Best Practices for Managing Anxiety Symptoms in the Moment

Best Practices for Managing Anxiety Symptoms in the Moment

While you may have developed anxiety at a young age or have deep-seeded reasons for your anxious thinking, anxiety is a present-tense feeling that needs present-tense solutions. When anxiety arises, it’s important to be prepared to meet these strong emotions, accept them, and develop the necessary skills to manage and process anxiety in the moment. In this blog, we’re going to talk about some best practices for managing anxiety, and if you’re ever in need of support as you develop your skills to manage anxiety, the Lansing Counseling team is here to help.

Don’t Suppress or Ignore Anxious Thinking & Feeling

When we try to ignore our feelings as they arise, they tend to linger or come back. Rather than suppressing anxious thinking and feeling, embrace these feelings when they arise, but don’t dwell on them. Instead, set a timer for 90 seconds. Studies show that this is how long our brains and bodies need to process emotions naturally, so allow yourself to explore your anxiety for 90 seconds. Really think about how it makes you feel, what thoughts it brings up, and how you’re experiencing it in your body. When the timer goes off, move on to something else.

Challenge Yourself to Go – Even if You’re Anxious

Many people with anxiety “fix” the issue by staying away from things that make them feel anxious. Then, they find themselves doing less and less. Avoiding potentially stressful or anxiety-inducing situations can be extremely limiting. Additionally, treating yourself as fragile trains you to believe that you are fragile. Instead of avoiding situations that make you feel anxious, challenge yourself to go anyway. Give yourself grace. If you go and you’re uncomfortable or overly anxious, it’s okay to leave. If you need to take a break, step outside or find a quiet place to take some deep breaths. Just taking that first step to try something that could make you anxious is a huge accomplishment.

Focus on the Now

When you begin to feel anxious, take a few deep breaths and focus on just what’s happening around you in the moment. What do you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel in your body? Engage all of your senses and really stay present in the moment. Developing your ability to be intentionally present in the moment, often called mindfulness, can help to retrain your brain to respond to feelings of anxiety in healthier and more beneficial ways.

Set Yourself Up for Success

Before you get into a situation that may cause anxiety, try to give yourself the best chances for success by living a healthy lifestyle. That means eating a nutrient-rich diet, exercising regularly, staying hydrated, getting plenty of sleep, and limiting consumptions of mind-altering substances like alcohol or caffeine. This will ensure that your body is healthy and your brain has the energy to function well.

Allow for Less Than Perfection

People who struggle with anxiety often find themselves feeling like failures if they are less than perfect. You may hear this called perfectionism or perfectionistic thinking. Try your best and aim to do better each time you try something. It’s okay to be imperfect. Show yourself grace and celebrate your ability to keep trying, learning, and improving.

Let Go

The desire to control all facets of a given situation is common among people with anxiety. They feel like having power over just one more thing will alleviate their anxiety. In the end, they often wind up spending more time worrying about whether or not they’re in control than actually enjoying the moment. Let go and accept that you can’t control everything. We know it’s easier said than done, but try to find joy in your experiences from moment to moment rather than focusing on being in control.

Talk to a Therapist

Therapy can be a great support resource for people who struggle with anxiety. You can talk to a therapist who can help you learn new skills for managing anxiety. If you’re interested in working with a therapist in Lansing, don’t hesitate to give our team a call. The Lansing Counseling therapists have years of experience, offering support for individuals who are struggling with anxiety.

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