Many of us deal with challenging situations that can cause stress and/or anxiety. Learning to cope with feelings of stress and anxiety can help you feel stronger and more hopeful. There are many healthy strategies to incorporate into your normal routines to help you manage stress as well as anxious feelings. The coping mechanisms can overlap and be helpful to address both stressful situations and anxiety as well.
Some of the most beneficial coping techniques include:
– Physical activity: any little bit helps. Getting fresh air and moving your body are important daily routines.
– Breathing exercises: Deep breathing has proven benefits to calm your mind and body.
– Practicing gratitude: Among the many benefits of practicing gratitude are improved self-esteem and outlook on life.
– Eating healthy: Taking care of your body will benefit your mind as well. Start incorporating healthy eating habits, try new recipes and reward yourself with treats now and then.
– Getting plenty of sleep: Aim for at least 7 hours nightly, and establish a bedtime routine to help you relax.
– Mindfulness: Connect with your feelings, acknowledge them and learn how to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety through mindfulness.
– Connect with loved ones: Sharing your feelings with loved ones can show you that you’re not alone — and that knowledge can help alleviate the loneliness that often accompanies stressful and anxiety-inducing situations. Leaning on your support system is never a bad idea when you’re experiencing stress or anxiety.
When to Seek Help
If you feel overwhelmed and your coping mechanisms aren’t helping, it may be time to find a mental health provider to help you manage your stress or anxiety effectively. It can feel scary or difficult to seek help for the first time, but keep in mind that both stress and anxiety are common, and both are treatable.