Your 10-Step Guide to Overcoming Anxiety

This post was most recently updated on August 26th, 2023

journaling to overcome anxiety

Statistics show that around 31.1% of adults in the U.S. deal with an anxiety disorder at some point. 

Anxiety is a very common mental disorder, and according to the World Health Organization, about 264 million people all over the world experience this condition. So, it’s only natural to want to overcome it, especially when it’s interfering with your daily life. 

Without some guidance, this is easier said than done, though. So, how do you overcome anxiety? Here are 10 steps that will help make a difference. 

1. Stay Away from Recreational Drugs and Alcohol

It may be tempting to use alcohol or recreational drugs as a way to cope, or you may simply drink occasionally when you go out with your friends. However, alcohol and drugs can make your anxiety worse, especially if you’ve developed an addiction. 

You should quit these substances by yourself or seek help from the right parties. Institutions like the Southeast Addiction Center may be able to help you in this case. 

2. Consider Journaling

Did you know that journaling is a great way to get your feelings out? Journaling involves writing down your thoughts. This way, you’ll be able to analyze all your emotions, what caused them, why you think you feel that way, and so on. 

Writing down your emotions and thoughts on a daily basis can have amazing benefits and many people find it calming. Moreover, studies have shown that you can also enjoy long-term benefits by journaling as this simple action can decrease depression and anxiety. 

3. Stay Physically Active

When you feel very anxious, exercising may be the last thing on your mind. But it can do miracles. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, and while the effects are not long-lasting, exercising for a short amount of time every day can help your anxiety while it ensures you stay healthy and improves your mood. 

4. Find Your Triggers

People’s anxiety can get worse due to certain triggers. Everyone is different, so their triggers will be unique based on their experiences. Some of the most common triggers for anxiety include:

  • Smoking
  • Caffeine
  • Past trauma exacerbation
  • Side effects caused by medication
  • Withdrawal from certain medications or drugs
  • Relationships, work, and other parts of one’s life
  • Chronic pain

Triggers are quite obvious in some cases and some people have an easier time identifying them. However, if you find it very difficult to do it, you can seek help from a therapist. When you discover what triggers you, it’ll be much easier to avoid those situations or learn how to cope with your triggers. 

5. Get Enough Sleep

You cannot sleep because of anxiety, and getting no sleep gives you anxiety – it’s a vicious cycle. Lack of sleep has negative effects on your emotional health and your mood, and it can cause more anxiety. This is why you need to make sure that you get enough sleep every night. 

If you are unable to sleep, perhaps there is an issue that needs to be taken care of. Discuss this with your healthcare provider so you can solve your sleep problems. 

6. Establish a Better Diet

Diet has a huge impact on your anxiety. What many people do not know is that certain foods can trigger your anxiety, which is why eating healthy is of utmost importance. For this reason, limiting the consumption of the following things can reduce your anxiety and make your days better:

  • Alcohol – Alcohol is known to boost anxiety levels as it has an influence on serotonin and other neurotransmitters. 
  • Caffeine – Too much caffeine can be bad for your heart. It can cause panic attacks and heart palpitations. 
  • Sugar – Blood sugar level fluctuations can lead to more panic and anxiety. 

7. Don’t Avoid Socialization

When you feel anxious, socializing feels hard and perhaps almost impossible in some cases. This is especially the case when you experience social anxiety. 

But socialization is what can actually help in this situation. You should stay in touch with your family and friends and talk to them regularly in order to reduce your anxiety. 

According to research, socializing with others is what can keep your stress levels lower in the long run, especially considering this can decrease loneliness and make you laugh.

8. Take Advantage of Aromatherapy

Before you seek anxiety treatment in Knoxville, you should also try other ways to deal with your anxiety. Aromatherapy is one of them. 

Research shows how aromatherapy may be able to help reduce anxiety in some cases. Those who take advantage of aromatherapy regularly often talk about how many benefits this practice has. There are many ways to use aromatherapy – for example, you can use incense, candles, or essential oils. 

Some of the most popular scents for relieving anxiety include chamomile and lavender. 

Research on the matter is still limited, though, so keep that in mind. 

9. Use Grounding Techniques

There are different grounding techniques that can help you relieve anxiety. Journaling is one of them. Other people prefer the 333 rule. 

This technique involves naming three things that you can hear, three things that you can see, and interacting with three things that you are able to touch. This can help keep you grounded and thus reduce anxiety levels.

10. Start Meditating

Mindful meditation is a practice that may help you deal with anxiety when you practice it regularly. It involves sitting still and concentrating. Now, while it is effective, you should know that not everyone sees results. 

It’s not your fault – you may simply need a different technique. For example, some people do better with walking meditation, or yoga

The Bottom Line

Overcoming anxiety is possible if you know the right steps to take. Different things work for different individuals, so make sure to try these tips and find out what reduces your anxiety. 

If you see little to no improvements, you should also pair your new routine with anxiety treatment. Talk to a professional who can find the best ways to combat your anxious thoughts and you’ll improve your life.

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Written by Dr. Ganga Sapkota
Updated on August 26, 2023

A graduated medical physician with years of experience in the medical field. Working as a full-time physician in Puspanjali Hospital, Chitwan, Nepal.