Anxiety impacts over 40 million adults in the U.S. It’s one of the most common mental health conditions across the globe and can affect everyone differently. The good news? It’s also a very manageable mental health condition when the right strategies are in place.
Working with a mental health professional is one of the best things you can do. Getting to the root cause(s) of your anxiety will make it easier to work through it and eventually overcome your feelings of fear.
But, you can’t be with a counselor or therapist every second. So, it’s important to have everyday strategies in place that can help you deal with the symptoms of your anxiety. That includes tactics that can help you today, as well as long-term strategies that can make living with anxiety easier.
Let’s cover a few helpful tips that can keep anxiety from taking control of your life.
Understand the Cause
Again, a mental health professional can help you to uncover the root of your anxiety. That’s the first step in treating it and learning how to manage your symptoms. You don’t have to wait for your next therapy appointment to consider the cause. Some of the most common causes include:
- Family history
- Traumatic triggers
- Specific fears or phobias
- Lack of sleep
- Certain medications
- Medical illnesses
If your anxiety symptoms have become worse in recent years, it’s important to look at current events and how they could be fueling your fears. We’re living in uncertain times and understanding how things like the pandemic and social unrest are impacting your mental well-being can make it easier to come up with active self-care solutions.
Develop Healthy Habits
Speaking of self-care, it’s something you should make a priority every day. Developing healthy habits will help you to deal with anxiety now and on a long-term basis.
Self-care looks different for everyone. It doesn’t have to involve anything luxurious or expensive. Things like taking a hot bath or investing in a spa day can relax you on days when your anxiety feels overwhelming. Otherwise, healthy everyday habits can make a big difference in your mental well-being, including things like:
- Getting enough sleep
- Cooking healthy meals
- Spending time outside
Including mindfulness and meditation in your daily routine is also a wonderful way to manage your anxious thoughts and reduce your stress levels. By practicing mindfulness, you will stay focused on the present and how you feel in that exact moment. That doesn’t mean anxious thoughts won’t come. However, you’ll let them pass by, rather than allowing them to take hold of your focus.
Lean on Your Support System
Self-care can also involve other people. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and alone when you’re dealing with anxiety. In most cases, however, people are willing to help. Don’t be afraid to lean on your support system on days when you’re struggling with fear and worried thoughts. Family members, friends, or even support groups can help you work through your feelings, get to the root cause, and remind you that you don’t have to go through any of it alone.
Anxiety might try to take you away from friends and loved ones or keep you from doing things you typically enjoy. That will end up making things worse. Isolation tends to fuel anxiety by keeping you alone with your thoughts and letting you assume the worst. Even if you have to force yourself to socialize, you’ll be glad you did after spending some time with people you care about.
You don’t have to deal with the effects of anxiety forever. Keep these tips in mind to manage it right away and consider how some of these strategies can help you on a long-term basis so you don’t let your anxious thoughts control everything you do.