Coping Skills for Anxiety

Instructor: Elisha Madison

Elisha is a writer, editor, and aspiring novelist. She has a Master's degree in Ancient Celtic History & Mythology and another Masters in Museum Studies.

Anxiety can come on anytime of the day, and can be a challenge to work through, especially if your at work or school. This lesson discusses some coping techniques for those times.

Anxiety Attacks

Have you ever had a job interview for the perfect job, but right before you go in, you start to breathe faster, sweat profusely, and panic because you don't want to mess it up? This happens to many people everyday. Anxiety can happen for many reasons, perhaps it's just a hard day or maybe it's a disorder and something you constantly have to deal with. No matter the type of anxiety, it is important to learn ways to cope and work through the anxiety so that you can go back to living your life.

The first thing to remember is that everyone will have some level of anxiety in their lives; it is up to you to determine if the anxiety is affecting your life too much. However, if your anxiety bothers you consistently throughout the week, then perhaps it is time to seek medical help. Even if you do not want to pursue medicinal treatment, knowing if you have an anxiety disorder can help you determine the best ways to help yourself.

Coping Skills

There are many skills you can use during an actual anxiety attack to help you work through it.

  • Breathe in and out slowly and methodically - Make sure every breath is the same length.
  • Count - Yes this is simple, but counting while breathing slowly and focusing on the numbers can help.
  • Walk away - If there is an anxiety-producing event, walk away for a moment. Gather your thoughts. Figure our why it made you anxious, and address that issue, then go back.
  • Talk - If you are having anxiety issues and you're near a friend, talk to them. Being able to talk about the issue can make it seem smaller and easier to handle. Don't hold it all in, you don't have to pretend nothing gets to you. You might be shocked how many people can relate to your anxiety.
  • Do something physical - If possible take a walk, go for a run, exercise, or do yoga. Physical releases have been known to work out the anxiety.
  • Write - Write a list of the concerns you have- Even if the list is long, it will organize your thoughts. Then you can address each one and check them off, making your list smaller and smaller.
  • Compartmentalize - When you feel stressed, start compartmentalizing issues. If there is a stressful event months from now, put it away for the moment and address the things you can now, because the others can be addressed in a calmer moment.

Daily Skills

Now that you know the things you can do at the time of the anxiety attack, lets address what you can do in your regular day-to-day activity to help anxiety attacks.

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