All humans experience anxiety at some point. Its manifestation might vary from person to person. Some people have trouble sleeping the night before anything stressful, like an important examination or a job interview. Others feel anxious just thinking about paying the rent on time or tackling the mounting credit card debt that they have accumulated.
However, if anxiety starts disrupting your life more frequently, you need to address it right away. Do not know where to get started? Well, we have you covered on this. Following is a list of some strategies that will help you cope with anxiety.
1. Reach Out To An Expert
If anxiety persists for a relatively long period, seeking help from a professional is a wise option. Reaching out to an expert reduces the sense of isolation often associated with mental health challenges. Knowing that you are not alone can provide immense relief. It also encourages you to build a support network around you.
Moreover, these experts are trained to recognize patterns of thought and behavior that contribute to anxiety. They can help you identify the root causes of your anxiety and suggest therapies accordingly. Even if you do not respond to conventional approaches, a therapist might recommend advanced Ketamine Assisted Therapy. It is a relatively new therapy that involves the controlled use of ketamine in a therapeutic setting. The treatment induces a unique altered state of consciousness, allowing patients to explore their thoughts and emotions more deeply. During a KAT session, individuals often experience profound introspection and self-reflection.
2. Set Realistic Goals
There is constant pressure to do well in today’s fast-paced society. From personal to professional endeavors, we are constantly bombarded with messages that urge us to set goals, dream big, and reach for the stars. Though motivating, the culture of ambition sometimes becomes a double-edged sword. On one hand, it fuels our aspirations and pushes us to explore our potential. On the other hand, it fosters unrealistic expectations that can lead to stress.
Constantly striving for something that is beyond our reach creates chronic stress. We find ourselves perpetually dissatisfied because our reality does not match our aspirations. This dissonance between what we want and what we can realistically achieve creates a breeding ground for anxiety and self-doubt. That is why you should always set realistic goals. They help you focus your energy and resources on specific tasks. That way, you can keep yourself from feeling scattered or lost.
Moreover, when our goals are grounded in reality, we are better equipped to adapt to changes and setbacks. Instead of viewing obstacles as insurmountable failures, we see them as temporary roadblocks that could be tackled with persistence.
3. Learn To Say No
Saying yes to everything creates a cycle of anxiety that slowly erodes your well-being. At first, it might seem like you are being accommodating. But over time, this habit could result in overwhelming stress and a sense of being out of control.
Contrary to the common assumption, saying no does not mean you are selfish or unkind. It simply means you respect your own time, energy, and priorities. Learning to decline respectfully will empower you to focus on what truly matters to you.
If you have a hard time saying no to others, you should start by understanding your obligations. Determine what you can realistically handle without overwhelming yourself.
Also, practice being assertive yet polite. You do not need to give elaborate excuses. A simple and direct decline can be effective. For instance, you may say, “I appreciate your offer, but I cannot commit to this right now,” or “I’m unable to take on any more tasks at the moment, but thank you for considering me.” Remember, people might try to persuade you or make you feel guilty. But you need to stand your ground.
4. Prioritize Regular Physical Activity
In recent years, physical activity has taken a backseat in many people’s lives. From working on computers for long hours or binge-watching movies on mobile, our lifestyles have become increasingly sedentary. Lack of physical activity disrupts the delicate balance of chemicals in the brain. As a result, it paves the way for anxiety. Regular exercise boosts serotonin levels, which promote feelings of happiness and well-being.
Furthermore, the sedentary lifestyle often goes hand in hand with poor sleep patterns. The lack of quality sleep impairs the brain’s ability to cope with stress and regulate emotions. Physical activity helps regulate sleep, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
Though fitting regular physical activity into a busy schedule might seem daunting, it is an entirely doable task. If you have not been physically active for a long time, start small. Identify short time slots in your day when you can incorporate physical activity without disrupting your schedule significantly. It could be as simple as taking a brisk 15-minute walk during your lunch break or opting for the stairs instead of the elevator.
Depending on your convenience, you may combine exercise with activities you already enjoy. If you love spending time with friends, consider joining a sports team or a fitness class together. Similarly, if you enjoy spending time outdoors, activities like hiking, cycling, or jogging can become both a recreational pursuit and a fitness regimen.
5. Practice Gratitude
We usually lose sight of the countless blessings we enjoy and focus on what we lack, what went wrong, or what we aspire to have. This lack of gratitude can lead to a persistent sense of dissatisfaction and, in many cases, anxiety.
Practicing gratitude is a powerful antidote to this mindset. When we cultivate a habit of gratitude, we start to notice the richness of our lives — the supportive relationships, the little acts of kindness, the opportunities for growth, and the simple joys of everyday living.
Experiencing some level of anxiety is a natural reaction to tense and challenging situations. But, for some people, anxiety becomes a constant companion. It impacts their mental health and ability to go about their daily life. If you fall into this category, you should immediately undertake the measures covered in this blog!