Healthy Tools To Navigate Anxiety

Healthy Tools To Navigate Anxiety

Anxiety is a natural dialogue between mind and body. The presence of anxiety is an indication that something might be going on in our environment requiring our attention.

Anxiety can be an uncomfortable, but fleeting feeling that pops up on occasion during particularly stressful times. For some, anxiety may be more frequently present and color more of one’s daily life. And for others, anxiety is a constant – an ongoing struggle with which there appears to be no winnable way forward.

Whether anxiety is mild, moderate, or severe, below are several adaptive coping responses to consider.

Mind Your Mind

How often are you aware of your own thoughts? Our thoughts tend to bubble up from within our mind and, for those of us experiencing anxiety, many of these thoughts can be negative, self-critical, and not based in reality.

Start to pay attention to the thoughts behind the feelings. Instead of thinking the worst will happen, challenge these catastrophic thoughts. What is the realistic likelihood the worst will happen on a scale of 1 – 10?

Remind Yourself What Anxiety Is

Beyond frightful emotions, anxiety can come with physical sensations like tightness in the chest, rapid heartbeat, and shortness of breath. It can feel big and intense and confusing.

Know that you are having a physical response to an irrational fear or thought. Remind yourself that this is an ancient dialogue your mind and body are having and that, in reality, you are okay.

Learn Your Triggers

Paying attention to your thoughts and working to remain more calm knowing you are having a natural reaction to what your mind perceives as a threat can create an opportunity to better identify the threat. Observe your surroundings to find the potential trigger activating your reaction. If there are other people in the room, perhaps noticing their reactions to your trigger is useful. Do other folks seem uneasy or concerned?


Slow, deep breaths have been shown to calm a person. Such breathing can slow your heart rate, relax your muscles, and return your body to a more normal state of being. Taking a moment to breathe can be a healthy, effective response to anxiety.

In addition, working with a skilled, experienced psychologist, therapist, or counselor can help you learn new skills to better navigate anxiety. If you are interested in therapy to explore these concerns, I invite you to call or email me to get started working together. Telehealth appointments are available.

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