5 Therapist Recommended Techniques To Manage Anxiety And Live A Carefree Life
The internet is stacked with tips and techniques to manage anxiety. The truth is that when you have high anxiety all these tips and techniques to manage anxiety go out of the window.
There were many nights in my childhood when I would wake up in a sweat with my heart pounding. My parents labeled it as gas and after a few medicines, I was again sound asleep.
In my teens, my anxiety only grew worse and that is when I got to know what exactly anxiety is. As any regular teenager, I decided to ignore the signs of anxiety and refused to take therapy. I relied on Google to help me manage anxiety
What are the signs of anxiety?
Do I have anxiety?
How can I manage anxiety?
Is anxiety treatable?
The self-treatment helped but only to a certain extent. The waves of anxiety would always come back and at times come stronger to wash me away.
When I pursued psychology I realised that the best way to treat anxiety is with therapy. I finally decided to go for therapy and ever since that day I have learned how to manage anxiety in more healthier ways.
This article will help you to understand:
- Signs of Anxiety
- Causes of Anxiety
- 5 Strategies You Can Use To Manage Anxiety
If you are someone who suffers from anxiety or you want to help out a friend or family member dealing with anxiety then this article will surely be highly valuable to you.
The first step to resolving a problem is being aware of the problem. When you want to manage anxiety you need to be aware of the signs and symptoms that indicate anxiety.
Common signs of anxiety are:
- Nervousness & Restlessness (shaking your leg, biting nails or lips)
- Difficulty in breathing. The simple act of breathing feels forced
- Intense fear or a feeling of impending doom
- Burning sensation in your chest and stomach
- You feel nauseous or pukish
- Frequent headaches and muscle pains
Lesser known signs of anxiety are:
- Tingling sensation in your hands and feet
- A need to stick to routine
- Being a perfectionist
- Leaving things halfway
- Digestive issues
These signs vary according to situations and person from person. Being aware of these signs can help you to manage anxiety.
Moreover when you notice these signs then it is strongly recommended to talk to a therapist who can help you navigate your emotions and improve your coping habits so you can effectively manage anxiety.
Causes of Anxiety
Going to the roots of anxiety is important to understand how you can manage anxiety in the best ways possible.
Anxiety could be a result of past experiences, genetics or ongoing stressful events. Exploring the causes of your anxiety can help you to resolve the problem from its roots.
Some people have a biological predisposition to anxiety. If you have a family member who has experienced anxiety disorders, you might be more at risk for developing an anxiety disorder.
Genetics and experiences as a child or as an adult can play a role in causing anxiety. You might have a significant event in your life that triggers anxiety, or you might have a specific thought or experience that makes you anxious.
Stressful life events
Other factors, besides genetics and experiences as a child or an adult, can play a role in causing anxiety, such as a significant life event, such as the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship.
Self-diagnosis can be risky especially when anxiety is an underlying cause of something more serious. Consult with a therapist to understand why and what is causing you anxiety so you can opt for the best treatment plan to manage anxiety.
London based Psychologist talks about 5 best ways you can manage anxiety:
‘I always tell my clients to observe their anxious feelings like they would observe fleeting clouds in the sky. These feelings will come and go’
Anxiety convinces you that everything about your life is wrong and you are doomed forever. These thoughts are often baseless and exaggerated versions of reality. It is best not to attach meaning to every thought and every feeling that you have. Accept your thoughts and feelings as they come.
Ingrain in your mind that anxiety is only a small part of you and in no way dictates your self-identity. You are much more than your anxious thoughts.
The next time when you have thoughts that bring out emotions of shame, guilt, anger, sadness just simply accept them instead of trying to use your mental energy to give these thoughts a reasonable explanation or suppressing them.
Remember that suppression will make your anxiety come back even much worse while acceptance will set you free.
Talk to a trusted loved one when you’re feeling anxious or sad
When you’re experiencing anxiety, try to put yourself in a place where you feel safe and comfortable. What better way to do that than with a loved one?
Reach out to a friend or loved one during a time of sadness or when you’re feeling anxious. Showing your vulnerable side can be difficult and painful but talking to someone you can trust can help to relieve the burden you have been carrying for so long. It is a detoxing way to manage anxiety.
If you have a family member who frequently experiences anxiety let them know that you are there to listen to them and be there for them whenever they need you. Create a space of unconditional acceptance and love which can help them to be fearless.
When you are anxious your breathing may get irregular and heavy. Understanding how to regulate and control your breathing during tough times can help you to stay calm and manage anxiety.
Let’s do a breathing exercise together.
Sit in a comfortable position. If possible keep your feet placed on the ground and your hands on your lap.
Close your eyes and relax your muscles.
Now take a deep breath from your stomach. When you inhale make sure that your stomach muscles are contracting.
Hold for 1..2..3 seconds
Then let out the sir with your mouth making a ‘whooosh’ sound.
Repeat this several times until you feel light and calm in your head.
The trick is to consistently practise breathing exercises when you are in a relaxed state of mind. As you are practising also repeat to yourself that you will breathe in the same manner every time you feel anxious.
The repeated breathing exercises and affirmations trains your mind to remain calm during anxious times and helps you manage anxiety.
Grounding Technique To Manage Anxiety
Anxiety can spin you out of control and swirl you into a distressing storm. It is effective to stay in touch with reality to manage anxiety.
Use your 5 senses to stay grounded in reality so you can be better equipped to manage anxiety.
The sense of touch is the best way to snap you out of your anxiety trap. You can feel the texture of your clothes, the coolness of the ground you are sitting or standing on, or even hold ice firmly in your hand.
Then you can look around and remind yourself where you are. Observe the colour of your walls, listen keenly to the noises around you or any peculiar smells. Using your senses can divert your mind and bring you back to reality.
This grounding technique does wonders to help you manage anxiety.
Anxiety is a serious business, or is it?
I had a client whose anxiety was highly triggered by his dad’s anger. In one of our sessions I asked him to imagine a scene where he and his dad are having a heated argument. Then I asked him to reimagine the same scene but this time they both are arguing in chipmunk voices.
This cracked him up and helped him to relieve the huge amount of stress he had associated with his dad’s anger.
Humor when used at the right time can lighten the seriousness of the situation and make you feel more in control of how you choose to respond to a difficult situation. Changing the way you choose to respond can be a game-changer and help you manage anxiety.
How Can Therapy Help?
Many people ask the question ‘when should I go for therapy?’
This question reflects a common stereotype that therapy is only for the crazy ones. Therapy is a much-needed step when you begin to notice any signs of anxiety, or when you feel like you are losing the excitement and happiness you once had towards life.
We have made misery a lot more common than it should be. I wish so many of my clients had come on in an earlier stage because I see so much potential and knowing that so many out there are wasting precious years of their life stuck in the hole of anxiety.
A therapist is equipped with techniques and strategies that can guide you to understand why and what you are feeling, and what are actually your major concerns.
Therapy provides a space where you can be brave enough to be vulnerable and talk openly about everything that has been pulling you down.
Take Online Therapy To Manage Anxiety.
Many widely used therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) have been proven to be highly successful in resolving anxiety and many other mental health issues.
Therapy is hands down the best way to learn how to manage anxiety and create a fulfilling life for yourself, one that is free from the constant fear, stress, and anxiety.
Your Major Take-Aways
Living with anxiety is painful and it takes away so much of your mental energy that you hardly even feel like doing anything to overcome anxiety. Yet, we all know that taking active steps to manage anxiety is absolutely necessary to live a happier life.
First step is to understand
- Signs of Anxiety
- Causes of Anxiety
If you are having trouble in understanding what exactly is causing you anxiety then you can consult an online therapist right from the comfort of your hope. Therapy can help you to discern the cause and concerns of your anxiety.
Techniques to manage anxiety such as
- Accepting your feelings as they come
- Practicing breathing exercises & affirmations
- Talking to someone you feel safe with
- Grounding technique using your 6 senses
- Add humor to your life
These techniques to manage anxiety can be effective for self-management.