Anxiety Disorder – Strategies For Beating Anxiety

It’s a stressful world out there; a busy world; a world that places many unrealistic demands and high expectations on us. It’s no wonder that anxiety is one of the leading mental disorders in the country today. It starts as low-key stress and worry, and if you don’t learn to manage the stress you could end up with a full blown anxiety disorder. Following are some tips I’ve learned to manage stress and anxiety in my life.
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Be Aware of the Early Signs of Stress and Anxiety in Your BodyGetting to know your body’s first signals of tension will help you intervene early enough to ward off panic attacks or severe anxiety. My first signs are tension in my shoulders. They are not relaxed and tend to be scrunched up. I have learned to check on myself during the day to see where I might be getting tense.

Another symptom for me is clenching my jaw or grinding my teeth. I am more apt to catch this one right away. Overall restlessness tells me I am working into or have already moved into anxiety. Learn your body’s physical signals of anxiety and stress and work at being tuned into them throughout the day.

Relaxation Techniques and Self-Soothing

There are many ways to relax when you feel the tension building in your body. Here are a few:

Make a self-soothing first aid kit. It’s great fun putting it together. Get a box or basket and fill it with items that soothe you, covering all the senses.
Here is what is in my kit:
When I feel my tension start to creep in, I try one or two of these to stop it before it gets to crisis mode. The idea though is to practice these things routinely, every day, to keep relaxed throughout the day.


People who struggle with anxiety also struggle with getting to or staying asleep. Medication can help, but often medication does not allow you to get the appropriate type of sleep. Good sleep hygiene can be very helpful, once your brain has learned it habitually.

Here is what sleep hygiene looks like:

1. Use your bed only for sleep and intimacy, nothing else, period.
2. Go to bed at the same time each night, every night if possible.
3. Get up at the same time, even if you did not get much sleep.
4. Keep your room at a comfortable temperature. I like to sleep with a window open for fresh air.
5. Have a pre-bedtime routine. You may want to implement some of your self-soothing first aid kit activities. I have a cup to herbal tea and listen to soft music before I turn in.
6. Don’t go to bed right after being on the computer or TV. The screen will stimulate you and make it hard for you to fall asleep. Do something relaxing after you watch TV or use the computer.
7. Don’t take long naps.
8. Don’t go to bed after having a big meal or heavy snack.
9. Don’t exercise within a few hours before bedtime.
10. Keep your room quiet and dark.

If you can’t get to sleep, don’t lay in bed. Get out of bed and do something quiet, like read something light and/or, inspirational, journal in a positive way, in other words, stay solution focused. Don’t get on the computer or watch TV. Use a relaxation or self-soothing technique.

Good sleep is essential for good mental health.

Stop Intrusive, Racing, and Worried Thoughts

This is easier said than done, but with a lot of practice you can master it. Self-talk is a helpful method for me, but it’s taken a few years of learning that anxiety can’t kill me to really be able to do it. You might say things like,

“I am feeling a lot of anxiety right now. It’s okay, these feelings are just feelings, I will not die from them. They are just annoying.”

“I am anxious right now, what is bothering me? What am I afraid of? What can I do about the things I am worried about?”

“There is nothing I can do about what is bothering tonight, just pray about it, or set it aside until tomorrow when I am rested.”

“I am going to make a list of things I need to do tomorrow so I don’t sit and stress about all I have to do.”

“This is going to pass, it always does.”

Another thing to do is call a safe and loving family member or friend and run it by them. Perhaps they can offer some advice or insights you are not seeing.

Pray and meditate.


Eat healthy. Don’t overeat. Most of us know what a healthy diet consists of. Stay away from alcohol, street drugs, caffeine, sweets, and processed foods. Cigarettes aren’t food, but smoking can be counterproductive as well.

Don’t Wait for the Crisis

If you learn to implement these techniques in your daily routine, you can cut anxiety off at the pass. Once you get into crisis mode, it will be much, much harder to calm yourself down. Do some of these things 3 times a day whether you feel stressed or not. It’s a way to care for yourself.


I know when I have a busy week ahead that I need to prioritize or I can get crazy and build up my stress level very quickly. I start my day with prayer and meditation. It helps me to prepare my heart and mind, my attitude and my focus for the day. I try to keep a short list for each day. If I am able to get more done, then that is a bonus. But keep it doable.

If I am busy every day, I burn out real quick. I try to keep two days a week for just being quiet at home. That is not easy for most people who work. But it is a must to keep your anxiety down. Finding the balance with your time and energy takes a while to establish. But don’t give up.

Author: Health Care on September 19, 2011
Category: Anxiety

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