If you’ve been following along in our blog series called “All About Anxiety,” you now know exactly what anxiety is, the symptoms of anxiety, and when to seek outside help for anxiety. (If you missed our previous blogs, you can find them here and here.) Now, we want to look at tips for managing and minimizing anxiety in our lives. As we’ve established before, our culture is fast-paced, busy, and full of people who are overworked, overcommitted, and overtired. No wonder 1 out of every 5 people in our country is over anxious. Many of us create a lifestyle that is jammed full of activities and commitments. We leave little time for any type of relaxation, processing, or reflecting. We are taking in data, drama, conflict, work, and relationship issues all day long, but we do not make time to process our emotions or relax or take a mental rest.
One of the biggest keys to eliminating anxiety is to create space in your schedule. You can call this “rest,” “self-care,” “me time,” or whatever you’d like, but the main thing is that you make this space in your life. This most likely means that you need to cut out something and replace it with something else to help calm your anxious thoughts and process your emotions. Perhaps there is a commitment you have taken on that needs to be given to someone else. Perhaps you need to teach your children how to do some household chores and clean up after dinner so that you can take a 10 minute mental break in your day. Maybe you need to take a warm bath or journal before bed instead of scrolling through facebook. I would encourage you to take a few minutes and think through your weekly schedule. Think of 1-2 things that you could cut out, and replace those things with a calming and relaxing activity. Some examples of these activities may be:
- Taking a warm bath
- Talking to a trusted friend
- Reading a book
- Praying or meditating
In addition to creating space in your schedule, here are some other tips that have proven successful in helping to minimize anxiety:
- Getting the proper amount of sleep that your body needs (7-8 hours)
- Exercising at least 3 times a week
- Cutting out screens right before bed
- Limiting your amount of caffeine and alcohol
- Journaling about situations, feelings, and emotions
- Taking a few minutes to deep breathe in and out
- Serving and volunteering in the community
- Looking for anxiety triggers and avoiding them if possible
Many individuals find success in minimizing anxiety with these tips and practices. However, as we’ve said before, anxiety can become an overwhelming problem for some people. At this point, when anxiety begins to affect your everyday life, therapy can be a huge help. The therapists at Water’s Edge Counseling use a variety of techniques to help their clients overcome anxiety. One of the most successful treatments used is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works to treat an individual’s thinking patterns and thought processes, which in turn helps to change his or her feelings and emotional responses. CBT has proved highly effective in treating those with anxiety.
If you would like more information on anxiety, CBT, or on whether therapy is something that could help you with your struggles, please give us a call at 912-319-5552. We look forward to hearing from you and would love to help!