Over the years, surveys have shown that anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in the country. About 40 million Americans—or almost 20% of the U.S. adult population—suffer from anxiety to some degree.
Is anxiety something that takes a toll on you on a regular basis? If so, you should learn about some of the different ways in which you can handle anxiety better than you do now.
The good news is that there are lots of ways to handle anxiety. You can try a few of your different options out to see how well that they work for you.
Before you do, though, you should find out a little bit more about each of them and see how to handle anxiety with them. It’ll make it much easier for you to get a grip on your anxiety from now on.
Check out nine methods for dealing with anxiety below.
1. Practice Deep Breathing Exercises
When you get yourself really worked up over something, what is the first thing that someone will usually say to you? More often than not, they’re going to tell you to take a few deep breaths and try to relax.
You can take this same approach to trying to handle anxiety better. It’s pretty amazing to see just how effective that something as simple as deep breathing can be.
But you shouldn’t just randomly start breathing as heavy as you can. All that’s going to do is leave you feeling dizzy and short of breath.
Instead, you should practice a deep breathing exercise. It might look a little something like this:
- Breathe in while counting up to 4
- Breathe out while counting up to 4
- Repeat these steps over and over again for about 5 minutes
You can also try what’s called straw breathing if you would like. It’s another great breathing exercise for those with anxiety.
Although you’re not going to be doing anything other than breathing, you’re going to be surprised to see how it instantly begins to change your mood. Your heart rate will slow down, which will make you feel better about your current situation by alleviating any anxiety that you may have been feeling.
2. Put a Meditation Practice Into Place
If you like the way that you feel after you’re done doing a breathing exercise, then you’re really going to like the way that you feel after meditating. It’s why you should strongly consider putting a meditation practice into place if you’re trying to figure out the best way to handle anxiety.
There are lots of different forms of meditation that you can try. Mindfulness meditation is one of the best ones for those who are struggling with anxiety. But you can also try one of these kinds of meditation if you would like:
- Spiritual meditation
- Mantra meditation
- Transcendental meditation
- Loving-kindness meditation
- Movement meditation
We won’t lie to you: Meditation isn’t going to be easy for everyone to master! Despite the obvious advantages that come along with meditating, there are many people who have a tough time getting the hang of it.
But if you’re able to learn how to meditate for extended periods of time, it can help you to take control of your anxiety. Those interested in learning how to handle anxiety attacks, in particular, should at least consider giving meditation a try.
3. Make Exercise a Bigger Part of Your Life
Do you get the recommended amount of exercise every week? If you don’t, it could wreak havoc on your health over time.
Those who don’t exercise on a routine basis are going to be at an increased risk for health issues. There’s also going to be a greater chance of them becoming obese and having to deal with the health complications that can come along with it.
A lack of exercise could also have you wondering how to handle anxiety and how to handle depression. It has been known to result in mental health problems for some people.
You can turn this trend around by making exercise a bigger part of your day-to-day life. Most people report feeling a whole lot less anxious when they go out for a run or hit the gym at least a few times each week.
When you exercise, your body is going to release feel-good endorphins that will boost your mood. These endorphins can also help to keep anxiety and depression at bay.
It’s worth noting that there are some people who actually feel more anxious when they exercise due to certain triggers. But for the most part, people usually report feeling better about their mental health when they make exercise more of a priority.
4. See If Aromatherapy Does the Trick
The next time that you feel yourself getting very anxious, why not use the power of scent to your advantage? Some people have said that aromatherapy is able to help them handle anxiety better overall.
There are certain scents that might be able to knock out your anxiety when it begins to take hold of you. These scents include:
Whether you use essential oils, incense, or even candles, you can get some of these scents into the air in your home and see whether or not they help you when it comes to anxiety.
The great thing about using aromatherapy is that it’s not going to require much effort on your part. You won’t have to adjust your routine too much in order to get the smell of lavender into the air.
You might even want to think about incorporating aromatherapy into some of the other methods suggested here so that you’re able to do battle with your anxiety even more effectively than you would be able to otherwise.
5. Tinker With Your Diet
How is your diet right now? We ask because it’s yet another thing that could have more of an impact on your mental health than you might realize.
If you aren’t putting certain things into your body through the foods that you eat and the supplements that you take, you might find yourself feeling more anxious than you should. Your anxiety could very well be a reaction to the lack of nutrients in your body.
If you don’t have the best diet in the world, you should attempt to add a few things to it to bring your anxiety levels back down to earth. Here are a few things that you should try to incorporate into your diet to lower your anxiety:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Green tea
- Lemon balm
- Valerian root
Don’t sleep on the potential power of dark chocolate, either! While too much dark chocolate could end up being bad for your health, just the right amount of it might help you handle anxiety and other mental health conditions.
6. Speak With Your Doctor About Anxiety Medications
If your anxiety has gotten completely out of control in recent months, you might want to schedule an appointment with your doctor and talk to them about your situation. They’re going to ask you a series of questions to try to gauge where your anxiety could be coming from.
If they suspect that you might be able to benefit from one of the many anxiety medications out there, they can then provide you with a prescription for one. There are more than a few options for your doctor to choose from.
Taking an anxiety medication isn’t always going to clear your anxiety up right away. In fact, it might take you several months of experimenting with different medications and different dosages before you see any real results.
But it would be worth exploring how some of the medications that are available might be able to help you with anxiety. They could be the answer to your prayers when you’ve had it with anxiety.
7. Take THC and CBD Out for a Test Drive
If you like the idea of taking something to help with your anxiety but you don’t like the idea of taking anxiety medications, there might be another good option for you. Some people have started to experiment with THC and CBD to make their anxiety symptoms go away.
As you’ll see when you read this article from 3Chi, Delta-8 and CBD are cannabinoids that might be able to help those who suffer from anxiety. Those who have used them to treat anxiety have often experienced positive results.
There is still a decent amount of research that needs to be done on Delta-8 and CBD and their impacts on anxiety. But for now, it’s an option that you might want to consider running with. It could prove to be one of the most reliable ways to handle anxiety.
8. Book a Session With a Therapist
Deep down, there is often something that is causing you to suffer from anxiety. It could be caused by something as simple as your work life or something as complex as a childhood trauma that you never addressed directly.
Whatever the case, you should try to get to the bottom of your anxiety by booking a session with a therapist in your area. They’ll be able to diagnose you with an anxiety disorder and help you figure out what might be causing it.
During your first session with a therapist, they’ll talk to you about your life and try to uncover whether or not you actually have an anxiety disorder. From there, they’ll dig a little bit deeper in an attempt to see where your anxiety is coming from.
You can then choose to continue to work with a therapist to get a better handle on your anxiety as you move forward. They might recommend something like cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, which is designed to help people change the negative thought patterns that they often have when they have anxiety.
There are currently more than 100,000 licensed psychologists operating throughout the country. You should see which ones work with those in your community and make an appointment with one.
9. Learn to Identify Your Anxiety Triggers and Avoid Them at All Costs
One of the things that you’re going to learn when you start seeing a therapist to battle back against your anxiety is that there are certain things that will trigger your anxiety. A big part of learning how to handle anxiety is identifying these triggers and staying away from them.
Work is often a trigger for anxiety for many people. Caffeine is also a trigger. There are many other triggers as well, including:
- Chronic pain
It’s obviously not going to be possible to eliminate each and every trigger from your life in an effort to get rid of anxiety. There’s no getting around doing something like working.
But when you know that something like work is causing anxiety, you can be a whole lot more mindful of how you approach it. Doing something as simple as getting more organized at work or changing your role at work could be enough to help you handle anxiety.
You’re going to put yourself at a huge disadvantage if don’t take the time to identify your triggers so that you can steer clear of them whenever possible.
You Can Handle Anxiety More Effectively by Utilizing These Methods
People who suffer from anxiety often struggle to find a solution for it. They don’t know what in the world they’re supposed to do to manage their anxiety whenever it comes around.
But as you’ve learned here today, there are lots of things that you can try to handle anxiety. From breathing exercises and meditation to anxiety medications and therapy sessions, there is no shortage of options for those who are sick and tired of living with anxiety.
Any time you can start to feel your anxiety coming on, you should try out one of the many methods that we’ve mentioned. You should find yourself in a much better place after putting one of them to the test.
Would you like to learn some other good coping strategies for people dealing with anxiety? Find them by poking around on the rest of our blog.