Almost everyone deals with bouts of anxiety at times in their lives, but when things are extremely stressful, it can be a challenge to cope with these overwhelming feelings. Whether you’re working through familial conflict, life changes or stressful job situations, you may need some tips and tricks to help you get through life one day at a time. Those with anxiety disorders are likely familiar with coping mechanisms, but they may also want to implement one or more of these 10 ways to reduce symptoms.

1. Get Enough Sleep

Experts recommend at least seven hours of sleep a night. This can be tricky when you’re dealing with anxiety, as you may find yourself unable to fall asleep or stay asleep. However, if you can set up a relaxation routine before bed where you aim for sleeping success, falling asleep may be easier. Don’t fall into the trap of staying up too late; instead, try for an earlier bed time so you’ll wake refreshed.

2. Improve Your Eating Habits

Excess sugar or processed foods can exacerbate anxiety symptoms. Avoiding these types of foods and snacks and instead reaching for fruits, vegetables, lean meats and complex carbohydrates, can improve your mood and your overall well-being. A small and simple change can help you feel better and lessen your anxiety.

3. Reduce Caffeine Consumption

Caffeine is a stimulant, which is the last thing your body needs when you’re already stimulated from anxiety. If you’re a regular coffee drinker, try an herbal tea instead. You may find that you’re less jittery and have fewer anxiety attacks. You don’t have to give up caffeine completely—just reduce your daily amount to one cup or one soda a day.

4. Limit Time on Your Phone

Excessive screen time is shown to increase anxiety. If you are constantly scrolling through social media or religiously checking the news, it is difficult to connect to your real life. Whether you’re stressed from the barrage of work emails or feel like you’re comparing your life to your friends on Instagram, you may find that taking a break from your phone will help you relax.

5. Get Regular Exercise

There are numerous benefits to regular exercise, and while many of them relate to physical wellness, there are also several related to mental and emotional well-being. Physical activity releases endorphins in your brain that improve your mood. Exercise can also distract you from whatever is making you anxious in the first place. And working out with friends gives you an outlet to talk and connect with people who will listen. 

6. Stop Drinking

Those with anxiety may turn to alcohol as a way to cope. Unfortunately, this can lead to even bigger problems. Because alcohol is a natural depressant, it changes the levels of serotonin in the brain. This can cause anxiety and depression to worsen once the alcohol has left the body. If you choose to drink, make sure to limit your consumption.

7. Reach Out

Anxiety thrives in isolation, so you should make an effort to reach out to friends and family members. Connecting with those you love can give you a chance to talk through your stresses and make you feel safe and happy. If you live far from family, set a reminder in your phone to make a weekly call or text. Join a local book club to find others with your similar interests.

8. Practice Mindfulness

Generally, anxiety is worrying about something that may happen in the future. When you get stuck in that mindset, it can be difficult to connect with the present. Mindfulness is taking time to stop, breathe and look around you to become aware of the present moment. This takes practice, but it can help you take a step back from your worries to find peace of mind and enjoy the life you are living now.

9. Watch Something Funny

When you’re stressed or feeling anxious, you probably don’t feel like laughing; however, laughter is proven to help relieve stress! A quick YouTube video of cute dogs and cats or skateboarding fails may be just what you need to get a good chuckle and reduce the feelings of stress and tension in your body.

10. Ask for Help

If nothing you are doing is helping your anxiety, it may be time to ask for help. Counseling and therapy can be a tool to help you cope with mental health concerns. Remember, these professionals are trained to give you the support you need to live a happy, fulfilling life.

Coping with anxiety takes work and it’s not always easy. Being overwhelmed by life in general can make it challenging to implement even the smallest changes. However, these tips can help you work toward better mental health.

Author's Bio: 

Rudds James is an online marketplace analyst, startup planner as well as a writer. He's published on several topics composed of articles technology and advertising