Real life Tips for Dealing with Anxiety – Part 3
In parts 1 and 2 we covered anxiety reducing tips like ‘emotion distraction’ games, breathing techniques, and body relaxation. In this last part of real life tips for dealing with anxiety we cover things like journaling, list writing, and cold showers.
I have found so many people swear by this method. Journaling, writing down feelings, identifying anxiety triggers, self-reflection exercises.
A woman I met recently told me she carries around a mini sized journal and it helps refocus her mind and calms her down when needed.
It may not be practical to keep a big journal with you at all times however perhaps a mini sized journal is an option.
Animals and Anxiety
As an animal lover I can’t say enough good things about them but of course they are not everyone’s cup of tea or not realistic to have.
Overall I think animal are great listeners, non-judgmental companions. Also being responsible for an animal’s welfare can add routine, purpose, and grounding to your life.
There is plenty of evidence that shows that having a pet or being around animals can have massive positive results in regard to lowering anxiety.
So if animals are your thing, finding ways to include them in your life can really have some positive benefits in not only lowering your anxiety but also feeling happier in general. If you don’t have a pet you could offer to walk a neighbour’s dog, visit an animal sanctuary, or visit a petting zoo etc.
Lists to reduce Anxiety
Often the simplest things can have the biggest impact. I think the three biggest upsides to list writing are 1. Reduce life chaos 2. Add structure and 3. Reward with achievement.
Often with anxiety it’s hard to make decisions, what to do next, should I do this or that? What to wear? Decision making can sometimes feel overwhelming and then adds to the anxiety itself.
The brain has this overwhelming need to process tasks so writing a list is something our brains love. It might only have a couple of things on it be as long as your arm.
Write your list and when you want to complete it by, once you have completed a task check it off.
Even if you don’t suffer from anxiety, list writing is a great way to dealing with problematic procrastination.
Anxiety and Online Gaming
Gaming can be a good way to switch off and distract from your anxiety symptoms. Studies have shown playing games can reduce stress and anxiety and also reduce depression levels. However on the flip-side it has also shown that if you have a predisposition to an anxiety disorder it can trigger or heighten those symptoms.
If playing games helps with your anxiety, great but if it adds to or causes anxious feelings probably best to limit the amount of time you spend playing them.
Social Anxiety and Social Media
Social media(SM) is such a big part of our lives now and is a great way to connect with others. SM can be an awesome way to find support for anxiety, sometimes an effective way to distract our busy minds, and a form of entertainment.
A lady I once spoke to said she doesn’t have a lot of people who understand what she goes through with anxiety. She also mentioned she suffers from social anxiety and struggles being around groups of people. She joined a couple of social anxiety support groups on FB and said it has helped so much to the point she can now go to the supermarket with way less anxiety, it’s a work in progress but is becoming more manageable.
However SM can also be a trigger for anxiety. Some anxiety suffers develop additional anxieties around Fear of missing out (FOMO), need to keep logging on and checking messages.
Like the gaming one above, if you find SM is adding to your anxiety, try limiting its use. On the other hand if it’s helping – great!
Heat Pad and Anxiety Tummy
Sometimes with anxiety you can get a sore or anxious tummy. Get yourself comfortable and cosy then try putting heat pad or hot water bottle on your stomach for a few minutes.
If you feel like you are about to have a panic attack or an anxiety episode try having a cold shower. The shock of the cold water is often just enough to stop a full on panic attack.
If you found these tips helpful you may also like part 1 and 2:
There are literally dozens of ways people manage their anxiety. In this final ‘real life tips for dealing with anxiety‘ we also touched on online gaming, social media, and heat pads for anxiety tummies.