Occasional anxiety and worry are a normal part of life, they are part of a system of tools our brains use to help us cope with stressful or possibly dangerous events. But sometimes we experience anxiety that isn’t related to any sort of external stimulus or the feeling of anxiety doesn’t leave when it should. Anxiety on this level, if left untreated, can seriously impact your quality of life.
There are practical things you can do to help you manage your anxiety levels.
- Make a gratitude list. Write down 10 (or 20 or 30) things in your life you are thankful for. It can be big picture things i.e. “I’m thankful I’m alive” or “I’m thankful I have friends and family who love me”. You can also write down small things like, “I’m thankful for the warm sunshine and the soft breeze” or “I’m thankful my legs work and thankful I’m able to breathe deep”. There really is no limit. Get creative!
- Try some light exercise. A walk outside, a gentle yoga routine or riding a bike. Exercise releases endorphins that can elevate your current mood. It’s good for you!
- Try to journal and process your feelings. Sometimes not knowing the source of our anxiety can cause greater anxiety. Just start writing, try to list your feelings or whatever it was that triggered your anxiety. If you don’t know what is causing your anxiety, that’s ok! Journaling might help you identify what is going on internally.
- Call a friend or family member and ask how their day is going. Sometimes the distraction of thinking about someone else can remove your anxiety and get you out of your own head.
These are just a few suggestions of grounding exercises to help you deal with your anxiety, definitely, take the time to do some research so you already have grounding ideas you can use when your anxiety surfaces. And as always, know that you are not alone! If your anxiety becomes so bad it’s negatively impacting your life, seek help from a licensed professional counselor. Even if you just want a tune-up, counseling is a very helpful tool for dealing with all sorts of mental and/or emotional challenges.