While many moms feel lonely in their personal experience of anxiety, it’s so much more common than we tend to admit. More than 30% of adults will experience anxiety at some point during their lifetime – and that’s the ones who actually feel comfortable revealing it. There’s probably a much higher number of folks who struggle with anxiety.
If you’ve experienced anxiety, you know how much it can interfere with your daily life. From your career to your personal relationships, anxiety tends to overshadow everything that’s important to us. That’s why we need to learn how to manage anxiety when it appears.
With that in mind, here are 6 tried and true ways to manage your anxiety so that you can be the mentally healthy woman you want (and need) to be:
1. Completely re-shift your focus.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by anxiety, I recommend completely switching gears by trying to do something you enjoy. It could be working out, making a healthy meal, watching a favorite film, or spending time outside with Mother Nature (one of my favorites). Anything that helps take your mind off the source of your anxiety is a good thing. You’ll find that this new sense of perspective is actually quite necessary when trying to figure out how to deal with your source of anxiety.
2. Actively work to become more mindful.
Becoming more mindful is not as difficult as it sounds. For example, when you’re feeling anxious, take a deep breath, make a mental note of what’s causing your anxiety, and then gently place it to the side with the intention of coming back to it later.
3. Find ways to become more physically active than you’ve been.
Physical activity can be an effective way to work off the tension that comes with anxiety. Endorphins released during exercise help you feel more relaxed and clear-headed. I am a big fan of getting in some high-level activities when I start to feel the anxiety coming on. It really does help.
4. Limit your caffeine intake and avoid other not-so-healthy substances.
Caffeine increases your heart rate and can make anxiety worse. If you love the taste of coffee, try drinking decaf instead. If you use alcohol to unwind, remember that alcohol can increase anxiety within a few hours of consumption. And while a substance like marijuana might bring feelings of relaxation in the short-term, it usually ends up making things worse. In short, don’t mask your anxiety with the type of temporary relief that alcohol and other substances sometimes provide.
5. Focus more on the things you can change.
Sometimes anxiety stems from worrying about things in the future. Yes, the things that haven’t even happened yet. It’s important to remember that even though unpredictable things will happen, you control how you react to those unexpected challenges. Try taking on a mindset of gratitude as you reflect on the people and things you already have.
6. Openly discuss your anxiety with folks you trust.
Whatever is causing your anxiety, it’s important to discuss it with someone. This can be a friend, a family member, or a colleague. The reason is that simply bottling things up will not benefit you in the long run. Plus, you’ll find that sometimes merely talking about the anxiety-producing things in your life will help alleviate your anxiety.