Are you stressed out or feel a constant worrying feeling that keeps nagging at you inside? Stress no further (no pun intended), but you just might be living with anxiety and not even know it!
In fact, you’d be shocked to know that it’s so common that almost 70% of adults in the US claim to experience some form of stress or anxiety in their daily lives.
But it’s not all gloom from here, because we’ve got 4 great tips to share that are proven to help you cope with daily stress and anxiety.
Let’s talk about all coping skills for anxiety that you need to know about right now!
But first, let’s start with the basic questions.
What You May Not Know About Anxiety
Anxiety isn’t actually all bad. It served as an evolutionary trait that heightened our awareness and meant to protect us from wild animals and other dangers. Prehistorically it was probably more of a lifesaver than it was a problem.
In normal circumstances, anxiety plays also as a motivator. In fact, it is one of the factors that push you to that needed finish line to wrap up a project and meet your deadline.
It is when anxiety overflows beyond its function as a motivator and starts flooding the mind with overthinking, that is when the body’s stress hormones begin to create an imbalance of feeling between urgency and anxiety.
Almost 2,500 years ago, the Buddhists came up with a term to describe that overflowing state of thought. They called it the “monkey mind”.
The Buddha believed that the human mind was filled with drunken monkeys – monkeys that would chatter, screech, and clamor for attention endlessly.
In today’s modern world we are neck-deep in “information overload”. With this information overload in addition to having a busy life, is it any wonder why your mind can feel anxious from all these intrusive thoughts?
Thankfully, we can do something about it. Let’s find out how in the next section.
What Is It Like Living With Anxiety?
It’s no fun living with anxiety.
However, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be controlled or in some cases even fully taken care of if one takes the right measures to learn some of the known coping skills for anxiety.
That is not to dismiss the seriousness of living anxiety, especially when a person has persistent or chronic anxiety. If so, it can cause distress and interfere with their day-to-day life.
There are also quite a few types of anxiety disorders that range from things like panic and social anxiety disorder to various phobias.
“The symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships,” notes the National Institute of Mental Health, which estimates anxiety disorders affect 19 percent of American adults each year.
Can You Live A Normal Life With Anxiety?
The simple answer is yes. As mentioned, anxiety is within our nature and is a natural part of normal life.
But we all have a certain anxiety level threshold, anything beyond what we can handle, and it begins to be counterproductive.
At some point, you’re bound to face some form of anxiety. But for the majority, dealing with it is temporary.
With that said, it is when these feelings of urgency and fear turn into neurotic behaviors and reactions and start interfering with your life, that is when anxiety turns against you.
But have no fear, anxiety, in some forms, can be totally managed if you are aware of it before it becomes a problem.
Quick & Easy Coping Skills For Anxiety
Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t acknowledge someone’s anxiety is a real actual disorder. On top of that, you can’t just stop feeling anxious on command, so telling someone to “snap out of it” is probably the worst thing you can do.
Someone that suffers daily because they are living with anxiety needs support and understanding.
So, how can you take control of anxiety and not let it take over you?
There are many quick & easy coping strategies you can learn, let’s list a few…
1. Tackling Anxiety through Exercise
It comes as no surprise that exercise is on top of this list. In addition to its many benefits, it’s definitely one of the most important things you can do to combat anxiety and daily stress.
It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.
People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who don’t exercise.
Other benefits include:
- Lowers your body’s stress hormones.
- Increases endorphin in the body, improving your mood, and acts as a natural painkiller.
- It also improves your sleep quality which can contribute to increased anxiety.
- Better self-confidence and mental well-being.
You can even try activities like yoga to help relieve anxiety.
We meditate to get good at life, not to get good at meditation.—Emily Fletcher, author of Mindvalley’s The M Word Quest
2. Meditation Techniques For Anxiety
Meditation is one of the many coping skills for anxiety you can use. And just like anxiety can show itself in many ways, there are also different approaches to meditation.
Contrary to popular belief, meditation doesn’t come with strict rules and techniques. Instead, you can look for an approach that works best for you.
Meditation is a skill that speaks to every part of your life.
From relationships to career goals and maintaining a healthy outlook, meditation puts you back in control.
In terms of using it for anxiety, you’ll be training your mind to listen. Those moments when you feel helpless, scared and worried can be replaced with feelings of calm, confidence and relaxation, just because you know how to control your emotions and thoughts.
You can learn more about it in a piece we wrote called “How To Meditate: Easy Steps To Incorporate Meditation In Your Life”
3. Nootropics for Anxiety
Another daily management system to living with anxiety is through safe neotropical supplements. Nootropics are supplements that enhance memory, assists brain function and help regulate body and brain chemistry.
Most nootropics are relatively safe, but we would still advise you to consult your doctor before you start exploring them. For a supplement to be considered a nootropic, it must be non-toxic to humans and does not stimulate nor depress the brain.
Some nootropics that are best known to help alleviate anxiety are:
- Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is an herb that has been in use for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to treat stress and anxiety. It is also used as an “adaptogen” to help the body cope with daily stress and anxiety.
- L-theanine: Ever wonder why you feel calm and relaxed after having a cup of green tea? It’s all thanks to L-theanine, which is naturally found in green tea leaves and known for inducing a relaxing state.
- Nicotine: Really strange to suggest the use of nicotine, but it is by far on top of the list for helping cope with social anxiety. You’re probably asking yourself, “But I thought nicotine is bad for me?” The reason why you’re asking that question is that you’re thinking “cigarettes” and not “nicotine”, those are two very different things. There are other ways to take nicotine such as patches or gum. Under no circumstances do we recommend taking it by smoking cigarettes. A small amount of nicotine can be a good thing and can give you the mental energy to plow through any social situation.
- 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP): 5-HTP is a compound naturally produced in your body from the amino acid tryptophan. It’s also manufactured from the seeds of an African plant called Griffonia simplicifolia. 5-HTP supplement has is known for increasing serotonin in the brain which results in an improvement in coping with anxiety and general mental well-being.
Don’t let anxiety dictate your life anymore. The moment you start meditating is the moment you take a step towards taking control.