Anxiety Management Strategies
Anxiety is something that many of us are all too familiar with… and for good reason! Whether it be the state of the world, what’s going on in our personal lives, or whatever crazy things our human brains tell us on the daily… anxiety can spike up just about anywhere. It’s unpleasant and uncomfortable, but know that you are not alone.
My journey with anxiety started 7+ years ago and I’ve had ebbs and flows ever since. Sometimes I feel good for a long period of time… and other times, it feels like the world is caving in for days on end.
This week’s episode on our podcast, ReDIScover, is titled Anxiety Management Strategies. This has been one of the most requested podcast topics to date, and it is now streaming on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
This episode goes through many different strategies that both myself and my podcast partner, Kristen, have tried over the years. Everything we mentioned is safe to try at home, especially in moderation. While some of these may work for you, others may not, and that is okay. The effectiveness will vary from person to person.
For some people, the auditory podcast format is enjoyable to listen to, but for others who are more visual, I wanted to create a blog post that you could read along. Plus, this is a great reference if you want to skim through to find bits of information you heard us discuss in the episode.
Ultimately, even though we can’t flip a magic switch and get rid of anxiety completely, there definitely are ways to manage it. Perhaps this list will inspire you to find a new technique new to try!
Without further ado… we present the written version of Anxiety Management Strategies!
**Disclaimer – These recommendations are all based on personal experiences and are not medically derived. We are not medical professionals and do not claim any of this to be “true” or “fact.” Our “tips” are merely based on what we have tried in our own. These strategies are not guaranteed to work for everyone.
The Road Jess Traveled is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
Let’s Get Started!
1. Focus on What You “Can” and “Can’t” Control
Sometimes when we’re feeling anxious, we unconsciously decide to take on all of the world’s problems. That’s just not fair to one tiny human!
So instead, take a step back and make a list of all of the things you can control and all of the things you can’t control. Let’s reframe how we look at things!
Things you can control: How you respond to situations, how much time you spend on social media, how much kindness and grace you give to others and yourself, etc.
Things you cannot control: How other people respond to you, predicting what is going to happen, solving the world problem’s in one day all by yourself, etc.
You are now allowed to release and let go of the things you can’t control at this very moment. Take a deep breath and let it go.
2. Rationalize Within Yourself
Whether or not we realize it, we are talking to ourselves all day long. But spoiler alert – you are not your thoughts! How freeing is that?!
Pretend you are having a conversation with your brain and start to ask it questions – “Is this actually true? Are these thoughts serving me? What could be a better feeling thought just for this moment? What does my body need to feel better?” Try to tune in and listen to yourself – you have more answers than you realize!
3. Identify the Root Cause
This is another great opportunity to ask yourself some questions. Are you experiencing anxiety because you are hungry or tired? Are you are sick? Do you not feel set up for success? Is it because you don’t feel safe? Did you drink coffee this morning and did the caffeine create an anxious reaction?
Dig a little deeper and see if you can gain clarity for yourself. If so, that gives you a better idea of how to nurture your body and your mind.
Also, I just wanted to make a quick note – it can be very easy to confuse anxiety and intuition! Just remember that intuition comes from an expansive and peaceful energy and anxiety comes from a more contracted, stressful, or fearful energy. Remember that when asking yourself those questions!
4. If There Isn’t a Root Cause… Allow & Accept That.
After going through the questions from the previous point… sometimes you still cannot come up with an answer. And guess what? That is okay. Sometimes anxiety just happens. However, further stress can perpetuate if we get mad at ourselves for not being able to pinpoint a cause.
So hey, if you’re feeling anxious for no reason, just allow the anxiety. What we resist persists, so the less resistance the better. It is completely okay to feel what you feel, no matter what your timetable is. Take a deep breath and try to accept that the anxiety just exists. You don’t have to like it, you just have to allow it to flow through. Just for this moment.
Remember, this too shall pass.
Affirmations are extremely life-changing. You’re essentially reprogramming your subconscious mind and shifting your beliefs to something more aligned with your ideal lifestyle.
Even if the affirmations sound silly at first (because trust me, they very well could!) stick with them as best as you can! Affirming what you want to experience can be such an incredible game-changer.
One of my biggest and life-changing tips is checking out Louise Hay. Her affirmation work is exceptionally transformative – she actually healed herself through the power of affirmations and positive self-talk. I will include a few links below to books and a YouTube video I love:
- Book: You Can Heal Your Life
- Workbook: You Can Heal Your Life Workbook
- One (of many) Youtube Videos: Positive Affirmations to Change Your Attitude
6. Body Scanning
This is a great visualization exercise. Close your eyes and take some deep breaths. Start at the very top of your head and place your focus on each body part – top of the head, eyebrows, eyes, nose, mouth… all the way down to the tips of your toes.
This is a great exercise to do when you’re feeling anxious because it gets you back in your body. It’s also great to do right before bed! See if you can discover where you are holding stress, tension, and pain as well. You can use this technique to further cultivate a partnership with your body!
Breathwork is such an incredible tool for relieving stress and practicing mindfulness. There are so many different techniques, as well!
One of my favorite breathwork practices is: in for the count of 4, hold for 4, and exhale for 4. It helps so much, especially when I feel the anxiety in my chest.
Another great one is alternate nostril breathing. Cover one nostril and breathe in, hold for a count of 4, and then exhale, hold for a count of 4, and switch.
There are so many other ways you can practice breathwork, though. Of course, Youtube is a phenomenal resource if you are looking for a video format! Additionally, I will link a few book references below that highlight breathwork practices below:
- How to Breathe: 25 Simple Practices for Calm, Joy, and Resilience
- Embody Your Magick: A Guided Journal for the Modern Witch
8. Light Visualizations
One of my favorite visualization techniques out there is visualizing white light. White light is extremely cleansing and purifying (and divine!), so it can unblock any stored negative energy that you may have in your body.
You can close your eyes and imagine being completely wrapped in white light. Another method is breathing in white light through your nose and having it fill every crevice of your body. Or you could envision the light coming straight down through your crown chakra or the top of your head. There are so many ways to implement this!
Another light visualization I adore is the Violet Flame. This is when you imagine wrapping things in a purple fire. Violet Flame is exceptionally high vibrational and can transmute energy in miraculous ways. Close your eyes and wrap yourself in the Violet Flame. Or you could even wrap your car, an airplane you’re traveling in, your loved ones, your home, etc. in this purple fire. It is one of the most useful spiritual tools out there to clear energy, but even if you’re not spiritual you can definitely try this visual anyways! It’s very soothing to envision.
9. Guided Meditations
Meditation has endless beneficial properties. When it comes to anxiety, it’s one of my go-to tools. Cultivating a consistent meditation practice is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself. It helps you become present in the moment of your meditation, so you can ultimately carry that presence with you throughout the day.
You’re not always going to be in the headspace for meditating, but that’s okay! That’s why it’s called a practice. Use this tool when it feels aligned with you. (trust me, it varies for me depending on the day, as well. But I still regard it as one of my all-time favorites!)
You can try out apps like Headspace, Calm, or Insight Timer.
Or, just head over to YouTube! Get creative with your searches. I usually type in “Guided Meditation for ________.” (anxiety, worry, letting go, uncertainty, relaxation, etc.) Some of my favorite meditation guides on YouTube are:
10. Lean Into Your Spirituality
Everyone has a different relationship with Spirituality. Whether you are spiritual, religious, unsure of where you stand, or somewhere in between, there’s always something to explore there.
If you’re on/starting a Spiritual Journey, check out this post I wrote earlier this year. There may be some book recommendations in there that could help with an anxiety journey as well. It’s called: Beginning Your Personal Development and/or Spiritual Journey? YOU NEED THIS BOOKLIST!
The beautiful thing about Spirituality is that there is a lot of “trust” involved, which is a skill we often need to exercise to manage our anxiety.
During some of my darkest times, I experimented with Reiki Energy Healing, Healing Touch Therapy, Intuitive Readings, Manifesting, etc. This may or may not resonate with you, but over time, this opened up such broadened awareness for me, especially when it came to my mental health journey. If it wasn’t for the anxiety and feeling so uncomfortable in my body, I would have probably never explored these modalities that I now absolutely love!
Whether you know every crystal and meaning by heart or you just think crystals are pretty to look at… they can be very good for anxiety! Even just having something to hold in your hand is really nice in times of stress. Plus, crystals are infused with healing properties, so finding one that aligns with easing anxiety, grounding, relieving stress, and clearing negativity can be really helpful!
I have found Amythest to be really helpful on my personal journey!
12. Worship Music, Devotionals, and Scripture
If Christianity is more of what resonates with you, diving into things like listening to worship music, doing devotionals, or reading scriptures can be very comforting in times of anxiousness. They help you remember that God’s got this and you are truly not alone!
Kristen recommends reading Psalms, The Book of Romans, and Ephesians for some guidance when it comes to anxiety!
Also, there are such things as Journaling Bibles where you can read and write any notes that come up for you during your independent study! This could provide a great space for you to keep track of your empowering and inspirational takeaways.
13. Get Outside
Although it can be really tempting to stay indoors and comfortable in bed all day, maybe set a goal for yourself to get outside for a minimum of 5-10 minutes each day. Breathe in some fresh air, go get the mail, play fetch with your dog in the backyard… things as simple as that can shake up your energy!
14. Feel the Glow of the Sun
The feeling of the sun warming up your skin can be so rejuvenating and calming. Plus, get some Vitamin D while you’re at it! Step outside, take some deep breaths, and be extra observant of the sensation of the sun warming up your body from the inside out. Feel the sun on your closed eyelids and bask in the glory of earth’s greatest energy source.
Also, don’t forget to wear your SPF!
15. Going for a Walk or a Run
Getting some sort of movement is, of course, so good for our health and wellbeing. On anxious days, tune into your body and see what it wants! Does it want gentle exercise today? Then just take a minimum 10-minute walk around the neighborhood! Does the anxiety want you to get moving? Then maybe a jog or a run would be more suitable for you that day! This one can be very intuitively guided. Getting up and moving around can truly work wonders.
16. “Find Your Mountain Top”
This is a phrase that Kristen mentioned in the episode. When she says “Find Your Mountain Top,” she’s referring to finding a safe space that you can claim as your own. Whether that is a certain beach, a quiet spot in the park, or a literal mountain top, make this space somewhere that can be a sanctuary for you when you feel anxious. It can be somewhere you can drive or walk to where you can find your inner calm. It definitely helps if it’s somewhere in nature and very beautiful, too – that can really help you achieve that inner tranquility!
17. Stand Barefoot in the Grass
This one is a personal favorite of ours. Take your shoes off and stand barefoot in the grass. Really focus on the sensations – Wiggle your toes and take note of how the grass feels. Do you feel any dirt underneath your feet? Do you feel the wind blowing on your face? This not only gets you grounded in the moment but it also grounds you into the earth. It’s a great reminder that you are always being supported by this beautiful planet we call home.
18. Get Grounded
Like I described above, standing barefoot in the grass is one way to get grounded. However, there are so many ways you can do this!
Usually, when we are not grounded (aka experiencing anxiety) that could mean our Root Chakra is out of balance. YouTube search some meditations on healing your Root Chakra!
I love Madeline Rinehart’s Clearing Stuck Energy Meditations on YouTube, she has one for each chakra including the Root!
Another visualization you can do is imagining a root going down from the base of your spine and connecting to the center of the earth. And then a beam of light connecting from the top of your head, going up through the sky, and hooking onto the stars or the clouds! You instantly become anchored in place.
There are so many other ways to get grounded – spending time in nature, other mediations and visualizations, practicing mindfulness, and overly observing little details of what is going on in the present moment. Anxiety can make us feel very scattered so these practices can help us feel more centered.
19. Become Aware of Your Circadian Rhythm
Our Circadian Rhythm is a natural internal process that regulates sleep. When I was dealing with exceptionally difficult chronic fatigue, my doctor emphasized how important it was to take note of my circadian rhythm.
Some simple things you can do – first thing in the morning expose yourself to natural sunlight. Ideally, go for a 10-30 minute walk in the neighborhood.
Then at night, turn your phone off 1-2 hours before you actually fall asleep. The blue light from our phones tricks our brains into thinking it’s daytime, so it’s much more difficult to fall into good quality sleep if you’re staying up late scrolling.
Trust me, these can be a struggle for me too because I have a self-diagnosed phone addiction. However, the days I can get myself to stick to this, I feel significantly less tired and anxious and a whole lot better.
20. Physical Exercise
Kristen mentioned in the podcast that when she’s anxious, her body craves physical movement. So if you’re someone who resonates with that, start exploring and leaning into types of exercise that feel fun for you!
This could include running, dancing, HIIT workouts, swimming, weight lifting, etc.
One thing we mentioned in the podcast, too, was visualizing “sweating out toxins/negativity” during our workouts. Give that a try and sweat out that anxiety!
Use Youtube as your greatest resource. There are tons of creators out there who publish workouts or classes that you can watch and do for free in the comfort of your own home!
- If you’re looking for a great YouTube Channel with fun, at-home workouts, check out Lucy ShipShape on YouTube! These workouts are lead by one of my dearest and most trusted friends, Lucy Shiplee, who is a certified personal trainer!
21. Gentle Exercise
If you’re someone like me who lowkey hates exercise….. I mean…. who’s body prefers less physical activity (LOL), gentle exercise truly may be the way to go.
Yoga and Pilates are my absolute saving grace. I love both of these types of workouts because they’re very mindful and they focus greatly on your breath.
If you haven’t hopped on the Yoga With Adriene train yet, then this is your sign to go check her out! Adriene creates full yoga workouts that are completely free on YouTube. She has the most calming voice and demeanor, and she has a super cute dog named Benji! That combo of greatness is just asking for inner peace. Each video focuses on something different, so there’s really something for everyone. Highly, highly recommend! I feel significantly better after every Yoga with Adriene workout that I do.
Here are a few videos that I’ve done that are my absolute favorites:
- Yoga for Anxiety
- Meditation for Anxiety
- Yoga for Gut Health
- Yoga for Hips & Lower Back
- Yoga for When You Feel Dead Inside
- Yoga for Uncertainty
22. Use Your Hands
Instead of being all up in your head, perhaps try an activity that really shifts your focus onto what you’re doing with your hands. This could be anything from learning how to do makeup, learning a new hairstyle, painting, sculpting, crafting… anything along those lines! This reframes where your attention goes and you may even find some joy in the creation process!
23. Adult Coloring Books
Adult Coloring Books are a whole lot of fun. They have beautiful intricate designs and require your full attention while still being therapeutic. Turn on relaxing music, make yourself herbal tea, and spend some time coloring in a masterpiece! You can really take this opportunity to get back in touch with your inner child.\
I know quite a few of us are Disney fans, so I thought I’d link some Disney Adult Coloring books below so you could check them out:
- Moana Adult Coloring Book
- Thomas Kinkade Disney Princess Coloring Book
- Thomas Kinkade Disney Dreams Collection Coloring Book
- Art of Coloring Disney Princesses
And here are another few non-Disney options as well:
- Harry Potter Adult Coloring Book
- Rainforest Escape Adult Coloring Book
- Positively Inspired Coloring Book
- Johanna’s Christmas: A Festive Coloring Book for Adults
24. Listen to Music
Jam out to your favorite tunes and, better yet, have a dance party! Like Taylor Swift says “Shake it Off!” Giving your body that “fun” movement can really get you out of your head and all it takes is 3 minutes of jumping around with a hairbrush microphone in your bedroom!
Another alternative that we have found to really calm us down is listening to film scores, classical music, piano, and jazz. All of those are exceptionally soothing!
I oftentimes turn on my Record Player too, because I found that to give me little hits of serotonin. Playing music from a vinyl record can shift up the whole vibe because it’s different from the norm.
Basically, when it comes to choosing music to listen to on more anxious days, you want to avoid any lyrics/songs that will keep you in a more somber or low vibrational space, and aim for songs that will get you into a more neutral, relaxed, or even joyful space!
Cooking can be exceptionally gratifying. You are cultivating self-love in so many ways – by nourishing your body, investing time in yourself, and creating a final product. This could also go under the category of “doing something with your hands” because cooking is very focused and you have to pay close attention to each step. If you’re someone who needs to “do” things when you feel anxious, cooking is a great activity to invest your time into. And depending on your level of expertise, you can find all levels of ease and difficulty just by doing a simple Pinterest recipe search.
26. Wear Comfortable Clothes
Never overestimate the comfort that an oversized hoodie can provide. Maybe on more anxious days, choose clothes that make you feel the most at home within yourself. Lean into the coziness.
27. Use a Weighted Blanket
We all know that weighted blankets are a pretty big craze… but for good reason! Have you ever gotten to try one? Weighted blankets are honestly some kind of magic. The weight of the blanket wraps around every inch of you and feels like a full-body hug. The first time I used one, I felt so safe and like the anxiety was physically melting away.
If you’ve never tried one before… maybe that’s something to look into!
The one I purchased was 15 lbs and I found that to be a good weight. Here are some links – there are tons available on Amazon:
- YnM Weighted Blanket – This is the one I purchased and love!
- Syrinx Cooling Weighted Blanket
- Wemore Shaggy Long Faux Fur Weighted Blanket
- AN Cooling Weighted Blanket
- ZZZhen Weighted Blanket – High Breathability
*Again, this is based on my and Kristen’s personal experiences with weighted blankets! Your opinion and reaction may differ based on your preferences.
We are so programmed to “do, do, do” and “go, go, go” all of the time. A lot of us feel the need to perform or be productive at all times. However, constantly being “on” like that can contribute highly to anxiety.
Remember when we were talking about root causes earlier? If this resonates with you, this could be a potential root cause.
Make sure to take time to rest! Believe it or not, rest is actually productive. You know why? Because when you are well-rested, you are able to show up for yourself and others more fully.
You deserve to rest. You need rest. Please take it and never, ever feel guilty for doing so.
Getting adequate sleep is incredibly important. Sometimes when we don’t, that can actually worsen anxiety symptoms. Your body needs sleep to replenish, heal, and function day-to-day.
If you feel as though you need a nap or to go to bed earlier, listen to your body. There is no shame in getting extra sleep. Especially when you’re feeling anxious, your body uses up so much more energy. You are likely going to need more sleep than normal.
If sleep is a topic that fascinates you, I read this book and found it to be quite interesting:
30. Tune Into Your Body’s Cues
Ah, humans are so cute. We often ignore very basic cues, such as hunger cues and sleep cues. My best advice is to just listen to them!
When it comes down to our basic needs, we need to feed our bodies, drink water, and we need to get adequate rest.
Allow yourself to do all of these things, and maybe even try to do them sooner than you normally would! Over-provide for your body so it feels safe and taken care of, and in turn that can help ease your mind as well.
31. Watch a Comfort Show
Sometimes when we’re anxious, some of the best medicine is to just zone out and go to a familiar place for a while. Some of our favorite comfort shows include:
- The Great British Bake-Off
- Gilmore Girls
- New Girl
32. Watch/Do Something Nostalgic
Along the lines of familiarity, perhaps immersing yourself in something nostalgic can help ease your stress for a while. As 90’s/Disney Channel kids, for us, a super-easy way to do this is to rewatch old 90’s/early 2000’s TV shows. Our list is as follows:
- Lizzie McGuire
- Boy Meets World
- That’s So Raven
- Hannah Montana
- Even Stevens
- Full House
- Saved By the Bell
(and thanks to Disney+, those Disney Channel shows are finally available somewhere for viewing!)
33. Watch a Comedy Special
Sometimes you just need a good laugh and comedy specials are great for that. Listening to comedy specials can really divert your attention from your worries to something more lighthearted and funny. Sometimes that’s just the break you need!
Some of our favorite comedians are:
- Iliza Shlesinger
- John Mulaney
34. Watch Cute Animal Videos
How can you not smile when you see a video of a bunch of golden retriever puppies? Animals have a way of enchanting us and fully capturing our attention. Through their adorable and carefree spirits, they really have a way of translating the message, “don’t worry, everything is going to be okay.” This is definitely one of the easiest ways to nurture an anxious heart… just go on Youtube, type in “cute animal videos,” and you instantly can create a few moments of ease in your day.
I know this past year has been really low in the physical touch department for a lot of us, but that really made us realize how much we cherish hugs. Hugs actually release a lot of our feel-good hormones including oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine – which are extremely ideal for getting ourselves back into a better feeling space. If you have the chance to hug anyone in your life… take advantage of it. Get all of the hugs you can.
And remember… you are so loved!
36. Get a Massage
There is no better way to release stored muscle tension and stress than getting a massage! If you are in a place where you can go out and treat yourself, booking a massage could be a phenomenal idea!
When I am going through an anxious spell and I get a massage, I visualize the therapist massaging out and releasing any negativity that I’m storing in my body. Then, I imagine her replacing it with nurturing care and positive energy! That simple intention can make me feel so much better and lighter when I leave the table.
If getting a professional massage isn’t an option, use YouTube or TikToik as a great resource! There are often “how-to” videos created by professional therapists so you can do an at-home massage in the meantime.
We have another visualization for you – set the intention before beginning your shower that you will be cleansed physically, mentally, energetically, and emotionally. Then, when you’re in the shower, imagine the water washing away all of the stress from your body, dripping down, and leaving through the drain.
Another thing you can do is hyper-focus on the feeling of the water drops hitting your skin, how it feels to have your feet touching the shower tiles, the feeling of the loofa scrubbing body wash on your arms, etc. Doing things like this will continue to help you become very present!
Also, we are going to get into essential oils in point 41, but one of our favorite tricks is to use some Eucalyptus Oil and place 2-3 drops in each corner of the shower. The steam makes the aroma rise and suddenly your bathroom smells like a spa!
38. Take a Bath with Epsom Salts
Epsom Salts are a fantastic detoxifying agent, both physically and energetically. Set up your bath in a way that you love – whether that be during the day or at night, perhaps with candles or music, maybe even with your favorite show playing on a mini projector. (yes, I saw that idea on TikTok) Make it an intentional self-care moment!
Then sprinkle in some Epson Salts! My favorite brand is Dr. Teal’s and I love the Lavender & Eucalyptus salts, or the Pink Himilayan Salts!
39. Unplug From Social Media
Take note of how you feel after a long scrolling spell – do you feel excited and like you can take on the world? Or do you feel drained, stressed, and even more anxious than before?
Most oftentimes I feel the latter, but because of my phone addiction, I keep scrolling anyways. However, something important to remember is that we are the only ones in charge of how much time we spend on our phones. It’s ultimately a choice, whether we’re conscious of it or not. Maybe if you’re having an exceptionally anxious day, taking a social media and screens break could be a really good move.
iPhones actually provide a great variety of features to help you on your journey of limiting screentime. Go to Settings >> Screentime and you can discover quite a few options to help you structure your time spent on your phone! I absolutely love the feature called Downtime because I can set my apps to shut off at a certain time each night. Or, if you go into App Limits, you can specify the amount of time you spend on a specific app (such as Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, etc.) They’re both super customizable!
Whether you use tools to assist, or just put your phone in a drawer for a few hours, stepping away from a screen and getting back into the present moment can really do wonders for our mental health.
In our opinion, if you’re going to spend a bunch of time scrolling, Pinterest is actually the healthiest option. It’s like social media without the “social” aspect, so you don’t have all of the noise of the comments running in the background. You can create boards of your favorite pins and make them all pretty and organized. You can look up just about anything on there – recipes, travels, interior decorating, etc.
And, Pinterest is actually a phenomenal place to lookup more anxiety management strategies! (if this article didn’t give you enough) You can look up things like “positive quotes about anxiety,” “anxiety-reducing activities,” “how to manage anxiety,” etc. Remember, Pinterest is ultimately a search engine so you have endless resources right at your fingertips!
41. Essential Oils
If Essential Oils are something that you resonate with, these can be absolutely life-changing. On my personal journey of anxiety and digestive issues, Peppermint Oil is my saving grace. I always have some in my purse in case I ever feel any bouts of anxiousness or nausea coming on. It is my quickest and most effective trick I have in the book!
Kristen, even more so than me, has felt like Essential Oils and aromatherapy have changed the game for her, especially when it comes to managing anxiety. We talk about a ton of specifics in the episode, but here is the list of our favorite Young Living Oils that really help with anxiety:
- Peace and Calming
If you are looking to purchase oils from Young Living, which provides the purest possible “Seed to Seal” oils, reach out to Kristen on Instagram DM (@positively.kristen) for 24% off!
42. Hold Onto Something Cold
This was a tip I got from my therapist – when feeling anxious, hold onto something cold in your hand, such as an ice cube. Your brain is forced to focus on the cold sensation of what’s going on in your hand, even if it’s just for a few moments. Cold temperatures often have a calming effect when we’re getting worked up.
Another helpful tip is putting a cold washcloth, water bottle, or an ice pack on the back of your neck. It’s a simple trick but works wonders!
43. Drink Water
You know this had to be included. Humans need so much more water than we actually realize, so make sure you’re staying hydrated! Lack of hydration can cause a lot of physical side effects, which can lead to more anxiousness.
Make drinking water fun! Find what works best for you – do you like your water cold? Lukewarm? Hot? Do you prefer to drink it with a lemon or a lime? Is there a special cup or bottle you like to use?
Maybe look into getting a Stainless Steel Cup with a Straw that is easy to refill and drink out of all day long! Or even one of those fun Hydro Mate Bottles that give you encouraging messages every time you drink a certain amount.
Drinking water is truly one of the best and simplest things you can do for yourself and your overall health. If you were going to start anywhere with this list, I would start here!
44. Drink Herbal Tea
Since Herbal Tea is caffeine-free, it’s another great way to hydrate yourself. We started a routine in my house where instead of drinking wine or beer before bed, we switched to herbal tea on the weekdays! Not only is my anxiety thanking me, but my digestion as well!
Some of our favorite types of Herbal Tea:
45. Sip Broth From a Mug
One of Kristen’s favorite grounding techniques is wrapping her hands around a mug. You can feel so much warmth and comfort by doing that very simple mindfulness movement!
My nutritionist Ali Bourgerie, always says how important it is to take care of your gut health when it comes to treating anxiety. Your gut and mind are directly connected! One simple thing you can do is drink high-quality bone broth (Kettle & Fire is a brand she specifically recommends) – it has extremely healing properties for your gut microbiome and is extremely comforting to drink! Or if you’re vegan/vegetarian, there are vegetable broths out there you can try as well!
46. Give Yourself Permission to Take the Rest of the Day Off
This is definitely one you’ll want to use in moderation, but if you are reaching a point of extreme stress and possible burnout, it may be time to throw in the towel for the night. Analyze if you really have any pressing deadlines, and if not, give yourself a break until tomorrow. Putting your wellbeing and mental health is always going to be more important than completing a task.
Take the opportunity to use the rest of your night to lean into some other points from this list – resting, sleeping, eating nourishing foods, hydrating, etc. Keep it simple. Whatever feels the most comfortable and soothing is a great choice!
Make the decision to take the rest of the day off and fully ground yourself in that. It is okay to do this. You can get back to the rest of your responsibilties tomorrow after a good night’s sleep.
I think we talk about journaling more often than any other topic in our ReDIScover episodes, however, I fully believe in my heart and soul that it is one of the best tools out there.
As far as journaling for anxiety goes, I have a few techniques that I like most. First, doing brain dump journaling which means setting a timer for 5, 10, 15, 20+ minutes (your choice!), letting your pen hit the paper, and letting all of your thoughts flood out onto the page. No judgment, no need to write neatly, just get it out of your head. Sometimes our thoughts are just looking for a place to go, and I’ve noticed every time I do this, my head does get a bit quieter.
If you choose to do this but are really self-conscious about putting things in writing, I would recommend getting a journal with a lock. That way, those thoughts are only for you to see. You could even write an intention at the start of the journal saying something like “My intention with the entries in this journal are to clear them from the depths of my mind and to release them. These thoughts are not aligned with my highest self and are for clearing purposes only, not manifestation. I intend to heal and release my anxiety and fears through this process.”
However, if you are someone who prefers guided journaling with prompts, then I have the perfect journal for you! It’s called Tiny Buddha’s Worry Journal: A Creative Way to Let Go of Anxiety and Find Peace.
This journal has a tranquil purple and blue color scheme, and the moment you open it, you know it will be an extremely comforting space you can relax into. The prompts are carefully curated to assist you on your journey, because the author has experienced anxiety before herself. There are “Let it Go” pages, inspirational quotes, thought-provoking prompts, activity suggestions, and even adult coloring book pages.
If you want a guided journal to target anxiety specifically, I cannot recommend this one enough!
48. Call it “The” Anxiety Instead of “My” Anxiety
Another brilliant point from my therapist – don’t claim the anxiety as your own. If you go around saying “my anxiety made me ____,” “I’m an anxious person,” etc. you are making that your truth. You may be unconciously making it part of your identity and personality.
Instead, call it “the anxiety” or the “feeling/experience of anxiety.” Or even give it a name! (it could even be a human name, if you so desire) You don’t have to internalize it as a burden you need to carry around on your shoulders. It’s not yours. It’s just a temporary flare of an experience.
49. Don’t Make Yourself Wrong… For Any of This
Let me say it very clearly: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH EXPERIENCING ANXIETY! In fact, it is extremely normal. There is nothing to be ashamed of whatsoever. Do not make yourself right or wrong for what you experience in life – it is absolutely, 100% okay. Everything we go through in life is just part of the human experience!
If you need to hammer this truth into your brain, practice saying the affirmations “I am okay. It is safe for me to feel how I feel.”
I promise you are not alone. You are not wrong. You are just being beautiful YOU – which includes anxiety experiences and all!
*This recommendation requires working with a medical professional.
If you get to a place where you believe medication is going to be your best course of action, then set up an appointment with your doctor. Like we said earlier, some of these strategies may work for some and may not work for others. Medication is a personal choice and can be extremely beneficial to improving one’s lifestyle. Make sure to work with a doctor you trust and do lots of research on which medication would best suit you.
That wraps up our Anxiety Management Strategies post – 50 strategies later! Thank you so much for reading along. I hope you were able to find at least one good takeaway to bring along on your journey.
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Until Next Time… 🙂