpose.
8. Go for a walk
Exercise releases feel-good chemicals and reduces stress, so strive for three or five 30-minute workout sessions a week.
Try grounding techniques such as the 5-4-3-2-1 coping strategy to soothe anxious thoughts: Take a look around, list five things visible, count to four and touch something before repeating as needed.
At some point, you will want to work up to walking in social situations with other people present. Consider creating a graded exposure list so that you can gradually build up to it.
9. Listen to music
Listening to music can be an effective form of distraction, helping divert your thoughts away from any anxious ones and ultimately reduce them. From classical pieces and nature sounds, to your favorite tunes and even an album’s worth of songs – listening to music may provide relief and ease anxiety levels.
Don’t criticize yourself for having random or quirky thoughts; these are part of being creative! Instead, be curious about them instead.
10. Take a bath
Warm showers can help activate the parasympathetic nervous system and decrease anxiety levels, while using a soothing bath bomb can make the experience all the more soothing.
Distraction can be an effective way to manage stress. Finding something enjoyable that reduces stress could include listening to soothing music, going for a walk, petting the cat or massaging yourself; the key is finding something low-stress yet enjoyable!