How do I tame anxiety?

by Angela Slade

In some cases, having anxiety requires medical intervention and/or treatment. However, here are some self-treatments one can do to tame anxiety. The first step is to identify your patterns. What specific triggers are linked to your anxiety? Notice what sets your anxiety in motion, and give it a name. Once you bring it into awareness, you can begin to make sense of it and then to address it. Second, write your specific worry down, and then develop a plan to address it. Tackle one or two worries at a time.

This task-oriented process can give you a feeling of satisfaction; more importantly, it makes you feel less vulnerable, more in control of your life. Third, don’t worry alone. In the absence of realistic feedback, we often can create some real doomsday scenarios. If something is troubling you, get the reassurance and validation you need. Consult someone you trust–a friend, family member, or a counsellor. Anxiety often diminishes when we share our worries. Finally, exercise can be one of the best self-treatments for anxiety. It doesn’t matter how you move your body— what does matter is that you get regular exercise. Even minor housecleaning, a few minutes of gardening, or some simple stretches can help tame anxiety.

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