Live a Better Life: 5 Methods for Coping With Anxiety

Statistically, about one out of every 5 people in the US has an anxiety disorder of some kind. With that said, the question of whether anxiety and anxiety disorders are becoming more common is difficult to answer.

Some theorize that we are more aware of it. Others have also claimed that the percentage of anxious people hasn’t increased, but the population has, so the sheer number of anxious people has as well.

Regardless of whether we’re in the middle of an anxiety epidemic, people are more vocal about their issues. If you have anxiety, you’re not alone. 

We’re here to help you if you are dealing with anxiety issues. We’ll tell you about some useful coping methods in the paragraphs below.

1. Breathing Exercises

One of the best methods for coping with anxiety is to take slow, deep breaths. One method that seems to work well is 4-7-8 breathing.

This exercise calls for breathing in through your nose for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7, and then breathing out through your mouth for 8 seconds. It may take some practice before you get good at it.

This method works for a few reasons. The first is that slowing down our breathing is a natural relaxant.

The second has to do with thought processes. It takes a lot of focus to do 4-7-8 breathing, which means that your mind can’t focus on the things that are stressing you out.

2. Analyze Your Anxiety

Take some time to question how your mind works. Look at the negative ideas that your brain comes up with and try to be honest about how likely those things are to occur.

Chances are, you’re worrying about something that isn’t likely to occur. You may ask what if it does happen, and that’s where the second part of this process comes in.

You need to look at the situation and ask what happens if something goes wrong. Suppose that person you’ve been thinking of asking out does reject you.

All it means is that you’re still single and may have to find someone else if you want. They probably won’t be rude about it. If they are, that’s on them, not you.

The more you understand what your negative thoughts are and where they come from, the easier it will be to replace them with positive thoughts.

3. Exercise

Studies show that exercise, especially aerobic exercise, can decrease anxiety and improve health. Most of this happens on a chemical level.

When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which help to reduce pain and make it easier to sleep. This last part is especially important because a lack of sleep is often a major factor in causing or aggravating anxiety.

Exercise also increases mood and makes you less likely to develop an anxiety disorder. It also helps reduce the anxiety you may already have.

This brings you back to endorphins. Endorphins play a large role in our emotional responses. They trigger the feelings of joy that come with accomplishment and tell you when you’ve finished a task. 

A dysfunctional endorphin system that releases too many or too few endorphins could cause anxiety and other mental issues. Exercise seems to help regulate this.

4. Find Your Triggers

Do you tend to have anxiety in a specific situation? Most anxiety patients do get anxious over a few particular activities, such as taking a test.

Knowing what causes your anxiety can help you deal with it better in the future, whether that means avoiding it or being more prepared for it.

There are some types of anxiety, such as social anxiety, that you shouldn’t avoid. Not being alone all the time is worth some fear now and then. 

The good news is that there tends to be less social anxiety as you get used to people. The big fear with social anxiety is rejection or judgment, so it becomes less of an obstacle once you know you can trust people.

5. Counseling and Medication

While there are many little things you can do yourself, there is no substitute for seeing a professional. These people have the training to help you deal with these kinds of problems.

Speaking openly about your anxiety can help a lot. Plus, a counselor will often give you advice and exercises to do in hopes of making anxiety less of an obstacle.

You may even learn that your anxiety is part of something else. Certain related conditions, such as autism, OCD, and ADHD may also involve feelings of nervousness or restlessness.

The idea that there could be a larger problem may seem scary, but it’s not likely. Plus, a proper diagnosis can help your counselor or psychiatrist better treat your condition. 

Medicine is also part of this equation in many cases. A psychiatrist may prescribe something along the lines of Xanax, Cymbalta, Valium, Prozac, or Zoloft. If a lot of these sound like anti-depressants, it’s because they are. The two conditions are closely related.

They may even suggest using CBD oil. There’s even CBD for animals, to help your dog become a well-behaved dog. This can even help them become a therapy dog for your anxiety.

The Best Strategies for Coping with Anxiety

Coping with anxiety can be difficult, but there are a lot of ways to do it. You could try breathing exercises or regular exercises.

You could examine your anxiety, looking for how it works and what triggers it. You may want to seek professional help. These people have degrees in their field, so they know what they’re talking about.

Those are only a few ideas. You can find many more if you keep looking.

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