How to Overcome Anxiety: Practical Strategies for Managing Your Symptoms

Anxiety and stress are no strangers to individuals living in the digital age, with the constant need for social validation, comparing oneself to others triggered by what one sees on social media, performance stress, work pressures, uncertainties related to their job and other life stressors. It's no wonder that anxiety and stress can sometimes feel like an overwhelming rollercoaster ride disrupting your daily life. Understanding the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety is essential to recognise and manage them better.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

1. Somatic Symptoms: Anxiety can trigger profuse sweating, especially in stressful situations, a racing heart and feeling as if your heart will pound out of your chest, and an urge to pee, leaving you feeling jittery and on the edge.

2. Sleep Difficulties: Anxiety can cause troubles in your sleep cycle.

3. Difficulty Breathing: Anxiety can cause shortness of breath or hyperventilation, making you feel like you can’t catch your breath.

4. Muscle tension: Anxiety can cause your muscles to feel tense, leading to stiffness, soreness or trembling when faced with stressful situations.

5. Fatigue: Anxiety can drain your energy, leaving you tired and lethargic, even when you haven't physically exerted yourself.

Some other symptoms which usually go unnoticed are the mind going blank, fear of getting judged, avoidance of situations, making excuses, vivid flashbacks of embarrassing moments, terrifying intrusive thoughts and self-isolation. Are these symptoms leaving you with a feeling of helplessness? If so, you're not alone; they need not control your life. You can manage your anxiety by finding stress and anxiety relief through some of these strategies for overcoming anxiety.

Practical Strategies for Managing Your Anxiety

Managing stress and anxiety can feel like a daunting task but worry not. Here are some strategies on how to overcome anxiety and stress:

1. Grounding Technique: Also called the 5-4-3-2-1 method, it is a mindfulness exercise that can help you become more aware of your surroundings. This technique can be the anxiety attack help. To practise this method, start by taking a few deep breaths and then working backwards from 5.

○ Use your senses to list 5 things you SEE, such as the colours of the walls or the objects on your desk.

○ List 4 things you can TOUCH from where you're sitting, such as the texture of your clothing or the surface of your desk.

○ List 3 things you HEAR around you, such as birds chirping or a fan's hum.

○ List 2 things you can SMELL, such as the scent of your perfume or the smell of coffee brewing nearby.

○ List 1 thing you can TASTE, such as a mint or fruit. 2. Calming Techniques: This technique helps people learn how to calm themselves using their resources, promoting feelings of safety and inner strength. For this, follow the given steps:

○ Find a comfortable and quiet space, and remove your shoes if you feel like it.

○ Stand up and feel your feet on the ground, connected with the earth.

○ Notice the sensations in your legs. Imagine yourself as a tree, rooted with your feet in the earth.

○ Shift your weight gently from side to side and front to back, bringing awareness to your centre of gravity.

○ Place your hands on your lower belly and continue swaying while keeping your hands in place.

3. Distract your Senses: Touch something soft, smell something nice, look at something that makes you happy or visualise peaceful surroundings such as a beach or a forest, as it helps to relax the mind. Listening to calming music can direct your attention to something else. Engage in an activity that can distract your mind; this could be as simple as counting backwards from 100 or engaging in an activity you enjoy.

4. Set Boundaries: Learn to say "No" when you need to. Setting healthy boundaries can help you manage your stress and anxiety. Refrain from overcommitting yourself or taking on more than you can handle. It's okay to prioritise your mental health and well-being.

5. Get enough sleep: Prioritise getting enough sleep by aiming for 7-8 hours per night, as a lack of sleep can worsen anxiety symptoms. Avoid using devices before bedtime, as they can disrupt your sleep quality. Establish a consistent sleep schedule and create a relaxing bedtime routine to ensure you can recharge your body and mind with restful sleep.

6. Seek Support: If you or someone you know needs more help in managing their anxiety, don't hesitate to contact our list of credible mental health professionals.

Remember, it is okay to ask for help and take steps to manage your anxiety. You are not alone; resources are available to support you on how to overcome anxiety. Practise these techniques regularly so that it becomes second nature during moments of high anxiety. Don't hesitate to seek professional help if needed.

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