The Betterment Project

7 Helpful Tips For Developing Coping Skills for Anxiety

Anxiety is a natural response to fear, danger, or other worrying situations. When you have that response without an obvious cause, or the response becomes overwhelming or uncontrollable, it can seriously negatively impact your daily life and your mental health.

It’s important that you be able to recognize the symptoms of anxiety. When you notice that you’re feeling anxious, it’s equally important that you have a set of developed coping strategies to help you combat the restless feelings.


Anxiety is not just an emotional response. It can also manifest in physical responses as well, and for people who deal with these overwhelming responses frequently, it is uncomfortable and its source of worry and concern. 


There are a wide array of resources and relaxation techniques that can help if you experience anxiety regularly.


Recognizing Symptoms of Anxiety


Anxiety
symptoms can be physical, mental, and emotional. The stressor that causes anxiety can be known or unknown, but the symptoms are typically the same. Let’s look at each category of symptoms to help you recognize the effects of anxiety. 

Physical Symptoms


Physical symptoms are probably the easiest to identify, but they are also easily confused with other ailments or issues. 


Here are some of the more common physical symptoms:

  • Clammy or sweaty hands 
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle tension
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea
  • Racing heart or increased heart rate
  • Numbness in the hands or feet
  • Panic attack

Mental Symptoms


Mental symptoms can lead to a feedback loop of anxious feelings. Some of the common mental symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Feeling a sense of impending doom
  • Uneasiness or feeling “on edge”
  • Uncertainty
  • Nightmares
  • Obsessive thoughts that cannot be controlled
  • Repetitive thoughts 
  • Negative thoughts; anger, sadness, guilt
  • Anxious thoughts
  • Headaches
  • Traumatic flashbacks

Emotional Symptoms


Emotional symptoms can be the hardest for the sufferer to recognize and the easiest for others to point out. Some people feel more emotion than others. Here are some of the emotional symptoms you can expect from anxiety:

  • Increased irritability
  • Restlessness or inability to be still
  • Obsessive or ritualistic behaviors like frequent handwashing to deal with obsessive or repetitive thoughts
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Overreacting or preparing for worst-case scenarios
  • Feeling tense

When you recognize symptoms of anxiety in yourself or those you care about, you may not know what caused it or how to help. Developing coping strategies can make a real difference and help improve overall mental health. 


Develop Coping Strategies


Developing coping strategies is good for your mental health. We all feel anxious from time to time. Even if those feelings aren’t affecting your daily life, we all must develop various coping strategies to make it easier to deal with the discomfort that comes with feeling anxious.


1 - Take Deep Breaths


Deep breathing is one of the easiest ways to lower feelings of stress in the body, and the best part is you can breathe anywhere. You don’t have to wait until you are at home or alone to practice taking deep breaths to lower the anxious feelings in your body.

Taking deep breaths engages your parasympathetic nervous system. This system tells your body to rest and digest. Deep breaths can tell your brain and your whole body to relax and calm down.

For effective deep breaths, get into a comfortable position. Taking even inhalations and exhalations is probably the easiest strategy. Try to breathe in through your nose for a count of four and out through your mouth for a count of four. If you can, check that your breaths are going deep into your soft belly. 

Taking some deep breaths before bedtime can be a great addition to your nightly self-care routine and bring some comfort before you go to sleep. 


2 - Progressive Muscle Relaxation


One strategy to try when you feel anxious, particularly at the end of the day, is
progressive muscle relaxation. Anxious feelings can cause our muscles to tense up, and prolonged feelings of anxiety can leave your muscles feeling achy. 


Progressive muscle relaxation allows you to focus on each muscle or muscle group. When you inhale, you intentionally tense the muscle group. When you exhale, you knowingly allow them to relax.


As your body physically relaxes, the feelings of anxiousness will subside. As you learn this coping strategy, it may help to use an audio guide to instruct you on what muscle groups to work with because you get the most benefits from following a specific order.


3 - Yoga


Yoga is a discipline that combines controlled breathing, simple meditation, and gentle body positioning to promote wellness and relaxation in the body and the mind. Yoga can help you learn to regulate your response to stress and manage your symptoms. 


Some yoga poses to try to reduce feelings of anxiety include:


  • Bridge pose
  • Cat pose
  • Cow pose
  • Staff pose
  • Standing forward bend

There are plenty of guided yoga sessions available. You may find that yoga is a great way to start and end your day. Like breathing, you can do yoga just about anywhere. 


4 - Journal


Sometimes talking things out in a journal is like being your own therapist. Allowing yourself the space to work through your feelings can help you uncover triggers that you hadn’t recognized before and also develop solutions that you may not have previously considered.


Journaling is also a great way to process the events in your life. You can review them objectively, accept your feelings about what has happened, and then let it go if nothing more can be done about it. 


If you’re considering journaling to help relieve your anxiety symptoms but you don’t know how to start, there are journaling prompts that can point you in a direction that will help you work through your stress. You may find that journaling can become a long-term coping skill that you use for years to come.


5 - Reduce Your Caffeine Consumption


Too much caffeine can actually cause you to experience symptoms that mimic anxiety. It stands to reason that if you are experiencing anxious feelings, caffeine can exacerbate those feelings. You certainly don’t have to give up caffeine forever, but it might be wise to reduce your consumption until your symptoms subside. 


When your feelings of anxiety have passed, you might be able to add caffeine back slowly to see if it is the cause of your restlessness. If you’re feeling unsure about taking a break from caffeine, you might try monitoring your caffeine intake. 


Remember to check labels to see how many milligrams of caffeine you are consuming each day. You should aim for less than 400 mg of caffeine per day.


6 - Take a Break From Social Media


Social media is a great way to keep in touch with your friends, but it can also contribute to your feelings of anxiousness. Seeing the one-sided view of others’ lives can give you a distorted view of your stress. Taking a break from social media or limiting your exposure on social media per day can help you see a marked improvement in your overall emotional wellness. 


Some signs that it’s time for a break include:


  • Constant comparisons - You are your own person.
  • Mindlessly scrolling - When did you even pick up your device?
  • Always annoyed - When did everything start getting on your nerves?
  • Social media separation anxiety - Do you miss your friends or just your timeline?
  • Post and Pose - Are you enjoying what you’re doing? Or are you just posting about enjoying it?

Consider monitoring your social media time. How much of your day is spent scrolling? Often we have a sense of anxiousness because of the stress in our lives. Could you be addressing your stress with some of the time you’ve been spending scrolling?


Instead of social media, try watching a movie and kicking back, and relaxing instead. It could help you take your mind off of things. 


7 - Take a Supplement


Consider taking a supplement like
Complete Calm De-stress Gummies that are formulated to help you feel calm naturally. Like most of these coping skills, taking a supplement is easy and something you can do on your own. 


Complete Calm De-Stress Gummies
have several natural key ingredients such as:

  • A patented extract of Persian saffron: Safr’Inside
  • Panax Ginseng
  • Rhodiola Extract
  • Lemon Balm Extract
  • Lion’s Mane Extract
  • A terpene blend formulated for daytime use

Taking one gummy per day consistently can help encourage feelings of optimism, support an elevated mood, and promote mental focus and recovery from mental fatigue. Because the key ingredient Safr’Inside is extracted from an abundantly available compound that has been proven effective in over ten clinical studies, you can rest easy knowing that your Complete Calm De-stress Gummies may support you as you strive to conquer symptoms of anxiety. 



Summary


Feeling anxious can be overwhelming. Learning to recognize the symptoms can help you identify when you need to implement your coping strategies. These seven helpful tips can help you the next time you’re feeling anxious and provide you with the support you need to improve your mental health. Even when dealing with difficult times, there are ways to help keep a positive attitude.


If you are dealing with a mental illness like anxiety, it's always best to talk to healthcare professionals if you have concerns about your mental health. 


Sources:

Anxiety Disorders: Types, Causes, Symptoms & Treatments | my.clevelandclinic.org 

The Difference Between a Disorder and a Feeling | nami.org 

Stress Management: Doing Progressive Muscle Relaxation | uofmhealth.org 


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