What Should You Do If You Feel Anxious?

1. Acknowledge Your Concern:

Acknowledging that you are feeling anxious allows you to take steps to relieve symptoms. The first step is to accept that you cannot control everything.

Whenever you have an anxious thought that won’t go away, ask yourself: “Is it really as bad as I thought?” Go through the thought-breaking process before moving on to the worst-case scenario. If your answer is yes, ask yourself the following question:

How do I know the thought is true (what is the proof)?

Can I turn the thought into a more positive or realistic scenario?

What are the odds of what I’m worried about actually happening?

What is the worst possible outcome? How bad is this and can I deal with it?

This exercise is helpful for people dealing with chronic anxiety and anxiety.

2. Cut Out Your Thoughts

When you have negative thoughts or excessive worries, you may feel like there is no way to turn them off. One strategy to try is to interrupt your anxious thoughts by doing something else. It may not always work, but you may find that taking a break from overthinking can lead to fewer intrusive thoughts throughout the day. Here are some techniques you can try:

Practice deep breathing

take an attention break

move your body

Take part in an activity that brings you joy

Call a friend or loved one

Go outside or for a walk

Keep your hands busy by drawing, knitting, jigsaw puzzles or building things.

3. Consider What Your Worry Is Telling You

Feeling anxious isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, anxious thoughts may be your body’s way of giving you valuable information. The next time you feel anxiety, fear, stress, or overwhelming fear thoughts, stop and take a deep breath. Instead of making the mistake of saying, “This is my concern speaks,” reframe how you view the situation and ask yourself if your body is trying to tell you something. Need to slow down? Maybe you are getting sick and your body is reacting with stress. Or maybe there is a real threat and you need to act.

Talk to a Mental Health Professional

Feeling anxious all the time can be a sign of a mental health problem like depression. If your anxiety becomes excessive and difficult to handle, contact a mental health professional directly. Talking to a specialist who can treat the underlying problem can help you feel better.

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