Handling Life’s Stress: 8 Strategies for Overcoming Anxiety
From relationship problems to job hunting, stressful life events can quickly leave you feeling on edge and overwhelmed. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies that can help you manage anxiety in a healthy way and prevent an ongoing cycle of worry and stress.
1. Identify Your Stressors
Make a list of circumstances most stressful in your own life. Being aware of your trouble areas can help you to be proactive the next time anxiety rears its head.
2. Step Back and Slow Down
Take a time-out from the stress with deep breathing, yoga, or meditation. Rely on activities that you have found relaxing in the past, such as listening to music, taking a walk, or talking to a friend.
3. Focus on Good Nutrition
It may be tempting to turn to comfort food, but a plate full of carbohydrates can make you feel sluggish. Try to keep a healthy balance of lean protein, fruits, and vegetables.
4. Accept Your Limitations
Don’t aim for perfection, which isn’t possible, but instead tell yourself you only need to do your best. Also acknowledge that you cannot control everything.
5. Get Enough Sleep
While anxiety primarily impacts our mental health, it also affects our physical health. During times of stress, your body needs additional sleep and rest.
6. Limit Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant that can trigger your body’s fight or flight response, possibly making anxiety worse and resulting in nervousness.
7. Make Time for Exercise
Regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, so find an activity that you enjoy.
8. Talk to Someone
Sharing your feelings with another person who can provide support will help you feel more secure and better able to overcome anxiety. It is okay to tell friends and family you are feeling overwhelmed and let them know how they can help you.
When to See A Professional
If your anxiety is persistent, increases over time, or interferes with daily activities, seek professional help from a physician or therapist. Constant worry that affects job performance, school work, or relationships may indicate an anxiety condition.
Our team of psychologists and counselors at LeBauer Behavioral Medicine provides care for patients affected by anxiety and other mental health concerns at four different locations in the Triad area. Learn more about behavioral medicine services or schedule an appointment by calling 336-547-1574.
Recognizing Suicide Prevention Month
Every year, more than 40,000 people commit suicide, with thousands more attempting to take their own life. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and at LeBauer Behavioral Medicine we are committed to helping patients find the support they need to avoid this unfortunate outcome. To learn more about suicide prevention, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and if you believe someone you care about is at risk of committing suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.