Jun 7, 2023 | Mental Health

Woman filling gratitude journal in sunlight, with coffee

Tips to Help Manage Anxiety

7

Last week, we discussed different types of anxiety disorders, and the importance of understanding what those who live with anxiety deal with daily. This week, we want to offer some tips on how to help manage anxiety, in the hopes they will help mitigate symptoms.  

Utilize technology 

While there is such a thing as too much technology, it can also have benefits in helping with anxiety. There are a variety of resources available online (but be mindful of how much information you are digesting and the source it is coming from). It is important to ensure you are using resources from credible sources and not taking advice from any and every blogger on the internet. Social media is another great place to find mental health tips and tricks (again keeping in mind how much you are consuming and from where). Some Instagram accounts we suggest checking out include: Annatheanxietycoach, neurodivergent_insights, therapy.with.katherine.

There are also some helpful apps that can guide you through breathing exercises, sleep stories and meditations to help when you are experiencing anxiety or panic attacks. Calm and Headspace are fantastic options. Apps are extremely beneficial especially for in the moment when you are triggered by certain situations. Listening to music or a podcast while running errands, such as in the grocery store, can also help keep you grounded, and your brain focused on something you enjoy. 

Write it out 

For people who live with anxiety, they spend a great deal of time in their minds. From overthinking to replaying interactions, our brains can often make us believe things that aren’t true. Writing out your feelings, and releasing it onto paper, can lighten your mental load. It can also be beneficial to read back what you have written so that you can reflect, and better understand your feelings. Keep track of your symptoms, and what you did, so that you can learn what does and doesn’t work for your anxiety.  

Journalling daily will allow you to express yourself free of judgement and is a wonderful tool to use not only for yourself, but if you are currently in, or considering, therapy so that you have a record of what you have experienced, and what you have tried to combat those feelings. 

If you prefer to use technology to track your health, apps like Bearable are great for visualizing your symptoms and enable you to monitor trends and patterns.  

Moving your body in small ways can often help mitigate anxiety symptoms.

Move your body 

We know that exercise isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It is easy to find excuses not to do it, but your body and your mind will thank you when you do. The key is finding something you enjoy. Whether that be walking outside, cycling, or a fitness class, do something that helps you release anxious energy.  

It is also important to remember that when you are experiencing anxiety, moving your body in small ways can often help. This could mean a quick stretch, turning on your favourite song and dancing, jumping in the same spot, or changing where you are sitting at home or at work. Movement can help distract your brain and allow you to refocus. 

“Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects.”  

ADAA.org

Cold exposure may also help when you are in the depths of anxiety. While we know it doesn’t sound enjoyable, it may be just what you need. So, when you feel your anxiety brewing to the surface, consider taking a cold shower, splashing cold water on your face, run your wrists under cold water or apply cold packs to your chest, neck or face. 

Talk it out 

Individuals living with anxiety often feel alone. The more we talk about mental health, we lessen the stigma and people won’t feel as isolated. Saying your thoughts and feelings out loud to someone you trust can offer a different perspective. Whether it be a family member, friend, or mental health professional, talking about your struggles can make a significant difference on your mental health.  

Reaching out and asking for help is not a sign of weakness. You are incredibly strong for acknowledging your struggle and the first step begins with seeking support. 

There is no “cure” for anxiety. Rather, there are resources and actions you can take to help reduce your symptoms to help you live a fuller life, with less anxiety.  

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with an anxiety disorder, please reach out for help.  

In Alberta, you can call 1-877-303-2642 to reach the Mental Health Helpline. This service is available 24/7 to provide support, information, and referrals to Albertans experiencing mental health concerns. 

For more support resources across Canada, view these links or visit Wellness Together Canada

Remember… you aren’t alone and there is someone on the other side waiting to walk through this with you. 

Learn more on this topic

Related Blog Posts

Tips to Help with Nighttime Anxiety

Tips to Help with Nighttime Anxiety

Do you find yourself having a hard time falling asleep at night or struggle falling back to sleep because your mind won’t stop racing? Often, our brains seem to work the hardest during the hours we should be enjoying much needed rest. Unfortunately, nighttime anxiety...

The Hidden Benefits of Music for Mental Health

The Hidden Benefits of Music for Mental Health

There is a special feeling that comes with hearing your favourite song. Whether it is one you have been listening to for many years or a new top choice, the connection we feel to music is both mental and physical. There are multiple mental health benefits associated...