How to Cope with Anxiety

Anxiety isn’t exactly a topic that comes up between strangers in a grocery store line or while you stand around the office water cooler. To many people, the topic is taboo and for all kinds of reasons – mostly having to do with feelings of inadequacies for allowing something like anxiety to infiltrate your psychological defenses.

And yet anxiety is far from a rare mental illness – it’s official designation. Some 40 million Americans are being treated for this pervasive and far-reaching disorder, one that spares no one regardless of age, race, color, creed, occupation, income level, or anything else.

While there are numerous medications to help you cope with anxiety, there are plenty of things you can do on your own to ease the mental burden and distress. Here are some you might want to engage in:

  • Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.
  • Eat well. Don’t skip meals, eat healthy foods, and have energy-boosting snacks between meals.
  • Keep alcohol and caffeine consumption to a minimum as both can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
  • Get enough sleep. When you’re stressed, your body needs more. And your mind will welcome the break.
  • Work out, take a walk, exercise at your desk, or do anything else that keeps you in motion.
  • Distract yourself. Find something that can absorb your mind and fill up some of the time you otherwise might spend worrying or stressing out. Jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, binge watching a Netflix series, and cleaning closets are just a few proven effective examples.
  • Keep a journal. If the same thoughts and worries keep spinning around in your head, start keeping a journal so you can start seeing things in a more linear and holistic way. The exercise will sharpen your focus and give you on an ongoing source of reference.
  • Open up to friends and family. While you may feel that no one understands or that you would rather not burden anyone else with your troubles, the opposite is true. First, talking through what’s bothering you helps you sort things out; keeping it all to yourself tends to turn into a circular mental exercise where nothing gets resolved. Plus, friends and family want you to share what ails you in an effort to help if they can and stay connected with you.  Don’t shut the world out, embrace it.

If you’re looking for medical advice or to see if treatment might be in order, we’re ready to listen, too. We’re MedCare Express where you can simply walk in, no appointment needed, 8 am to 8 pm seven days a week. Or call ahead for an appointment if that suits you better. Either way, we can help you better cope with your anxiety.