3 Ways to Manage Anxiety

According to a recent survey done by the American Psychiatric Association, Millennials (people between the ages of 20 and 35) are the most anxious generation. Additionally, this year’s national anxiety score saw a five-point jump since 2017. Increases in anxiety scores were seen across age groups, across people of different race/ethnicity and among men and women.

Clearly, we are living in stressed out times. And it doesn’t help that social media is always there to make us feel that we are not doing enough. What’s more – there is a glut of information on the Internet and in books about techniques to manage anxiety and stress, but inspite of it, anxiety levels are off the charts.

There is a lot you can do to cope with stress and anxiety, but I’ve culled down to three of most widely recommended ones:

  1. Challenge negative thoughts: If you tend catastrophize, find evidence that both support and contradict your belief, and see what happens. “If I don’t do this…” then exactly what is going to happen? If you are a perfectionist, put the consequences of imperfection on the table and examine them. You will find your anxiety level dropping if you do this sincerely.
  2. Exercise: Studies upon studies show that regular exercise reorganizes the brain to be more resilient to stress and produce neurotransmitters that help regulate anxiety. It’s like fueling your brain or taking medication. If your life is stressful, incorporating an exercise routine is almost like doctor’s orders. Starting is hard, but start small and build up.
  3. Make task lists and prioritize: A lot of anxiety stems from being overwhelmed with everything you have to do. Write it out – some people find note cards for each aspect of their lives particularly helpful – and prioritize. Does everything need to be done right way? Likely no. So reorder the list based on priority. You will feel more in control, which means your anxiety around it will be more in control.

 

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