We all experience some level of anxiety every day, and sometimes it can be extremely difficult to cope with. Sometimes the worst anxiety happens when you are laying down to go to bed, and we know how that usually works out. The more you think about the things you need to do, about your finances, your kids, your job and everything else going on in your life, the more anxious you get. Before you know it, it’s well into the early morning hours and they you try to force yourself to get some sleep so you aren’t a disaster at work.
How does that work out for you?
Our guess is that it’s probably not favorable. The good news is that you can try different things to help you cope with your anxiety without getting all drugged out on medications. Here are a few things you can try the next time you feel anxious.
1. Just Breathe
When we get anxious, we sometimes don’t even realize that we are holding our breath. Holding your breath causes your body to tense up even more, which can cause more anxiety. Focus on every breath that you take and don’t allow your mind to wander. Concentrate on each breath and you will slowly take your mind off of whatever was making you anxious and allow you to regroup when you get back to it.
We usually tend to make ourselves more anxious because of our thoughts. If that happens to you, then over-exaggerate whatever it is that’s making you anxious. For example, if you have to give a speech or presentation and are feeling anxious about it, then imagine yourself falling down, spilling water on yourself, opening your mouth and nothing comes out, having your zipper on your pants down, etc. The likelihood of those things happening are slim, so it makes things like tripping over a word or two not seem so bad. And the good thing is that if you do encounter one of those over-exaggerated actions, at least you were prepared for it!
3. Be Realistic
It doesn’t matter what the situation is; it will come to an end soon. Anxiety at work can be caused by many different things, but try to look at things in the big picture. Ask yourself whether you will really be anxious about this in a week or a month from now. The chances are that the deadline will have passed or you will have completed the project. When you look to the future, it helps you feel better about the present situation knowing that the stress won’t last long.
If you are a naturally anxious person, try to remember several times where you got anxious in the past. Ask yourself whether being anxious helped or hurt you in those situations. Also, think of how you felt after you completed the task that fueled your anxiety. Thinking about the end result instead of the process of getting there will help you remain calm and confident because you’ve done it before.