Whether you have normal anxiety or an anxiety disorder or an anxiety disorder, these strategies will help you cope:
- Exercise. Physical activity helps your body and mind. Go to the gym. Take a jog. Go for a walk. Do yoga. Play Frisbee. Just get moving!
- Eat a balanced diet. Don't skip meals. Try to eat from all of the food groups, and try to stay away from caffeine (minimize soda or coffee). Caffeine can trigger anxiety and panic attacks.
- Limit alcohol and stay away from illegal drugs. Alcohol and drugs aggravate anxiety and can also cause panic attacks.
- Get involved. Being active in the community creates a support network and gives you a break from your everyday stress.
- Do your BEST instead of trying to be PERFECT. We all know perfection isn't possible, so be proud of however close you get.
- Take a time out. Take a deep breath and count to 10. Stepping back from the problem lets you clear your head. Do yoga. Meditate. Get a massage. Learn relaxation techniques. Listen to music.
- Put things in perspective. Think about your situation. Ask yourself whether it's really as bad as you think it is or if you could be blowing it out of proportion.
- Talk to someone. Don't let things bottle up to the verge of explosion. Reach out to your roommate, boyfriend, girlfriend or counselor if you're feeling low.
- Find out what triggers your anxiety. Take notes or write in a journal when you're feeling anxious or stressed, and then look for patterns.