Anxiety is more common than ever, and for some people, it can be truly debilitating. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take right now to mitigate your anxiety symptoms and live a more confident, comfortable life.
10 Steps to Take Now If You Struggle With Anxiety
These are some steps that you can take right now to manage and improve your anxiety symptoms.
1. Commit to improvement. You aren’t going to make your anxiety go away in a day. You may never be able to completely get rid of your anxiety disorder, if you have one. In fact, anxiety is an important part of human life. But what you can do is, right now, commit to improvement. That means committing to some kind of plan designed to improve your anxiety symptoms, even if it’s only a little bit. Anything is better than nothing, and many people who struggle with anxiety end up trapped in a pit of their own making because they refuse to make a commitment like this.
2. Find a therapist and schedule an appointment. Therapists in Manhattan often specialize in helping people with their anxieties and fears. They can help you better understand the roots of your anxieties, equip you with coping strategies to deal with anxiety in the moment and guide you to goals that can iteratively get you to a life with less anxiety overall. Once you find a therapist who seems like a good fit, schedule an appointment – it’s a task you can tackle in less than an hour, and possibly in 10 minutes or less, so there’s no excuse not to do it. Once you make that first appointment, your therapist will help you the rest of the way.
3. List the things that are making you anxious. What else can you do right now? You can take a moment to list all the things that are making you anxious. What are you worried about? What are you anxious about? Write these things down in a physical notebook. This simple act can help you compartmentalize your anxieties and come to terms with them, even if it doesn’t make them go away.
4. Examine your thought patterns. Using this list, examine your thought patterns. You’re anxious about a phone call you have to make – but why is this the case? What’s the worst that could happen? How have your phone calls gone in the past? Would you feel differently if certain aspects were changed? In some cases, your anxiety is perfectly reasonable, but in some cases, your anxieties are based on nothing. Again, this won’t make them magically go away, but it will help you understand and come to terms with them.
5. Practice deep breathing. Focused, deep breathing is one of the most reliable strategies for managing anxiety in the moment. It’s something that anyone can do, it’s free, and it only takes a couple of minutes, but it can make a big difference in your mental state.
6. Get some exercise. Another excellent strategy for managing anxiety, both in the moment and in the long term, is physical exercise. This is another inexpensive strategy available to everyone. Depending on where you are and how much time you have, you might hit up the local gym, go for a walk around the block, or just do some push-ups in your bedroom. Anything helps.
7. Eat a healthy snack and drink water. Anxiety symptoms can worsen if you’re suffering from nutritional imbalances or a lack of hydration, so even if you don’t feel particularly hungry or thirsty, consider getting a healthy snack and some water. A handful of nuts, some raw veggies and fruits, and a tall glass of water could be exactly what you need.
8. Talk to someone you love. Talking to loved ones can ease your anxiety as well, even if you don’t talk about anything particularly serious. Consider calling up an old friend or a family member; they’ll probably be glad to hear from you. If you don’t have many contacts you can rely on, consider going out and striking up a conversation with a neighbor or a total stranger.
9. Improve your environment. See what you can do to improve your environment. Can you introduce a candle, incense, or some other form of aroma diffusion? Can you introduce better music that’s capable of calming you down? Would you feel more comfortable in a brighter or dimmer environment? Make some changes and see how it makes you feel.
10. Start a journal. Journaling is an effective tool for managing anxiety, and for multiple reasons. It gives you a chance to examine and articulate your thoughts while simultaneously giving you a kind of progress tracker. Even if you only spend a few minutes journaling a day, you’ll likely be glad you made the effort.
One Step at a Time
Anxiety and anxiety disorders can be notoriously hard to handle, and unfortunately, there’s no universally effective cure. However, anxiety is perfectly manageable for most people if they’re willing to take things one step at a time. Taking even a few steps today to commit to improvement, schedule an appointment, and get acquainted with better coping strategies is huge and praiseworthy progress – and if you continue on this path, you’ll likely see dramatic improvements in your sense of self and well-being.