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Anxiety… Five Tips on How to Deal

This blog post was written by Recovery Help Now’s, Amy Margolis, Registered MSW.

We all struggle with worry and anxiety. We all deal with sadness, joy, loss, new beginnings etc and it’s human nature to be affected. We are also living in a time of advanced technology, which makes it very hard to “shut off” even when we want to. Here are five tips to alleviate stress and worry in our lives.

Get Physical

Exercising three to five times a week is great for reducing anxiety and ridding the body of stress. I recommend letting go of black and white thinking when it comes to exercise. You don’t have to be training for a triathlon to “be exercising.” I also suggest picking something you enjoy. If you hate “going to the gym,” how long will you keep that up? Choose something you can keep up for a lifetime. It could be as simple as taking a walk in your neighborhood. The key is get moving and breathing to clear yourself of stress.

Keep a Journal

Writing is an invaluable tool in getting anxiety out on paper. i like to call it “draining your brain.” Your journaling doesn’t have to be eloquent or coherent.. You are not writing the great american novel. Your writing is for your eyes only. The point it to get the chaos of thoughts and feelings you are experiencing down on paper. It can often be freeing, too, to rip it up when you are done. This can be symbolic of letting it all go to the universe, your higher power, God, or something greater than yourself.

Get a Good Therapist

Give yourself the gift of a sacred space to bare all. Have you heard the phrase, “we are as sick as our secrets.” It’s true. Stuffing your feelings and putting on a good face for the world can greatly increase your anxiety. In therapy you can let it all out and feel unconditional acceptance. You will grow in self knowledge, esteem and love. You will also learn some great self soothing tools you can use at home to deal with anxiety and worry when they strike.

Meditate

Many people scoff at the word or feel intimidated by the prospect. The rule of thumb here is there is no right or wrong way to do it. I personally like to read something spiritual then close my eyes, breathe deeply and focus on that concept. I have clients who work full time and have very little time. They have found it useful to shut their office doors, set the alarm on their iPhones for 10 minutes, close their eyes and breathe.

Stay in the Present

If you stay in the present, there is nothing to fear. I love this mindfulness practice because you can pick it up any time during the day no matter what you are doing by making a choice to “be here now.” I have a friend who shared, “I gave up my parallel universe. When I am making coffee, I am making coffee. I don’t need to be having a conversation with my ex husband in my head that may never happen!” To be in the now, focus on your five (or six) senses and how each of them are experiencing the present moment. it may sound a lot more boring than regretting the past or worrying about the future, but if you make this practice a habit, your life will be full of much more peace and calm!

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