Managing Anxiety Through Self-Care

Over 40 million adults in the United States suffer from an anxiety related disorder.  There are numerous prescription medications on the market dedicated to treating the symptoms of anxiety.  Yet, many who suffer from anxiety are seeking healthier and alternative ways to manage their anxiety.  If you suffer from anxiety and are seeking additional means to wellness, consider incorporating one or more of the following practices into your daily routine.

1.   Practice Daily Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing promotes mental clarity and relaxation. The key is to place yourself in a distraction free environment. Some prefer to lie down while others sit in an upward position. Inhale deeply through the nose and allow your stomach to expand. Engage the chest muscles and feel the fullness in your lungs. Then, exhale in a controlled manner. Perhaps even silently counting to four as you breathe out. Practice this a few times while concentrating on your breathing. By bringing full attention to your breaths, you are able to block out the anxieties surrounding you. 

2. Journaling for Stress Management

Documenting your thoughts, experiences, and emotions through journaling can have a large impact on your ability to manage stress. Writing, in general, challenges the mind to create content that expresses an emotion. When managing anxiety, writing down possible fears, gratitude lists, and honest emotions will assist with conquering negative thoughts. You will approach obstacles in an organized manner without feeling overwhelmed. In addition, writing can assist with self-exploration. Often times, anxiety is a result of feeling distant from the inner self. Such prompts will help to analyze yourself in order to reach understanding. Some include:

•    Three mantra’s I would like to live by are…
•    What are my three biggest fears and how can I overcome them?
•    What methods did I previously use to conquer a past challenge?

3. Creating Vision Boards

Vision boards are excellent ways to visually display goals, feelings, and affirmations. By doing so, you are able to organize your thoughts in a way that reduces anxiety of the future. In fact, a recent study found that, “Our brains prefer invented visual information to the real thing.” This statement solidifies the fact that creating a visual representation of your emotions can help to manage stress and lessen anxiety. In fact, the process behind making a vision board is relaxing in itself. By focusing your attention on creating something of value, you are redirecting that stress in a positive manner.

Incorporating practices such as these into your daily life can help reduce the effects of anxiety while forcing you to acknowledge your troubles head on. By doing so, you will reach an optimal level of wellness that makes the symptoms of anxiety manageable.

Monica Manuel