How To Deal With Your Anxiety:
Top 5 Ways

anxiety

In the last post, I shared what you need to know about how to deal with your anxiety.

 

Anxiety is a formidable emotion to deal with and you need to have a clear game plan for how you can calm your anxiety and break free from its (STRONG) grip.  

 

Today, I’ll share how to deal with anxiety by sharing 5 of the top tools.

How to deal with your anxiety

1. To overcome a fear, you must acknowledge and approach the fear.

In other words, the only way out of fear is through fear.  

 

Can you welcome the fear?  

 

If so- that’s wonderful!

 

If not, no worries.  

Can you acknowledge that (when you are overcome by anxiety) there is an opportunity to use the skills that you have learned?

If so, that opens up a little bit of space to see anxiety in a different way…

as an emotion that can be helpful in achieving your long-term goal of getting unstuck from anxiety’s grip.  

How to deal with your anxiety

2. Purposefully engage in the very things you find so anxiety provoking

First, you’ll have to identify the things that you avoid doing because you are too afraid to do them.  

 

Or- you may be fearful of places or activities that feel overwhelming to you- if that’s the case, identify all the places/activities that you avoid.

Ultimately facing situations that you know will increase your anxiety is the way for you to overcome your fears and anxiety.

how-to-deal-anxiety

Here’s what anxiety experts know for sure:  Exposure therapy works!

 

In other words, avoiding the situations you are most terrified of will only keep the fear alive.  

 

After all, when you avoid the trigger the only information that comes to your brain about the thing that is so scary is that… 

...it is so scary you have to absolutely avoid it!

How to deal with your anxiety

3. Be prepared to feel distressed

Anxiety is so difficult because it feels incredibly distressing.  

 

It can feel like you are locked in a prison…

dealing-with-anxiety

However, if you go into a situation knowing that you’ll be distressed and uncertain you can handle it, you are facing the truth of your feelings.  


Keep in mind:

All feelings are valid AND feelings aren’t facts!

  1. Think about your long-term goals- namely that you want to improve your life and not be limited by anxiety.
  2. Be realistic.  Anxiety will never permanently go away; nor should it.   You need your anxiety to kick in when you are in danger (for example, when you are about to get run over by a car, the fear to mobilize you is your friend!).  

Work towards accepting that anxiety is a part of you

and that you want anxiety to serve you… not you serve it.

Ultimately, don’t fight against your anxiety, fight for your life goals.

Facing situations you have been avoiding is a step toward a new future.

 

So, let’s say you engage in the thing you are terrified of… 

 

you are prepared to be overwhelmed by anxiety 

 

AND anxiety did not disappoint!   

 

And you are using your skills and tools by doing the following:

 

You aren’t fighting your anxiety.

 

You are thinking about your long-term goals.  

Yet, You are still in a near panic.

What can you do?

How to deal with your anxiety

4. Engage in Opposite Action.

What the heck is opposite action?

 

It’s an incredibly useful tool when dealing with anxiety.

  

Marsha Linehan, the creator of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, coined the term.  

Watch the video below to learn more about this incredibly useful tool:

How to deal with your anxiety

5. Do Breathwork

how to tell if shortness of breath is from anxiety? When you are purposeful in engaging your breath, you will switch from the fight-or-flight system in your body to the calm system in your body. 

Yes, your body has two different nervous systems.

Anxiety can only exist in the fight-or-flight system. 

 

Simple breathing exercises can move you into the other calm nervous system.   

 

There are lots of different types of breathing exercises.  

 

You could:

  1. Go to a yoga class- where you will most likely practice some breath work.
  2. Engage in box breathing
  3. Breath to the breath ball
  4. Simply take longer out-breaths than in-breaths for two minutes
WORD OF WARNING:
This is so deceptively simple that you may want to dismiss it. Please don’t!

If you struggle with anxiety, I wish you all the best as you work to overcome its grip.  ‘

May you have a willing spirit, perseverance, and faith that things can be different.  

 

I can’t predict how long it will take to come out from under the grip of anxiety, but I know it can happen. 

 

I’ve seen it so many times.  

 Are you ready to give therapy a go?

Free free to contact me directly if you have questions or to schedule a brief call to see if I might be able to support you as you journey forward.

Jill

Looking for mental health services in Indy?

As a marriage and family therapist, I also offer: 

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