If you live with anxiety, you know just how quickly it can take over. It doesn’t care if you’re in class, on a date or at the mall. There are many ways to cope with anxiety, including exercise, talking to a therapist, and listening to music — the list goes on. However, anxiety doesn’t wait until you have the time or resources to handle it in those ways. Sometimes, it strikes when you’re busy doing other things and can’t take time to deal with it. You may find yourself in a situation where you don't want to let on about your anxiety. You may be in class or conducting a meeting at work, and cant leave for the day or head to the gym. It’s not uncommon for this to happen. There is no such thing as an ideal time for anxiety, but there are quick and easy ways to temporarily cope. Below are some tips for lessening your anxiety when you’re stuck.
This is one of the most convenient and successful ways to reduce anxiety. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, you can take a moment to pause and take a few deep breaths. Deep breathing actually calms your nervous system and re-centers your body, mentally and physically reducing anxiety. No one will even be able to tell you’re doing it!
This basically means to “talk yourself down” from your anxious feelings. Either out loud or in your head, ask yourself why you are anxious. Work through the situation (if there is one) and remind yourself that it’s often not a big deal and that you will be okay. Regardless if that is true or not, it will allow your mind to calm down and gives you the opportunity to see the situation through clearer eyes later on.
Much like self-talk, saying things to yourself (out loud or in your head) like “I am okay” and “I am enough” or “I can handle anything” can be effective in reducing anxiety. While it may seem silly at first, repeating these things to yourself forces you to focus on something other than what is making you anxious and centers your thoughts.
Take a Quick Break
Whether you’re at work, in class or out to dinner, taking a short break from whatever you are currently doing can help to reduce your anxiety. Take a bathroom break or grab a drink of water. These are day-to-day activities that can usually be done no matter what you’re doing. Even if it only lasts a minute, the mental break from your activities can calm and refocus your mind.
Messy areas can make anxiety feel so much worse. If you find yourself anxious feeling anxious, take a moment to tidy up the area around you. Cleaning up a little bit distracts you from your anxious thoughts while also visually making your space less chaotic and distracting.
With these tips now in your arsenal, use them whenever anxiety creeps up and you need to keep on with your day. They may take a little practice and aren't a permanent remedy for anxiety disorders, but they can help in reducing the affects and make your day-to-day activities a little bit easier.