How to Cope with Anxiety

Do you have anxiety? Anxiety can affect anyone at any time. Some physical signs include increased heart rate, sweating, or tense muscles. Behavioral symptoms can be avoiding people or certain situations, having difficulty speaking, freezing up, restlessness, or agitation. Thoughts you may have include fear of losing control, fear of negative evaluations by others, being distracted, and fear of injury or death. Feeling nervous, having fear, being impatient or frustrated are some possible emotional symptoms.

Coping skills are tools or techniques you can use to help you handle difficult emotions and decrease stress or anxiety. Here are some coping skills we recommend:

  • Guided Meditations: A quick search will bring up lots of options. Some good ones to try are by Tara Brach.
  • Hydrating: Not having enough water causes stress on the body. Drinking enough water is an important step in managing anxiety.
  • Exercise: Decrease muscle tension and release some pent up feelings by moving around.
  • Don’t Isolate or Stay in your Head: Avoiding others and overthinking things will not help.
  • Breathing Techniques: Here’s one to try! Breath in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold it for 7, and let it out for 8.
  • Decrease Caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant that increases activity in your brain. This can make the effects of anxiety worse.
  • Journaling: Here’s a good prompt to get you started: “In the past year what was my happiest day?” (Be very descriptive)
  • Music: Choose something soothing and relaxing. Maybe try to listen to Tibetan Healing Bowls.
  • Sleep: Make sure you get sleep. Sleep is essential to every process in the body. It allows both your mind and body to recharge.

You can never have too many coping skills. Use trial and error to find what works best for you. Keep a list or a “toolkit” of some of the things that work best for you so they’re easy to access. Having good coping skills can help you become more resilient and learn to deal with a difficult situation before it arises.

Also, Four Corners has a Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner on staff, Renee Duffek. She is available for appointments for all populations in-person or via telehealth. She specializes in Drug/Alcohol Counseling, Trauma, Anxiety, and Depression. Contact Four Corners to schedule an appointment.

For questions or to learn more, call Four Corners at 402-362-2621 or 877-337-3573 or email us at info@fourcorners.ne.gov