from your RAFT Counseling Team
As our lives become busier and more complex, it is not uncommon for us to experience feelings of anxiety. Whether it's related to work, relationships, or the never-ending to-do list, anxiety can be overwhelming and can have a significant impact on our mental and physical health. Fortunately, there are many strategies and tips that can help manage anxiety in daily life. If you're feeling anxious and looking for some guidance, the following tips can help you manage your symptoms and improve your overall well-being.
Mindfulness is the practice of being present and fully engaged in the moment. When we are anxious, our minds often race, and we can become overwhelmed by our thoughts and feelings. Practicing mindfulness can help us slow down and focus on the present moment, which can be calming and grounding.
One way to practice mindfulness is to focus on your breath. Sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, and take deep breaths, focusing on the sensation of the air moving in and out of your body. You can try a guided meditation or yoga to help you develop your mindfulness practice but this can be as simple as slowing down to just breathe sometimes.
Self-care is essential for managing anxiety. When we prioritize our physical and emotional needs, we are better equipped to handle stress and anxiety. Make sure you're getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly.
In addition to these basics, it's important to make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Whether it's reading a book, taking a bath, or going for a walk in nature, prioritize activities that help you feel centered and calm. When we are overwhelmed with daily life, this can be the last thing that we’re thinking about and the first thing to take off the never ending to-do list. But getting intentional about self care will positively impact you and your ability to take care of all of the things. When you take care of yourself, you are better able to manage all of the things that will still be waiting for you.
Connecting with others can be an excellent way to manage anxiety. Talking with a trusted friend or family member can help you process your thoughts and feelings and gain a new perspective on your situation. When we share our experiences and feeling with others that we trust, we are not only receiving validation but helping our brains processing things as well. Speaking things out loud has a helpful impact on anxiety as our brains process things that contribute to our anxiety.
If you're feeling overwhelmed or if your anxiety is impacting your daily life, it may be helpful to seek the support of a mental health professional. Group counseling can also be an effective way to connect with others who are experiencing similar challenges and to learn new coping strategies.
When we're anxious, our thoughts can become negative and self-critical. We may worry excessively about things that are unlikely to happen or focus on worst-case scenarios.
Challenging negative thinking can help us gain a more balanced and realistic perspective. One way to do this is to ask yourself if your thoughts are based on facts or assumptions. If they're assumptions, try to challenge them by asking yourself what evidence supports them. Counselors can also help in this area. Sometimes when we are so overwhelmed and anxious, it can be difficult to know where to even start challenging negative thoughts. Turning to social supports, or a trained therapist, can pull in some realistic alternatives.
Taking action can be a powerful way to manage anxiety. When we feel like we have some control over our situation, we're less likely to feel overwhelmed and helpless. If you're feeling anxious about a specific situation, think about what actions you can take to address it. For example, if you're anxious about a work project, you could break it down into smaller tasks and create a plan for completing them.
Anxiety is a common experience, but it doesn't have to control your life. By practicing mindfulness, prioritizing self-care, connecting with others, challenging negative thinking, and taking action, you can manage your symptoms and improve your overall well-being.
If you're feeling overwhelmed by anxiety and would like support, consider reaching out to a therapist like our team at RAFT Counseling. With the right tools and strategies, you can learn to manage anxiety and live a more fulfilling and satisfying life.