4 Ways To Effectively Manage Anxiety

4 Ways To Effectively Manage Anxiety

If you struggle with anxiety, the experience of a racing heart, starting to sweat, and perhaps a strong urge to escape from your current situation might be familiar. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness in the United States affecting approximately 40 million adults. While our mind might tell us our anxiety is debilitating, there are skills to be learned that support development of a more effective relationship with this negative emotion.

Slow Your Breathing

When we feel anxious, our breathing can become quicker and more shallow. This way of breathing, in turn, can make us feel more anxious. It’s a vicious cycle.

When you notice increasing anxiety consider focusing on your breath and working to slow it down. Breathe in slowly and deeply for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, then exhale slowly for a count of 4. Repeat this cycle three to five times or until you feel yourself beginning to calm.


Research tells us that as little as 20 minutes of exercise can reduce symptoms of anxiety. Physical activity can help us feel better about ourselves and flood our body with feel-good endorphins that contribute to improved mood.

Make A List

Perhaps a particularly frustrating aspect of the experience of anxiety is the feeling that you are out of control. To counter this experience, consider making a to-do list of easy-to-manage tasks. Crossing these tasks off your list can generate a feeling of empowerment and provide real-world evidence of being in control.

Remind Yourself Of Reality

When the plane of a nervous flyer hits turbulence, that nervous flyer can remind themselves that the plane is okay and it is a normal occurrence to navigate turbulence during air travel. More generally, folks experiencing anxiety can also remind themselves that they are actually okay when increased anxiety occurs.

Working with a skilled, experienced psychologist, therapist, or counselor can also be helpful. If you are interested in therapy to better understand and practice the above skills as well as other evidence-based treatment strategies for anxiety, I invite you to call or email me to get started working together. Telehealth appointments are available.

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