Experiencing anxiety can be a debilitating experience. It can change the perception someone has of their surroundings and can introduce a sense of danger or discomfort into any aspect of one’s daily life. Anxiety can affect each person differently, and learning to cope with its effects on a daily basis may require a routine or any number of personalized practices. Not only is it important to understand what causes anxiety and how to spot its symptoms, but it is also important to know how to deal with anxiety through the use of various daily practices. Whether someone is creating a new daily routine or are trying new hobbies regularly, the daily effects of anxiety can be overcome as someone creates their own set of regular, effective coping skills.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is something that most people experience to some degree. It can be the worry or nervousness that comes with a job interview, going on a first date or the discomfort that someone experiences as they think about an upcoming surgery. Anxiety itself is a normal thing to experience. However, anxiety disorders can take this definition and intensify it. Someone suffering from an anxiety disorder may feel these feelings of worry, fear, or panic in a larger range of situations, or at a higher intensity, and can cause someone to incorporate fear as a daily part of their life. This level of anxiety can have many effects on someone’s daily routine and plans and can feel outright debilitating at times.
Anxiety itself can manifest in a variety of different ways, and to varying intensities. Learning how to calm anxiety on a daily basis can help someone relax or rationalize some of their fears that may be hindering their plans for the day. While there are a number of techniques to learn how to reduce anxiety, some cases may also require the need for professionals to get to the root of one’s fears, their unique triggers, and individualized plans to begin reducing their daily anxiety.
How to Spot Symptoms of High Anxiety
Anxiety won’t always express itself the same way in every person. On the surface, someone may be experiencing a great deal of fear, worry, or frustration. Increased heart rate or irregular breathing patterns are also a possibility, depending on the person’s level of anxiety. However, those who suffer from daily anxieties may also have their physical health compromised, and headaches, stomach aches, or inexplicable pains may be prevalent. Hygiene routines may become irregular, and someone may not be able to plan for future events as effectively. These kinds of symptoms are all involved with anxiety and can come about as a result of the massive amount of mental strain someone is experiencing when they are living their lives with an element of fear. Knowing how to spot anxiety, as well as how a day might look for someone suffering from an anxiety disorder, can help family and friends reach a starting point of understanding and care that may be needed, going forward, as an individual who is suffering learns how to manage anxiety.
How Anxiety Feels in the Moment
For someone suffering from an anxiety disorder, even simple tasks can be made more difficult. Anxiety can introduce irrational fears, or cause someone to question their realities. This effect can cause someone to feel uncomfortable in their own home, or change their perception of events or objects to be tainted through a lens of fear. “What if?” questions may be common, as a person’s mind may be filled with fearful scenarios or irrational outcomes.
These perceptions continue to introduce fear into even mundane parts of the day and can be exhausting to process. However, sleep patterns may still be irregular if you are unable to turn your brain off from its fearful state, and you may begin to eat less or skip meals altogether. Overall, anxiety breeds a fearful state that can leave a person feeling isolated, scared, and overwhelmed all at the same time. Learning how to cope with anxiety on a daily basis is important for building a schedule and maintaining a healthier mindset through each day.
Daily Practices to Learn How to Overcome Anxiety
Anxiety can feel overwhelming. However, starting to implement daily routines and practices into one’s day can provide a sense of stability that may be necessary for coping with the effects of anxiety. As someone begins to find the strategies that work best for them, it is important to keep these practices as consistent as possible. This can provide a sense of structure through one’s day and help someone continually reinforce the practice, allowing them to use the technique even in difficult situations.
Keep a Schedule
Keeping a schedule is important for many of the other practices. Anxiety can take hold of a person’s doubt or uncertainty, and having a concrete schedule in place is a direct way to feel as if someone is in control of their day and time. It is a tool that can aid someone in ensuring that they get enough sleep, eat regular meals, or even engage in other self-care activities that are important for one’s continued battle with anxiety. Schedules can be personalized to fit the lifestyle that someone is aiming for, all while providing a sense of safety and consistency even when someone may feel as if their anxiety is growing out of control.
Take Regular Walks
Getting outside and going for a walk can be a great way for someone to clear their head. Going with someone from your support system can help you begin to process your stresses while also physically removing you from the place where your anxieties were beginning to manifest. Getting the body moving and creating a situation where someone can give themselves a break before coming back to a situation with a clearer mind is paramount in learning how to relieve anxiety. Walking a known path with family, friends, or even pets can all provide the needed detachment from a stressful situation while also reinforcing their support systems through difficult times. This allows the brain to let go of potential anxieties and instead focus on the presence of caring and supportive loved ones.
Sport and Physical Activity
Sports can also be a great way for someone to detach themselves from a situation. Having regular games of pick-up basketball or tennis can provide a needed physical outlet as someone processes their anxiety. As anxiety builds without an outlet, it can begin to feel overwhelming, and sport is a way for someone to direct their energies healthily. Sport can keep the body moving and expending energy while also providing a clear and focused goal at any time. Whether it be hitting a basket or simply serving the tennis ball, constantly being able to direct one’s physical and mental energy in a healthy way is a hallmark that someone is learning how to control anxiety.
Connect With Others Daily
The feelings of isolation that anxiety can cause is one of the most debilitating aspects of the experience. Taking time each day to connect with others can help someone establish their supports and social circle to address this isolation. There are a number of ways that someone can reach out each day. Even taking the time to send someone a message on social media, text message, or an email can have huge benefits and can be done at any time of day or night.
Regular phone calls can be even more helpful. Being able to hear another person’s voice rather than reading their words can make the conversation more dynamic and personal, and overall help someone feel closer to the supports they are reaching out to. However, using video chat tools like FaceTime or Zoom can bring this connection even closer, providing a visual component to make each conversation more intimate, even while supports are separated due to their location or continued social distancing measures related to the coronavirus pandemic. Scheduling weekly meetings can ensure that there are others available to talk to, either about one’s experiences with anxiety or as a personal escape where someone can simply feel the care and support of friends, family, or loved ones.
Having a specific space and time for someone to practice meditation can be a cornerstone of one’s path to learning how to stop anxiety from becoming overwhelming. While anxiety may cause someone to feel completely on edge or in danger, practicing daily meditation can instead program the body with a dedicated time to detach from the stresses of the world and relax. Having a specialized meditation space can further this feeling as you begin to associate that space with comfort and relaxation, and simply identifying the space as such while experiencing anxiety can support you by providing a consistent safe space where you can let down your guard.
This meditation can further be personalized, and space can be filled with any number of elements that are considered personally relaxing to you. Meditation to a soothing music track or practicing yoga daily can all help someone structure dedicated safe times and spaces into their day to prevent anxiety from dominating all aspects of one’s day.
Have a Dedicated Bedtime Routine
Getting enough sleep is crucial for having the physical and mental energy for learning how to help anxiety. While anxiety can cause a person’s sleep patterns to become irregular, having dedicated times and practices that are used consistently before bed can program the body to get ready to rest, rather than worry about any external factors or anxieties. Setting times for someone to brush their teeth and prepare for bed, even with a late-night snack, can all be routines used to prepare the body and mind for rest. Meditation before bed can put someone in a more relaxed state that can more readily fall asleep, while others may instead employ a blackout time. Blackout times are when someone decides to turn off their electronic devices and disconnect for a while, and they can give someone a sense of safety, as well. Work won’t be able to contact someone with an emergency, and electronics won’t be keeping someone awake until the waning hours of the night, ensuring that someone can get the best rest possible for their health. For familial reasons, one phone may be dedicated to emergencies, but a person employing blackout times can still choose to turn all other electronics and social media off for the night.
Keep a Daily Journal
Keeping a journal has a number of advantages as someone learns how to manage anxiety. It provides a regular, personal outlet that can be completely one’s own. As someone uses their journal, they may choose to express themselves in any way without worry that it will be read by anyone else. Journals themselves can be maintained as books that someone keeps with them and writes in through the day, or even digitally as someone types their feelings and experiences each night. It is a safe, available, and consistent outlet for someone to genuinely express their feelings instead of allowing anxieties to build up within them.
Journals also provide a way for someone to look back on their progress in coping with anxiety. While someone may feel like anxiety is getting the better of them on any given day, it is always possible to have a record of all of the days where they were able to successfully cope with these feelings, thus allowing the individual to judge themselves more fairly. The documentation of one’s daily feelings and experiences can also prove invaluable in identifying particularly difficult triggers that someone may experience, helping each person better prepare for these certain kinds of events if they know it is associated with higher levels of anxiety.
Journals can also be used to help someone objectively list all of the things that they can or cannot control. Listing things that you can control at any given time can help you direct your energy and anxiety by successfully exhibiting your agency, even in difficult situations. Making a phone call to someone in your support system or cleaning one’s room are simple ways where you can begin to regain control over your situation, even during intense feelings of anxiety. This technique helps someone make clear decisions in the moment by outlining what they can do in that exact second, instead of asking a person to search their minds when they are already feeling anxious.
Engaging in the arts is another way that someone can genuinely express their anxieties, even when words may seem inadequate. Journals can be used here, as well, for sketches of an individual’s experiences, but art expression can take on any number of forms. Drawings, written word, clay modeling — any of these can be effective outlets for someone to express their anxiety. Having this method of directing one’s energy can make a huge difference, as it allows someone the freedom to express and dispel these anxieties from themselves while also giving it a more contained, physical form. This technique can help someone see their anxiety as a separate entity from themselves and thus an obstacle to be overcome, rather than a creeping entity that they are forever bound to.
Anxiety is a debilitating experience, and learning how to treat anxiety is a very personal journey. At Chateau Recovery, we understand that your experience with anxiety is unique and will require an individualized approach. By customizing each program, all backed by a robust set of proven therapeutic approaches, your experience and time with us are catered to your specific needs and goals in your journey of learning to cope with anxiety. Professionals and peers work together to find unique approaches to your situation and modify techniques to find the approach that works best for you. By combining a personal journey and clinical approaches, we can create a holistic program geared towards addressing your specific situation. For more information on the various ways in which we can cater a plan for you, or to talk to one of our caring, trained staff members about your situation, call us today at (435) 222-5225.