Eight Practical Tips for Coping With Anxiety

breathe_cope_with_anxietyIn the U.S. and the U.K., about one in five people reporting that they feel anxious a lot of the time or all of the time.

The most popular ways to cope include speaking to a friend, exercise and taking a walk. AsapTHOUGHT, a Youtube channel, has compiled a useful list of additional ways to cope with anxiety:

Don’t google your symptoms
When you’re in the middle of a panic attack, it’s easy to feel like your symptoms are a signal for something bigger. Often panic attacks come with physical symptoms such as chest pains or nausea. While it’s tempting to search online to see what’s going on – don’t.

HALT ­- Are you Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired?
These are all things that can contribute to a potential anxiety attack. If you can figure out what the trigger may be, you may help solve it.

It sounds obvious, but focusing on your breathing can help calm you down. Try a 4-4-8 method: Breathing in for 4 seconds, holding your breath for 4 seconds, and breathing out for 8 seconds. By focusing on your breathing, it’s easier to ignore any bad thoughts trying to creep their way into your subconscious.

Find a distraction
Perhaps you have a favorite podcast that you enjoy listening to, or a favorite Youtuber.

Get moving
Both aerobic and non-aerobic (e.g. weight lifting) exercises can help reduce anxiety symptoms. Whether it¹s a brisk stroll around the block, or a spin class at your local gym, get moving to feel calmer.

“An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment,” says expert Mark Williams. By being aware of what is happening around you, and taking time to reflect on this, you can stop your brain from running away with itself, often resulting in stress and anxious feelings

Often when you suffer from persistent anxiety, even something seemingly simple such as making a phone call or going to meet a friend can seem like a huge task. Break it down into small steps. Perhaps instead of meeting a friend in town, they could come to your house, or you could meet on Skype video.

Constructive avoidance
Recognize the things that trigger your anxiety attacks and avoid them as much as possible. Know your limits; avoid alcohol if it doesn¹t agree with you. Figure out a few things that make you feel better, for example having a quiet night in or listening to certain music, and make them part of a regular routine.

More information on coping with anxiety: