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Anxiety: 8 Tips for your "Anxiety Toolbox"

I think anxiety is something EVERYONE experiences. It's part of being human. It's when the anxiety is constant, or becomes debilitating, that it's an issue that truly needs to be addressed.

I've dealt with both kinds of anxiety before, and so the tips I include in this post can really apply to any level of anxiety. Here are some things that worked for me:


The first part is to accept that you're experiencing anxiety (really this is the first step to dealing with any emotion/feeling you may be having). You can name it. Realize it's ok. It won't kill you. You can say something like, "I am experiencing anxiety right now. It's ok."


A really great way to calm yourself down is to remove yourself from the current situation, whatever it is that might have provoked the anxiety, take a break in a quiet corner or your room, and do some deep breathing. Breathe in for 7 seconds, and out for 11 seconds. Breathing brings awareness away from your racing mind or heart and into your body.


I try to identify a cause for my anxiety. What just happened that led to it? What was I thinking that spiraled me into anxiety? Notice your triggers. They aren't nearly as real as we make them out to be.


See if you can remove the cause of your anxiety, or de-stress yourself. Was it a person that you need to take a break from? A situation that was stressing you out? The thoughts about your to-do list? The more aware we are, the sooner we can get to the root cause, and then remove the anxiety-provoker.


In general, mantras are a good practice. They can improve self-esteem, calm you down, reinforce positive thoughts, etc. Here are a few examples of some mantras for anxiety:

"This is an uncomfortable vibration in my body, but I can handle it."

"I will get through this."

"This, too, shall pass."

Don't let it overtake your life:

Anxiety can be a paralyzing feeling, which makes it counter-intuitive to say "don't let it overtake your life" but really, don't. We might need to take a time out, breathe deeply, rearrange our schedule, but not showing up to life because the thought of it makes you too anxious only feeds the anxiety more. When you're anxious about something, and you do it anyway, it builds your confidence and proves to yourself that you got through it and you could do it.

Realize progress isn't linear:

Kind of an interesting one to add, I know, but it was and is very powerful for me. Often when we overcome something, we think we should never have to deal with it again. Then when it creeps up on us again, we're frustrated with ourselves because we're "dealing with old stuff!" Realizing that progress isn't linear created a huge shift in me. I might fall and have to get up again, I might overcome something only to have to overcome it again. Life is a work in progress, constantly.

What helps you manage your anxiety?


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