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Coping Skills For Anxiety: Riding Out The Wave

This blog post was written by Recovery Help Now’s, Cindy Nigro, Registered MFTi.

One useful tip for coping with anxiety is to practice riding it out, rather than trying to resist or fight it. Fighting anxiety takes energy and causes stress.  The practice of going with the flow can save you energy and protect you from feeding into your anxiety and increasing it.

When our thoughts are stirred up by anxiety or unwelcome negative emotions they crash in and out of our minds like waves. Big waves might be challenging, or even frightening, to an inexperienced swimmer, but they are no problem to someone who knows how to float on top of them.

The point of this metaphor is that we can all learn to float, instead of letting the waves of anxiety knock you off your feet, you can practice floating and let them wash in and out without resisting.

The trick is to understand that anxiety also comes in waves: it comes and it goes. The waves of anxiety don’t stay forever; they will eventually roll back and leave you with peacefulness.

It isn’t possible to hold back the waves in the ocean, and to try and hold back the waves in our minds is also impossible. In addition to being impossible, trying to hold back anxious thoughts is exhausting.  Embrace the knowledge that anxiety waves will pass, let them come and go, watch and wait.

How do you cope with anxiety?  Share your thoughts with us!

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