Anxiety is one of the most prominent mental health conditions in the world. It can range in severity from person to person: Some struggle with it consistently, while others experience flare-ups triggered by life events.
The good news is that you can learn to manage your anxiety more effectively, both in counseling and by implementing some simple coping strategies. Here are 10 daily habits that will help make your symptoms more manageable so you can feel in control of your life again.
1. Talk to Someone
Seeing a therapist will help you overcome your anxiety, but sharing your issues with anxiety with people you trust every day can also help you manage your symptoms. You don’t have to suffer in silence. It can be enormously helpful to tell someone you’re close to that you suffer from anxiety, rather than trying to keep that a secret. When we’re less ashamed of having anxiety and can admit to it, it tends not to take center stage in the same way. We often find that others are similarly struggling as well!
2. Exercise Daily
There are so many physical benefits to getting enough exercise, but it can improve your mental health, too. Exercise regulates your brain’s response to stress and alleviates feelings of anxiety almost immediately.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Often, anxiety focuses on worries about the past or fear of the future. By practicing mindfulness, you learn to ground yourself in the present moment by focusing on your breathing and noticing your surroundings. Just spending a few minutes being mindful can prevent your anxious thoughts from taking over.
4. Be Grateful
Gratitude can do wonders for your mental health, especially in moments when you’re feeling anxious. By choosing to be grateful, you can shift your perspective and keep your anxious thoughts in check. Practicing gratitude can take your mind away from worry and allow you to focus on the good things in your life rather than the negative fears.
5. Start a Journal
Another way to shift your perspective is to start journaling. Writing down what you’re thinking and feeling each day can help you to take control of your anxious thoughts. When you see them on paper, they might not feel as threatening or overwhelming. As a bonus, you can look back on past journal entries to see how far you’ve come in your treatment.
6. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Establishing a healthy sleep routine every night is crucial to reducing your anxiety. Not getting enough sleep can make your symptoms so much worse. While it might seem impossible to get a good night’s rest if your symptoms are spiking, going to bed at the same time each night and practicing other good sleep hygiene habits, such as avoiding electronics in the evening, will help.
7. Treat Yourself
Self-care has become more popular than ever, and for plenty of good reasons! While everything listed here so far could be considered a form of self-care, treating yourself to little things every day can really make a difference with your anxiety. Pick up a bouquet of flowers for yourself at the market or indulge in that croissant that was calling your name at the bakery. Little moments of peace and happiness can really put some perspective on your anxious thinking.
8. Limit Your Social Media Intake
Social media has become a way of life for most people, but it can also serve as an anxiety trigger. Whether you see a news story someone posted or something a friend says makes you worry, social media isn’t always the best place to foster a sense of calm. While you don’t need to get rid of it completely, it’s a good idea to monitor your time and limit how often you check social media.
9. Keep Things Neat and Clean
Decluttering, picking things up around the house, and cleaning might not seem like great anxiety-management strategies at first glance, but they can actually work in two different ways. First, they cause us to pay attention to our present-moment actual lives rather than the imaginary problems in our head. Second, keeping a clean and organized house gives you one less thing to worry about or stress over. The sense of order you create in your home has a way of impacting the sense of order you feel in your head, creating a sense of calm.
10. Get Outside
Spending time outside is wonderful for your mental health, giving you a boost of energy and happiness. Simply stepping outdoors can help you to fight back against anxious thoughts and offer you a spike in serotonin. Even getting outside for just a few minutes a day can make a difference.
As you can see, you can incorporate many habits into your daily life that can reduce your anxiety and help you manage your symptoms. While seeking out professional treatment should be your first priority, these are things you can do on your own to supplement treatment and start taking control once again.