Many people deal with anxiety on some level. Rather it’s sweating and heart racing before making a big presentation or being overwhelmed by a crowded subway car that can make you dread the daily commute, everyone needs to form strategies to deal with anxiety when it comes.
1. Write about it
Writing about what makes you anxious is a great way to begin feeling in control. This is a great option for people who may not have a confidante to listen to their problems or don’t feel comfortable talking about it out loud. Writing it down can mean paragraphs, lists, or graphs, whatever works best for you.
2. Find What Causes You Anxiety and Prepare
This strategy can be accomplished by combining it with “writing about it.” Start date and time stamping, then describing the source of your anxiety. As you begin to find patterns, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of where your anxiety comes from. When you understand the source, it will be easier to work on the root causes. You’ll also be more mentally prepared for the anxiety if you can predict when it will start.
3. Regulate Your Breathing
Deep breathing is proven to slow your heart rate and force your body to feel a sense of peace even when your mind is trying to terrify you. Breath in and out for a measured set of time, between three and five seconds depending on your preference. For example, if you choose four seconds, you would breath in for four seconds then out for four seconds and repeat until you feel calmer.
4. 3-3-3 Exercise
This is an exercise that will help you center yourself in your present time and place to stop stressing about what happened in the past or might happen in the future. There are quite a few versions of this exercise and you’ll find the one that works best for you. The most common is to find three things that you can see, then three things you can hear, then three things that you’re currently touching. An important thing to note when coming up with your own method is to ensure that you’ll always be able to find what you’re looking for. For instance, you might try to find three different shapes because it brings you comfort to find patterns around you. But trying to find three people wearing hats isn’t always possible and your inability to find them could result in even more anxiety.
5. Create a More Positive Space
By creating a more positive space, you’ll give yourself a peaceful place to come home to or an oasis from the chaos of work. Start by decluttering and organizing and create a habit of keeping things this way. Cleaning can seem stressful in itself but it will ultimately get easier as you find the organizational system that works for you and the pros far outweigh the cons. Then begin decorating your space in a way that will bring you a sense of peace. Use cool or neutral colors, simple decorations and lots of plants.