After posting my recent post about how living with anxiety makes me strong, I received lots of positive feedback about my openness, but also lots of questions asking me for the strategies that I use. I was initially hesitant to write this post because I am not an expert by any means. I just write about my own personal experiences.  In my day job, I am a teacher, I am most definitely not a medical expert. However, I know what works for me, and if it could help just one person, I thought it was worth a go. So, with that in mind, I decided to write the seven things that I find help me to manage my anxiety, enabling me to get on with my daily life.

Routine and planning

Personally, I find my anxiety worsens when there is a huge change to my usual routine so I try to keep to a pretty similar routine on a day-to-day basis that way, there isn’t too much change.  This just means that I don’t have to worry about the small things as they are already organised and I have control over as much of my life as possible.

Routine and planning to help anxiety

 

I try to plan as much as possible in advance so that I am prepared but also so that I have time to deal with anything else that may occur. I always worry about oversleeping so I tend to prepare everything the night before. This way, if I do wake up late, I have time to play with.

Making time for yourself

This links to my previous point, but it’s really important to make time for yourself. For me, that’s reading a good book, blogging, seeing friends and watching makeup tutorials on YouTube. I have to plan this time in, because if I don’t I will find extra housework to do just for the sake of it. This extra time to be myself gives me enough time to recharge my batteries, reflect and rest.

Journaling

Writing a Worry Tree

When I was expecting my youngest, I had an incredible difficult pregnancy and spent lots of time poorly. Because I couldn’t relax, I had a couple of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) sessions to help me to mange my worries. This is where I learnt the Worry Tree technique. It involves creating a branching diagram to rationalise any worries by asking questions so that you can see  in black and white that the likelihood of a disaster is pretty slim whilst also coming up with a solution to a problem. It’s a good exercise for anyone whose anxiety causes them to turn any everyday situation into impending doom.  This website is very useful when explaining how to create a worry tree for anyone who would like to try creating one.

Another similar technique, which I also use is asking myself – ‘Will this matter in 1 minute, 1 hour etc..?’ to help me decipher how important the issue is.  Quite often, just realising that I won’t even remember it a year, let alone be bothered by it, helps to reduce anxiety.

Monitor my sugar intake

It seems to be well-known that sugar has a negative impact on the body, the links between sugar and anxiety are becoming better understood.  Sugar doesn’t cause my anxiety but it does make me extremely tired, and then I can’t prepare as I’m exhausted As a result, I feel stressed and panicky.  I’m trying hard to monitor my sugar intake and eat as cleanly as possible. In addition, I have found that getting out of the car and going for a long walk also helps to keep anxiety at bay.

My favourite book

Talking

I don’t really think it matters too much who you speak to, as long as they have a sympathetic ear. Those closest to me are aware of my anxiety and I always tell them what my triggers are so that there is someone keeping a watchful eye over me. Bizarrely, I am quite good in extreme situations as the organiser in me takes over. But sometimes I can find relatively straightforward situations overwhelming so I then talk it through with someone who can help me to rationalise it in my head.

Medication

I see nothing wrong with taking medication. Nobody would look down on me for taking a painkiller if I had toothache, so I’m not sure why medication for mental health issues is stigmatised. Personally, I am unable to take any sort of medication due to a conflict with the medication I take for my heart. However, the tablets that I take daily to control my SVT also help to reduce the physical side of anxiety ( rapid heart rate) which means that I know a full-blown panic attack is unlikely to happen and that is a huge relief.

Happiness Planner

Acceptance

Acceptance is probably the biggest and most important part of my battle with anxiety. I no longer feel ashamed of it, and I don’t feel the need to hide it. Accepting that it is simply a part of who I am actually means that it becomes less of a problem. It bothers me a lot less as I’ve got older. Knowing that it’s never going to fully go away  means that I don’t berate myself when I’m feeling anxious. I take a deep breath, work through a Worry Tree and get through it as best I can.

How do you manage to keep anxiety at bay?

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7 Ways I Manage my Anxiety

 

48 thoughts on “7 Ways I Manage My Anxiety”

  1. This is a brilliant post! I too live with anxiety and completely agree with everything you said. Thank you for speaking about having anxiety, the more people discuss mental health the less of a taboo it will be 🙂 x

  2. Thank you so much for reading. I really hope that by raising awareness that discussing mental health does become less of a taboo as it is an issue for so many people. xx

  3. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is incredible and I always recommend it. I’ve also found that meditation, yoga, and exercise help me manage my anxieties.

  4. I have anxiety myself and one of the best ways of dealing with it is as you stated planning and ensuring that there is not much change to your routine. When something does not go as planned I get anxious xx

  5. Unexpected change is my biggest trigger. I’m getting better but still find planning ahead the best thing for me

  6. I have never dealt with anxiety before but just like everything else, it’s good to have a plan on how to deal with it. I think these are wonderful ideas. It’s nice to take some time for yourself.

  7. Following a schedule means you have less things to worry about because it’s all planned out. That definitely eliminates chances of experiencing anxiety. It’s important to have some me-time as well. Talking is great, for me I find that writing really helps!

  8. In a world that moves so fast, and demands so much, I know that everyone, including myself, has suffered at least one episode of anxiety. I know it is a horrible feeling that makes you feel completely out of control.

    Though I can’t say I suffer from this condition, I can say I have experience it when I feel I have many pending things to do. When this happens, I write down a list of all the different things that I am worried about, and that are causing me anxiety. Once written down, I can clearly see which ones need immediate attention, and which ones can wait . . . really wait. It absolutely eases my mind when I see that normally 9 out 10 items in my list can be done later on.

    This is an amazing way to ease the mind…everyone should try it!

  9. Thanks very much for this. These are really great strategies. I am new to anxiety and am learning to cope with all of my anxious feelings and these will be helpful as I learn and grow. Thanks again!

  10. This is a helpful post. I also have anxiety and thank God I found a blogger friend who is always there to listen despite her busy schedule. I admire people who are supportive of others who experience anxiety.

  11. So glad you have support. I have friends that understand too and it makes it a whole lot easier to manage. Thanks for reading.

  12. This is a great list to share for people who are really suffering from anxiety. Making a Worry Tree sounds like a relaxing way to do it, since you’ll be able to minimize the level of it by asking yourself questions if it’s worth your time or to better just move on.

  13. I love that you posted about this. So many people suffer with anxiety, myself included, and sometimes just hearing what other people do to cope can be helpful!

  14. When my brother was diagnosed with a heart condition he developed panic attacks. At first I couldn’t understand it but now I see how it can happen. Knowing what to do when you get one helps alot to keep it under control.

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