If I could guess, you’re looking for ways to cope with anxiety.
Otherwise, why else would you have clicked on this post?
Or, maybe you aren’t the one suffering with anxiety, but a friend or family member. If so, first of all, you are an awesome person for wanting to help. Second of all, you have come to the right place.
I know from personal experience how hard it is to live with. I have dealt with some form of anxiety since I was about 11 or 12. (Not trying to date myself too much, but the most popular song that year was “Candle in the Wind” by Elton John.)
It comes and goes, and right now it’s come back in a minimal way. That’s the thing about anxiety. It’s never really gone.I've said it before and I'll say it again: Anyone who says they can cure your anxiety is trying to sell you something. Share on twitter
While you cannot cure it, you can manage it so that you can live a more emotionally peaceful life. In this post, I am going to share some symptoms of anxiety, some affirmations for healing, and other helpful ways to cope.
Keep reading for my best strategies!
This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. See my Privacy and Affiliate Disclaimer pages for more info.
Also, I am not a doctor or mental health professional. Just someone who has lived with anxiety for many years who is passionate about sharing her experiences and tips for success. If you are in crisis call your doctor, then click here for some good mental health resources.
Figuring out how to cope with anxiety is super important
You really need to find a way to get your anxiety under control. I’m going to talk about that more in depth, but first, I just want to point out something important that you need to hear.Now, repeat after me. It is not your fault that you have anxiety. You didn't choose it. (Why the hell would you?) But you can manage the symptoms. Share on twitter
It’s never my intention for anyone to feel shamed reading one of my posts. I love you. Your feelings are valid. But, it’s important to get them under control.
Here are some common signs of anxiety, and the lasting effects anxiety has on your body.
Common symptoms of anxiety
According to Mayoclinic, here are 12 common symptoms of anxiety:
- Feeling nervous, restless or tense
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
- Having trouble sleeping
- Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
- Having difficulty controlling worry
- Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety
You might never feel all of these. You might only have 1 or 2. It’s also possible that you go months without feeling them. That doesn’t diminish your experience, or make it less valid.
The side effects anxiety has on your body
If you let your symptoms go on too long, it can have long-lasting effects on your body. This is why it is so important to take that first step of admitting something is wrong, and asking for help.
Because something is wrong. Don’t make the mistake of confusing common for normal. Anxiety is incredibly common and nothing to be ashamed of. But it is not medically normal to be paralyzed by worry on a daily basis.
Chronic anxiety can lead to the following complications, according to MayoClinic:
- Impair your ability to perform tasks quickly and efficiently because you have trouble concentrating
- Take your time and focus from other activities
- Sap your energy
- Increase your risk of depression
- Digestive or bowel problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome or ulcers
- Headaches and migraines
- Chronic pain and illness
- Sleep problems and insomnia
- Heart-health issues
None of these are any fun. They not only drastically reduce your quality of life, but they can shorten your lifespan as well.
Keep reading to find out what you can do to heal from anxiety.
10 affirmations for healing from anxiety
I love positive affirmations. Lots of people think they are woo-woo garbage, but I think they can be really effective if practiced properly.
How can you do that?
First of all, you need to do them often. You can’t just say one positive affirmation one time, and then think they’re BS because it didn’t totally change your mindset.
Also, you need to WANT to change. It seems weird that someone wouldn’t want to rid themselves of anxiety. What I mean by that is, we tend to get trapped in our illness. It becomes the way things are, so why bother trying to change? After all, it’s probably not going to work anyway.
If you don’t truly want to change, guess what? You won’t. Period period, as my grandma would have said.
Here are 10 affirmations for healing to try every day. I got them from Journey to Wellness on Instagram. So, thanks for this resource, JTW!
Practice these for 30 days. On the first day, journal about how you feel, and then again on day 30.
Here you go!
Affirmation #1- I don’t have to get carried away with my thoughts. I focus on my breath & this moment.
Affirmation #2- I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. I always survive this.
Affirmation #3- I am okay. My anxiety is not always rational.
Affirmation #4- I tune into my body & release tension from muscles.
Affirmation #5- I allow myself to slow down my breath.
Affirmation #6- Fighting this feeling won’t help. I’ll relax & allow it to pass.
Affirmation #7- When I relax & sit with this feeling I learn to face my fears.
Affirmation #8- I choose to slow down & breathe.
Affirmation #9- I stay present & ground myself in this moment.
Affirmation #10- Anxiety is normal. It tells me it’s time to use my coping strategies.
Again, I want to clarify on that last one that anxiety itself, while nothing to be ashamed of, is not normal. What they mean I think is that your symptoms are a normal byproduct of having an anxiety disorder.
Which one of these affirmations speaks to you the most? Let me know in the comments!
You can also download this free Daily Feelings Worksheet. Use it to gauge whether or not your anxiety remedies are working or not.
7 other effective ways to heal from anxiety
Affirmations are just one tool you can use to heal from anxiety. There are dozens more I could mention. But in the interest of time, I will stick to 7 alternate treatment methods. Start with one, so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Remember: what works for one person might not necessarily work for you.
Journaling is a very effective way to heal from any kind of emotional distress. What I like about it most is that it’s a simple concept and super affordable! Affordable is a must for me as a mom of two little kids.
First, just get a journal. There are probably hundreds to pick from on Amazon, so just pick one with a design that speaks to you. You can click the image below to search for one you like.
Next, start writing! Easy as that. You can start by just writing about things that have been going on. Or you can write about how things WOULD be in your perfect dream life. The options are pretty endless.
Speak with a therapist.
Therapy gets a bad rep sometimes for being a “last resort” option, or for people too weak to do things on their own. But therapy is an incredible resource!
Of course, it’s one of the least affordable options for managing your anxiety. But I mention because it is very effective. Therapists are trained to teach you coping skills you might not ever think of. They’ve really seen and heard it all.
If you aren’t sure how to go about finding a therapist in your area, head to Psychology Today for help.
Get up and get moving.
Whenever I write this advice, I can feel the future eye rolls of many of my readers. But hear me out.
Exercise has been proven to release feel good chemicals in your brain called dopamine and endorphins. If you give it a try, it can really help you minimize your anxiety symptoms.
You don’t have to run a damn marathon. Just get up a go for a walk around the block. Try that a few times a week, and it can still be beneficial.
Make sure you’re eating and drinking properly.
This one is really hard when you’re struggling with mental health issues. I know my default when I’m depressed or anxious is to munch on comfort foods. But in the interest of presenting factual information, here are some things you can avoid if you want to see improvement in your symptoms:
You don’t have to give them up entirely, but use them in moderation. And pay attention to how they make you feel.
Try some soothing meditation.
Meditation is a tradition that has been around for a long time and people swear by it. Admittedly, meditation is not something I am that great at it. But when I try it, I do notice it makes me feel calmer.
If you aren’t sure where to start, give guided meditation a try. You can find tons of useful videos on Youtube, and the narrators tell you exactly what to do. Here is just one example. Watch it before bed, and see what you think.
Unplug from social media.
This can be difficult, especially in a time when you’re social distancing, and seeing loved ones less and less.
But truthfully, the less you see of negative political headlines, the better. I had to stop myself from mindlessly scrolling, and trying to ONLY go on to check my messages or intentionally connect with people I’ve been thinking about.
Going on Twitter or Instagram can be a nice time waster when you’re bored, but it doesn’t really do many positive things for your emotional health.
Pick up a new hobby.
This is actually something I’ve been doing recently! I just started learning Welsh on Duolingo. I have some Welsh heritage and thought it would be a fun (and productive) use of any free time throughout the day.
Bonus: it amuses my kids to hear me try to pronounce things, and they are even picking up on some of the words!
Coping with anxiety is not impossible.Life with anxiety doesn't have to always be one nightmare after the next. Sure, you're going to have dark clouds, but you can also have some rainbows in between. Share on twitter
It’s important to take back control of your mental health. After all, you get one life here on Earth. Do you want to spend it wallowing in anxious misery? Or do you want to get out there and chase goals and be happy?
Make sure you think about this in the days to come, and create a plan. Take out a piece of paper (or that journal you ordered!) and write down:
- How am I feeling?
- How would I like to feel?
- What can I do to get there?
- Who can I ask for help?
Do you live with anxiety? Tell me a little bit about your journey in the comments. And please, make sure to share this on social media if you found it helpful!