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Mental Health Blog

How to Cope with Anxiety: 10 Simple Tips to Reduce Anxiety

Healthy Ways to Manage Anxiety

June 14, 2022

Throughout our daily lives, we all experience different levels of stress, worry, or even fear. But when these emotions become too strong and begin to affect our mental and physical health, it is time to consider treatment for anxiety disorder in Massachusetts.

Finding a qualified therapist or psychiatrist who specializes in anxiety treatment is the best way to regain your mental health and learn sustainable coping mechanisms for anxiety. In this article we will discuss:

  • Common Anxiety Symptoms
  • 10 Ways to Cope with Anxiety
  • Anxiety Treatment in Massachusetts

Common Anxiety Symptoms

Anxiety becomes a serious problem when the symptoms become pervasive and unavoidable in our daily lives. Feelings of stress and worry do not necessarily mean you have anxiety or some form of anxiety disorder; it is the consistency and inability to manage these feelings that is a sign we may be battling anxiety.

A few common symptoms and characteristics of anxiety include:

  • Persistent nervousness
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Insomnia or restlessness
  • Feelings of impending doom or that something horrible will happen
  • Tight muscles
  • Strong feelings of worry or regret
  • Hyperventilation or difficulty breathing
  • Obsessive overthinking
  • Panic attacks

Remember that one of the more significant aspects of these symptoms as they relate to anxiety, is that they must be severe and seemingly inescapable feelings. Though it is also important to know that these feelings are “escapable” in that they are highly treatable with the right mental health counselor who can help get to the root causes of your struggles and provide you with healthy and sustainable coping mechanisms for anxiety.

10 Ways to Cope with Anxiety

The best way to learn to cope with anxiety is to find a therapist who will get to know you and be able to provide you with unique ways to treat anxiety that will be tailored and personal to you and your specific needs. However, we want to explain a few ways to help you manage your anxiety symptoms in the short term so that you are better equipped to deal with these problems and situations in your day-to-day life. Always keep in mind that you should strive for sustainable coping methods and not look for unhealthy options like self-medicating with drugs or alcohol because although that may help reduce immediate feelings and symptoms of anxiety, they will only make them worse in the long term which will make your road to recovery more difficult. With that said, here are some healthy ways to manage and reduce anxiety:

  • Exercise daily
    Exercising has been proven time and time again to help manage many forms of mental illness including anxiety. Keeping a routine and improving your physical fitness is a great way to keep your mind focused and sharp. Additionally, exercise helps release natural endorphins in our bodies which makes us feel happier and less stressed.
  • Maintain a healthy diet
    Similar to exercise, what we put into our bodies is what we will get out of them. If we constantly eat junk food, we will probably feel like junk. If we eat healthy foods loaded with nutrition, we will feel healthier.
  • Cut out drinking and smoking
    Drinking alcohol (and smoking tobacco or nicotine products) is one of the most proven ways to worsen feelings of anxiety and depression. Though these substances can make us feel good for a few hours, the pain and underlying causes of anxiety will always pop up on the other side, usually stronger.
  • Get enough sleep
    This one can be a challenge because of both the fast pace of our modern lives and the fact that anxiety often appears as insomnia or restlessness. Though it can be difficult to get our daily 7-9 hours of sleep, if we make it a priority we notice the benefits. We’re able to attack each day with a refreshed mind and energetic body.
  • Keep a journal
    Whether we use a journal to write down our thoughts and emotions to different triggers or situations every day or simply write for fun, a journal is a great way to reflect and help us understand what makes us tick so we can then be ready for these situations in the future, and understand how to react and behave in a way that reduces stress.
  • Socialize with friends or meet new people
    This is another one that can be difficult because anxiety can sometimes prevent us from wanting to be social. However, when we overcome these worries, it’s very clear that socializing is an excellent anxiety reduction method. When we keep to ourselves and avoid people, we get too deep inside our own heads and increase anxiety. But when we go out and make an effort with people, we feel a stronger sense of belonging.
  • Stop and take a breath
    This may seem too simple, but you would be surprised at just how helpful a few deep breaths can be to reducing anxiety. Our lives are so fast and stressful these days while we’re surrounded by a hundred different screens and apps, we can suffer from sensory overload and feel like we’re drowning. Simply taking a moment to pause and focus on your breathing is one of the easiest ways you can regain your strength of mind and be ready to move on with your day.
  • Figure out what is causing the anxiety
    This can be done best with the help of a therapist or psychiatrist, but it’s important to be able to reflect and think critically about what could be the underlying cause of the anxiety. A professional can help point out thought patterns and pathologies, but to a certain degree you need to put in the effort for yourself.
  • Drink tea, try aromatherapy, practice yoga
    These are all just ways to help you relax. There are plenty of other ones out there that you can try but these are good places to start. A warm tea or a relaxing scent help our brain slow down and unwind after a stressful day or experience. Find out what you enjoy and what works best for you and stick with it. Never underestimate the power of routine relaxation.
  • Seek anxiety treatment
    We cannot say this enough; the best way to treat and cope with anxiety in the long and short term is to find an experienced therapist, counselor or psychiatrist that can guide you through treatment and recovery.

Some of these methods may seem a bit oversimplified and trivial. But we often find that just trying a few things each day to help reduce anxiety will bring great benefits. Maybe taking a breath won’t cure you, but it can help you take a step back and refocus with a clear mind, and that’s a huge step forward in treating anxiety. So if they sound simple, that’s the point. Try a few and see what works and don’t forget that doing small things that improve our mental health will never be a bad decision.

Anxiety Treatment in Massachusetts

Handel Behavioral Health offers anxiety treatment all across the state of Massachusetts and even with online therapy! We have offices in:

We proudly provide specialized anxiety treatment to anyone in need. We cover Western Mass, Norfolk, Hampden, and Hampshire counties, MetroWest Boston, the Pioneer Valley, and everywhere in between. Reach out to one of our therapists or counselors today and find out how we can help treat anxiety.