Every one of us has had to deal with anxiety in our lives. For example, worrying about a romantic date or a job assessment that may fail.
Anxiety can also be caused by jealousy or the fear of getting a bad grade. I know how it feels; on one occasion, I ran late for an exam. However, these are all mild forms of anxiety.
Unfortunately, people face very severe forms of anxiety that are hard to overcome. Celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Adele, the Olympian Michael Phelps, Captain America played by Chris Evans, and many others have faced severe forms of fear. In 2020, the world faced the greatest challenge, which brought about many changes.
How Does One Deal with Anxiety?
Many epidemiological surveys have been conducted revealing that one-third of the population is affected by an anxiety disorder. This shows that this problem is global and significant, so we should talk more about how to deal with anxiety, especially during these difficult times.
10 Powerful Ways to Deal with Anxiety Even If You Feel Defeated
There are various ways to deal with anxiety and today we will look at them from different angles so that you can start to feel peace, balance and joy in your life once again.
1. Ask for the help of a well-known psychologist or call a helpline for advice.
I know you’ve heard a lot of similar suggestions before, but contacting a psychologist is recommendable. By contacting a psychologist, you will prove to yourself that you are trying to solve problems professionally.
After all, you will have to decide for yourself whether to listen to professional advice or not.
2. Use cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
Experts recommend using CBT because its effectiveness has been repeatedly demonstrated. Some people suggest using gratitude exercises to deal with anxiety.
When it comes to gratitude, an analysis of 27 different studies found gratitude to have no significant effect. Gratitude exercises can help you feel better, but when you have to deal with anxiety, professionals suggest using cognitive-behavioral therapy.
3. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes.
Although alcohol relaxes you and helps you to evade problems (for a short time), it has side effects: it harms your body, well-being, and increases anxiety, panic. Those who drink more often are attached not only to alcohol but also to anxiety, bad, uncontrolled mood, and panic attacks.
So you see, these are not going to help you at all to deal with anxiety. They can make it worse even.
4. Resolve the relationship you have with your inner voice
We all encounter inner voices that sometimes try to convince us that we will not succeed. This inner voice can scare us and cause us to give up our goals, desires, ambitions, and dreams. You have to understand that your inner voice is not a bad thing.
We often talk to our inner self; otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to improve. By talking to ourselves, by answering questions in our minds, we change our personality.
Although our inner voice sometimes steers us in the wrong direction, in other cases, we can achieve things that are more amazing by asking ourselves the right question. Therefore, the inner voice is not your enemy, but some people experience an obsessive voice, exacerbated by more severe forms of anxiety, stress, or depression.
Those who are obsessed must take immediate action, seek professional help. Trying to talk to yourself, in this case, may not be enough. Unfortunately, sometimes this is not possible, so you need to take appropriate actions.
If you feel very anxious and you are without a phone or friends nearby, employ a few exercises I heard from a psychologist friend.
- Take a deep breath and breathe out. Do it more than once!
Diaphragmatic breathing plays a big and immediate influence when one needs to deal with anxiety. Marla W. Deibler, a clinical psychologist, offers her clients a unique exercise that allows them to calm down and thus more objectively assess the situation that caused their anxiety. The emphasis of the exercise is on breathing.
It will help if you take a deep breath (slowly counting to 4 and feeling your stomach fill up, and then the chest area), hold your breath, and exhale (while slowly counting to 4). This exercise should be performed at least 8 times.
- Count your breaths and involve yourself in something interesting (distraction techniques)
Katharina Star, Ph.D., suggests using distraction techniques. The distraction technique consists of many activities that can distract your mind from bad thoughts and find shelter from intense anxiety.
One of these activities is breathing while counting or engaging in an activity, as mentioned above, such as reading a book, playing a game, watching a movie, or talking to another person. A great way to dismiss the importance of problems is to play with your pet if you happen to have a four-legged friend.
Today, many pets need loving care and are looking for homes. You can contact the nearest pet shelter and adopt a cute pet. This will keep you engaged for a long time.
Sometimes a thought can make you uneasy. It will not give you peace of mind until you release it. You will immediately feel relief as soon as you release that pulsing thought from your mind! Don’t forget about this bad thought releasing technique!
- Ask yourself a few questions, such as “Is it worth worrying about?”
Another good question is, “Is it something I can leave behind and move on?”
e) If you can, go outside, to your friends or people who are dear to you.
You will feel better by breathing in some fresh air. Incidentally, studies have shown that people can feel more anxious when sitting. If you feel anxious, don’t sit down or pace back and forth—take a walk outside!
- Call your closest friends and tell them you need help.
You can do it with a few clicks on your phone. Try it. It’s easy.
- Drink some lemon balm tea or chamomile tea. Have you heard that there are anti-anxiety components in them?
If this last plan doesn’t work, to hell with it, I’ll smoke a Cuban cigar in the Maldives.
Our well-being or mood is directly related to the foods we eat, so this is non-negotiable: you should eat healthier foods. Try balancing your diet by creating a meal plan. If you stick to it every day, it will save you time and bring enormous benefits.
6. Watch less news, scandals. Spend less time on social media.
In other words, be less up to date, or find relevant information on portals that provide greater value. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) suggests spending less time on media.
I quote: “It’s good to be informed, but constantly hearing about the pandemic can be upsetting. Consider limiting news to just a couple of times a day and disconnecting from your phone, TV, and computer screens for a while.”
7. Get enough sleep.
Research has shown that lack of sleep can negatively impact brain function, just as alcohol does. If you don’t take care of your sleep quality, you’ll lose out on a lot and won’t reach your 100% potential.
8. Take some time to understand what anxiety is.
Knowing what triggers anxiety will make it easier to deal with.
Anxiety is not a one-off problem that can be solved right away; it is inevitable, and everyone faces it, so it would be a great benefit if you knew more about it.
When you get into complex emotions or panic disorder, try doing some squats. Literally! Find an easy training on YouTube, or download a cool exercise app from Google Play. There you will find many options to choose from, from yoga to cross-running.
Stay active and it will be much easier to deal with anxiety, and in time, you can even exile it from your life.
10. Use self-help tools.
There are many tools for self-development, one of which is books. Research shows that bibliotherapy saves when it comes to changing the way of thinking on which our approach to fear depends.
Remember this when you have to deal with anxiety: more than 90 percent of American psychologists offer book reading as a supplement to therapy. Don’t forget that books and self-help tools cannot heal the complex forms of stress and anxiety but save when it comes to prevention.