anxiety management: life hacks, mindset tips and self-help for anxiety

anxiety management: life hacks, mindset tips and self-help for anxiety

silhouette of a woman lost in thought, struggling with anxiety management. a low battery sign to indicate exhaustion. abstract background for contrast

Many people are afflicted by anxiety disorders. If you’re one of them, keep in mind that you’re not alone. There are things you can do to manage your anxiety and have a more enjoyable life. In this post, I’ll give you some tips on changing your mindset, life hacks for anxiety management, and self-help advice.

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How do you handle stress?

First of all, I want to make sure that we all understand that anxiety is a natural response to stress. The fight or flight response has been part of us since the start of our existence, and that is most certainly why the human species managed to survive to this day. In modern times, however, this anxiety response is not as useful as it once was.

Of course, there are still plenty of uses to the fight or flight response, and listening to your gut when it says “don’t do it” is often a very good idea. That panic you feel in your brain is what sends the stress signal to your body, which I imagine sounds something like: NEED ADRENALINE NOW OR WE DIE!

And while I would love to say that we don’t need that in this day and age, there are still many individuals looking to prey on other people.

Gone are the days of needing the panic adrenaline to run away from wild beasts.

Still, we no longer have daily encounters with deadly animals, and crime has gone way down. It may not seem that way, since we hear so much more about it, but that’s because people kept a lot of crimes hush hush, and news weren’t so easily broadcast.

It’s like I’m hearing the battle music but there are no enemies around

Evolution hasn’t really figured that one out yet, so a lot of us end up with a lot of anxiety, but the good news is that there are ways to manage the symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks.

Let’s get you some anxiety tips!

Identifying your anxiety triggers and avoiding them where possible is a very good start. It’s not a bad thing to avoid certain triggering things, and it doesn’t make you a weak person. It makes you the person who decided to learn about your anxiety, dive into self-help for anxiety management, and you came out the other side with a good strategy.

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes. They can aggravate your anxiety symptoms and decreasing your consumption should help bringing your overall stress down to a lower, more manageable level.

Take a breather.

Forgive the pun(or don’t) but breathing exercises can help tremendously to manage your anxiety. I practice deep breathing exercises and guided meditation for anxiety whenever I feel overwhelmed. I made a short page of guided mindfulness tips for anxiety and panic disorders, I encourage you to take a look! If you don’t have the mindset for it(it can happen, sometimes I just can’t settle down enough) at least take a break from whatever you’re doing and clear your head.

"breathe in, breathe out... nope. still dead inside" funny quote. features a skeleton in a meditation position, and a mandala in the background.

Should you be interested, check out “how to deal with your daily anxiety” workbook where I tell you everything I’ve learned about how to manage anxiety.

Wow, you are being so rude to yourself, right now.

Practice self-compassion and forgiveness – accept that you are human and make mistakes. We all do. Most of us have regrets, over past things, as well as past situations that we wish we had handled better. That is growth.

These past things bother you because you would know how to handle these situations better today, and that is a good thing. Don’t beat yourself up for things had yet to learn.

It is a good idea to be mindful of your thoughts and try not to dwell on the negative ones too much. that mindset is destructive, and a big reason why a lot of us practice subconscious self-sabotage.

Make time for relaxation and stress-relieving activities

Make time for yourself each day to relax and rejuvenate, even if it’s just 10 minutes of quiet contemplation. I enjoy meditating before sleep because it feels like a natural time to do it and I sometimes drift off to sleep during my meditation. It also helps prevent having issues with anxiety before bed, which I often struggle with.

If you can, I suggest finding a guided meditation specifically for anxiety, but if you don’t care much for guided meditation, maybe some ASMR and relaxation videos from my YouTube channel are more your style.

Exercise and fresh air both help to reduce stress levels. If you are very disabled like me, exercise is a bit trickier, but you can open up some windows or sit outside(but close to your home) for some fresh air and sunlight anytime.

Get enough sleep

Ah, my favourite tip for anxiety management. Get enough sleep. Easy, right?? Whoever originally wrote this tip decidedly did not experience anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, I entirely agree that getting enough sleep is one of the best coping strategies for an anxiety disorder. It’s also very difficult to control.

Thanks, captain obvious.

The absolute insomniac in me can never control a snort and laugh when my doctor tells me I need to sleep more.

Tried that. Never actually managed to get more sleep, but I sure tried.

Professional help

If you notice that your anxiety or panic attacks (or both) are getting way out of hand, please talk to someone about how you’re feeling, whether it’s a friend, a therapist, or an online support group. Speaking to your general practitioner may also be a good idea, as they may prescribe meds for you to see if they help with your troubles.

Just make sure to reach out. Anxiety can be extremely overwhelming, and it’s better to get some help before having a full-on mental breakdown.

is crying a coping mechanism?

Yes. a hundred times yes! Crying is a very normal reaction to things like overwhelm, guilt, sadness and other things.

Women; it doesn’t make you “emotional.”

Men; boys DO cry, and internalizing emotions is a lot more painful in the long run than having a good cry now.

man having a panic attack, covering his ears. text in capital letters "TOUGHEN UP!" with a red NO across it. at the top, one line of text reading "put an end to the idea that men can't have feelings"

Coping skills are important for anxiety because a lot of our anxiety comes from a vicious cycle of “panicking about previous panic”. By that, I mean that our anxiety can get worse over time by compounding on itself, even without much outside involvement.

That is why having good coping skills, and implementing them on a regular basis, is key to keeping your overall anxiety levels down.

Speaking of coping mechanisms, I have a few resources for you here:

Sign up for my email list for a free Anxiety Management + Self-Care Checklist ♥ which can also help to calm down during a full-blown panic attack by giving you something to else focus on + steps to follow.

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