Every single person experiences anxiety. Some do everyday, others every few weeks. We all do at some point — it’s totally normal. But what are you supposed to do when anxiety hits? Often times we try to fight it and that can just make us more stressed out. Some people push it aside and distract themselves with other activities, while others need to talk it out. No matter what coping mechanisms work best for you, here are some basic guidelines on how to deal with anxiety in the moment.
Don’t Fight It
It may not sound like a deliberate action you can take, but this is really important. Allow the anxiety to be and stop trying to fight it. How? Don’t shame yourself for feeling anxious. Don’t stress about the fact that your anxious. Remember that it’s completely normal (no matter what is causing it), and that it will pass. So ride it out rather than causing yourself more stress by working against it.
Think About What Might Be Causing It
Often times, when we understand what’s causing our anxiety, we feel less worked up about it. I used to have a very difficult time deciphering where my stress was coming from. The reason for this was that it was often something small, or something I felt was insignificant, so I would deny it as an explanation. But even the littlest things — like the rude tone in which a strange spoke to you or the disagreeing over where to go to dinner with your boyfriend — all count. Think of anxiety as chemicals in your body (which they are). Just because something small caused your body to produce stress-inducing chemicals doesn’t mean you’re crazy or overdramatic for finding these things stressful. They are. Maybe not as overwhelming as losing a job or breaking up with a boyfriend, but they are. So don’t deny them!
Don’t Make Any Big Decisions
If you’re feeling anxious over a big decision, let the anxiety be what it is and put off making the decision until it subsides a bit. Your head is not in the right state of mind to make a decision or think clearly when you’re feeling anxious. So just wait to make any decisions until you’re feeling better. That’s why they tell you to sleep on it!
Do What Makes You Feel Good
We all crave different things when we’re feeling anxious. Some want to be around friends and get their mind off of whatever is stressing them out. Others just want to stay home, curl up and watch a movie (I definitely fall into that group!). Either way, listen to your body and do whatever it is that will bring you joy and decrease those stressful thoughts. Now’s the time to take care of you. Give yourself what you need to help get through these anxious moments.
How do you deal with anxiety?