Jill was dealing with a lot. Kids were almost starting school, work was stressful. So was her marriage. She constantly felt anxious, but she didn’t want to. She wanted to feel calm and didn’t know where to start.
5 Tips to Reduce Anxiety
1) Slow Down to Stop Feeling Anxious
Rushing from one thing to another can cause us to loose focus. Sometimes what we are anxious about seems like a big deal in the moment. Slowing down lets us see the big picture. Sometimes big things are actually smaller, easier to handle problems.
2) Let Go of What Makes You Anxious
Yes, this is often easier said than done. Sometimes we get so focusing on what isn’t going well – and what could go wrong – that it is all we see. Who wouldn’t be anxious when life could crash in at any time?
Instead, find something – even one small thing like waking up in the morning – that did go well. Focus on the positives at least once per day. Be willing to let go of what is making you anxious in favor of what gives you hope. Which leads to:
3) Find Hope for Your Future
It is hard to move forward when we don’t know where we want to go. And why should we even move forward if the future isn’t better than today? Take whatever is causing you to be anxious and picture what life would look like if you were free of anxiety. Be specific. That image can be reached. Let that image motivate you to start to make change.
4) Break 1 Big Problem into Small Problems
It is easy to get anxious when facing big problems. Instead, break down big, unsolvable problems into smaller, easy to solve problems. This makes life more manageable. It is easier to make progress on small goals, so progress is easier to see.
5) Just Take 1 Small Next Step
Making change can be scary – even when it is getting rid of something like anxiety. Don’t worry about making change all at once. Just focus on one small step that you can take. And take that step. And repeat. Eventually, what seemed like an impossible mountain to climb will become just another bump in the road. If you take the next small step.
Back to Jill
Jill was starting to feel overwhelmed and anxious. The kids were growing up, work was changing and stressful, and her relationship wasn’t ideal. She took some time for herself and looked at the big picture. She knew she could better manage her work schedule, and could be more intentional with how she spent time with her kids. Jill decided to talk to Jack about ways they could improve their relationship. She had a lot going on, but knew she should handle it all, by having a plan and taking the next small step forward.
Sometimes, though, we get stuck and can’t find a way forward. Talking to someone like a counselor can help us find ways to better manage anxiety and find a clear path forward.