4 Keys to Anxiety Management

anxietyAnxiety. Just the word can bring a little flutter to the stomach or make the heart beat a little faster. Most of us don’t like to   experience anxiety. Our bodies and minds can seem to be on overload when it is happening and for many they experience panic attacks as well.
The good news is that there are many ways to cope with and treat anxiety. I will mention for keys here to get you started.
#1 Coping Skills for In the Moment
This is the first essential step. Knowing how to have some things to do when you feel anxiety and/or a panic attack is the priority in knowing how to deal with it. There are many things that can be done to calm the body and mind down. One is breathing. This is often mentioned in a cliché manner, but breathing breathewell can really work wonders to calm the body and mind. Other solutions can help too, like calming music, talking with a friend, journaling, or tapping.
#2 Increasing Habits that Will Keep Anxiety Away
All treatment of anxiety includes this important step. It is crucial to know how to manage it in the moment, but research shows us that there are things we can include in our lifestyle to literally impact or brain physiology and decrease our anxiety. These are mostly activities that include calming and mindfulness. For example, meditation. Including even a few minutes of meditation in your daily routine has been shown in research to calm your brain. The same is true for Yoga. It clears the mind in such a way that the anxiety is less likely to creep in. I would also include activities that improve mental health, such as exercise of any kind, socializing with friends, and journaling.
#3 Accept the Feeling
Although anxiety can be overwhelming, oftentimes the feeling is giving us important information. It is our body’s way of telling us that something is concerning or dangerous in our environment. For many people accepting the feeling of anxiety and then exploring the possible causes and triggers can reduce the feeling. Then, you can be empowered with the information about yourself and your environment to make choices and take actions that are healthy for you.
#4 Deal with Root Issues
Many people with anxiety have a history of circumstances and situations that have produced a high level of anxiety. It could be a high pressure family environment, traumatic events, abusive relationships, and the list goes on. Diving in to find out what some of the root issue may be can help resolve the anxiety once and for all. I would recommend doing this part of the work with a trained psychotherapist who can help guide you through this process. It is empowering to get to know yourself on a deeper level and work through thinrootsgs that have happened in your past.
The most important thing is to do something! You do not have to live with anxiety controlling your life!
Rachel Harrison, LCPC, NCC

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