1. Acknowledge your anxiety response is not abnormal; stop dwelling on what’s wrong with you. Understand that anybody who experiences the symptoms that you have most likely would respond the same way – become anxious. What is different is that some people have symptoms that are recurring, while others don’t. However it is important to understand that people who are experiencing these symptoms are responsible for their symptoms.
2. Accept that it is okay to not have control. It is best to let the anxiety symptoms run the course as well as let go of the need for control of daily routines. Besides learning to cope with anxiety symptoms, using tools such as distraction, meditation, progress muscle relaxation, etc., helps one to learn that it’s ok to have things beyond their control.
3. Commit to finding the underlying cause of your anxiety/stress. Understand it, solve it, or learn to live with it. Maybe something catastrophic happened while other causes might not be so obvious. Write down all the possible causes to figure it out. Utilize journaling to help identify the triggers, emotions, and thoughts that lead up to the onset of anxious feelings.
4. Commit to living a healthy life; exercise, sleep right, eat healthy. Self care!
5. Be patient; be ready to accept that it will take some work and time for one to manage their anxiety successfully.
6. Set short-term achievable goals. The goals can either be related to your anxiety fears or they can be unrelated goals that will set you up for a confidence boost. Examples include: make it a habit to exercise daily, have a plan on how to deal with anxiety symptoms as they occur, i.e. a list of coping skills; journaling, listening to music, art, meditation. Set realistic goals, i.e. to lessen the symptoms rather than eliminate the anxiety completely, to allow oneself to not become anxiety ridden over ridding the anxiety.
7. Acceptance. Accepting what one is struggling with, rather than trying to push, deny, or suppress what is causing the anxiety can lead to perpetuating the problem further.
8. Smile! Research has shown that even a fake smile can increase ‘happy’ chemicals in one’s brain.
9. Be content; unsatisfied with what one has can creates stress. Learn to appreciate what you have. If you wanted something but didn’t get it, look on the bright side. Instead of focusing on the end result, focus on the process and experience and know that you’ve learned something valuable.
10. Utilize support, whether from family, friends, or a professional. Having a solid support team who you can be open and honest with can make this process a team effort and more manageable.