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Do you live with anxiety? Here are 14 ways to cope.

Anxiety is what we feel when we are worried, tense or afraid – particularly about things that are about to happen, or which we think could happen in the future. Anxiety is a natural human response when we feel that we are under threat. It can be experienced through our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations.

1. Question your thought pattern

Negative thoughts can take root in your mind and distort the severity of the situation. One way is to challenge your fears, ask if they’re true, and see where you can take back control.

2. Practice focused, deep breathing

Try breathing in for 4 counts and breathing out for 4 counts for 5 minutes total. By evening out your breath, you’ll slow your heart rate which should help calm you down.

The 4-7-8 technique is also known to help anxiety.

3. Use aromatherapy

Whether they’re in essential oil form, incense, or a candle, natural scents like lavenderchamomile, and sandalwood can be very soothing.

Aromatherapy is thought to help activate certain receptors in your brain, potentially easing anxiety.

4. Go for a walk or do 15 minutes of yoga

Sometimes, the best way to stop anxious thoughts is to walk away from the situation. Taking some time to focus on your body and not your mind may help relieve your anxiety.

Getting some quick exercise can help boost your mood and calm your mind.

5. Write down your thoughts

Writing down what’s making you anxious gets it out of your head and can make it less daunting.

These relaxation tricks are particularly helpful for those who experience anxiety sporadically. They may also work well with someone who has generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) , however an evaluation by a mental health practioner is may be warranted.

However, if you suspect you have GAD, quick coping methods shouldn’t be the only kind of treatment you employ. You’ll want to find long-term strategies to help lessen the severity of symptoms and even prevent them from happening.

6. Identify and learn to manage your triggers

You can identify triggers on your own or with a therapist. Sometimes they can be obvious, like caffeine, drinking alcohol, or smoking. Other times they can be less obvious.

Long-term problems, such as financial or work-related situations, may take some time to figure out — is it a due date, a person, or the situation? This may take some extra support, through therapy or with friends.

When you do figure out your trigger, you should try to limit your exposure if you can. If you can’t limit it — like if it’s due to a stressful work environment that you can’t currently change — using other coping techniques may help.

Some general triggers


7. Adopt cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT helps people learn different ways of thinking about and reacting to anxiety-causing situations. A therapist can help you develop ways to change negative thought patterns and behaviors before they spiral.

8. Do a daily or routine meditation

While this takes some practice to do successfully, mindful meditation, when done regularly, can eventually help you train your brain to dismiss anxious thoughts when they arise.

If sitting still and concentrating is difficult, try starting with yoga, or walking meditation. There are many free guided meditations on apps like InsightTimer that can help you get started.

9. Keep a journal

It can be helpful to create a habit of writing down your thoughts and emotions in a journal each day. The process of writing down thoughts itself can be calming for some.

However, it can also help you keep track of when you experience anxiety, how it makes you feel, and what sort of things trigger it.

10. Socialize

Although each person is different, and some people experience social anxiety, spending time with friends and family on a regular basis may help you manage your anxiety.

Socialization can help relieve stress, encourage feelings of laughter and togetherness, and decrease lonelinessResearchTrusted Source has shown that social connectedness can help you become more resilient to stress in the long run.

11. Try supplements or change your diet

Changing your diet or taking supplements is definitely a long-term strategy. Limit processed foods and sugar. Research shows certain supplements or nutrients can help anxiety reduction.

These include:

However, it can take a few months before your body is actually running on the nutrition these herbs and foods provide. If you’re taking other medications, make sure to discuss herbal remedies with your doctor as there can be adverse reactions.

12. Keep your body and mind healthy

Exercising regularly, eating balanced meals, getting enough sleep, and staying connected to people who care about you are great ways to stave off anxiety symptoms.

13. Consider seekign talk therpay

In a talk therapy session, a counselor may help a person do the following:
  • gain a better understanding of their emotions.
  • identify roadblocks and obstacles to optimal mental health.
  • overcome anxiety and insecurities.
  • cope with stress.
  • process previous traumatic experiences.
  • work on breaking unhealthy habits.

14. Ask your doctor about medications

If your anxiety is severe enough that your mental health practitioner believes you’d benefit from medication, there are a number of directions to go, depending on your symptoms. Discuss your concerns with your doctor.

Working with Dr. Rybakov, you’ll benefit from an individualized treatment plan that’s tailored to your needs and evolves with your symptoms and lifestyle factors over time. Ongoing visits ensure your medications and therapy stay on track, so you can manage your symptoms and enjoy a calmer, healthier lifestyle.

To learn more about bipolar treatment at our New York City offices, book an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Rybakov today.


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