5 Tips for Dealing with Anxiety

5 min
Article preview picture

Anxiety can feel like someone is controlling your body without your permission. Unlike nervousness, anxiety doesn’t usually go away easily, even after a stressful situation has ended. It tends to persist and, as a result, can affect daily life in many ways. Anxiety can make people feel like there is no way out, and it may create worrying feelings that you cannot control, even making you feel like you are starting to lose control of your life. This can be extremely harmful to our mental health, and leaving these feelings untreated can make people feel frustrated, stressed, and emotionally drained. 

We know, it sounds pretty bleak. But here’s the good news: there's actually a lot you can do to reduce anxiety! Learning strategies to deal with anxiety and prevent its onset can make a major difference in how it affects your life. Here are five simple ways to help you cope. By applying these tips to your lifestyle, anxiety can become more manageable, and you can learn to slowly release yourself from its related emotional spiral.

1. Eat Well

The way our physical body feels can have an effect on our mood and emotions, and that’s why when you eat well, you’re more likely to feel better. So much so, in fact, that our guts are even referred to by some as our “second brain”, and some studies suggest that eating certain foods tends to reduce anxiety. The consumption of fermented foods like yogurt and kefir may reduce social anxiety, as these foods contain probiotics – healthy bacteria that can make your digestive processes feel happier, and in turn, communicate less negative thoughts to your brain. Eating dark chocolate may also help to enhance the mood as it contains dopamine and serotonin, which are also known as the “happy hormones”. Not only can these hormones help us generate more positive feelings, research has also suggested that they can help us become more emotionally resilient and calm under pressure. Drinking more water may be another way to curb anxiety: some studies have found that there is a strong association between water consumption and mood, and that dehydration tends to be related to higher levels of anxiety and tension.

2. Sleep Well

Anxiety can manifest physically. It can make you sweat more than usual, occupy your mind with worrying thoughts, and raise your heart rate even when you’re not exercising. There are many more curious effects that anxiety can exhibit in our bodies, including muscle tension, skin tingling or numbness, and headaches. Getting enough rest is extremely important for our capacity to manage anxiety, as it can heavily influence the way we react to stressful events, not to mention our general state of well-being. One study suggested that sleep has so much to do with emotional regulation as it can help restore our basic daily functioning. People with sufficient sleep are more likely to remain emotionally stable throughout the day, while those deprived of it aren’t getting enough of a “reboot” or recharge, so to speak. As a result, they tend to be more easily overwhelmed and sensitive to their surroundings. Make sure to get the right amount of sleep, and listen to how much your body needs. If possible, try to wake up naturally more often. Switching off your mind while allowing your body to rest can ease your nerves. If anxiety is what’s standing between you and better sleep, consider listening to relaxing music before bedtime or trying other ways to improve your sleep hygiene.

3. Get Active

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to deal with anxiety, and it offers many health benefits both physically and psychologically. Numerous research studies suggest that exercise can decrease stress hormones and enhance the release of happy hormones such as endorphins. Hormones can be a powerful influence on how the body functions and how we feel. Exercise can also help because anxiety tends to thrive when we have a lot of pent-up energy. Getting moving can help to release it, helping to reroute overthinking or ruminating about worrying thoughts by channeling this nervous energy elsewhere. And remember, signing up for a gym membership is not the only way to stay active: there are many other ways that you can add exercise to your daily routine. Simply taking a twenty-minute stroll, going for a run, taking your dog out for a walk, or even dancing in your living room can be good ways to cope with anxiety.

4. Be Mindful

To be mindful means living in the present moment. Oftentimes, anxiety can occupy your mind with worrying thoughts about the future. Practicing mindfulness can help shift your attention back to the present, giving your brain a break so you can feel more relaxed. You can start by exploring how anxiety can cause a change in your body. When you feel anxious, sit back, close your eyes, and lean into feeling your bodily sensations. Identify the physical area where you can feel a build-up of anxiety and tension. Focus on that spot, and slowly breathe into it. Through this method, you may soon find that your anxiety will slowly be released. There are various mindfulness practices that can help deal with anxiety and worrying thoughts. For instance, meditation can help you develop an awareness of the present moment. Sound healing is another modality that incorporates different sounds that can quiet your mind. If you have a packed schedule with little time, you can still practice more mindfulness simply by developing good habits in your daily life. A simple, even short, bedtime meditation session before you sleep, or making sure you put the phone to appreciate the beauty of nature when you’re out and about, are some easily-accessible ways to become more mindful一which, in turn, can help relieve your anxiety.

5. See a Therapist

While there are various different ways to ease anxiety, not all strategies will work equally well ー or be quite as viable ー for everyone. Some people may have already tried out different recommendations to manage their anxiety, but find that still, nothing gives! When you feel like you’ve tried everything but the situation is not getting better ー or possibly even worse ー consider seeking help from a mental health professional. Getting help from a therapist is like having someone in your corner. Not only can they offer you professional techniques for reducing anxiety, they can also help you discover the root cause of your anxious feelings, teaching you practical skills to cope with it. A therapist may provide advice specifically customized to your needs, and help you choose the approach that best fits your lifestyle. If you are new to therapy and don’t know where to start, the first thing to remember is that there’s no shame in seeking help either: after all, we consult experts for the other challenges we face in life, so why wouldn’t we do the same for something as important as the mind? If you’re in need of guidance and a specific strategy for dealing with your anxiety, a qualified therapist could help you create a winning game plan!


All of the content on our website is thoroughly researched to ensure that the information shared is evidence-based. For more information, please visit the academic journals and other resources that influenced this article: Fermented Foods, Neuroticism, and Social Anxiety: An Interaction Model; 41 “Dark Chocolate as an Antidepressant”; Emotion, Emotion Regulation and Sleep: An Intimate Relationship; The Many Health and Sleep Benefits of Music; How Exercise Reduces Stress and Anxiety; Release of Endomorphin Hormone and Its Effects on Our Body and Moods: A Review.

Share this story
Read more
  • Article preview
    16 Mar 2022

    What Is Anxiety?

    7 min

    Have you ever felt your palms growing sweaty and your breathing growing more rapid, with your nerves feeling like they’re twisted up so tight you feel a little faint? Maybe it happened just before you were to give a big presentation, or start a new job. Perhaps you’ve felt it just before a first date, or shortly before boarding a plane to an unknown destination一or maybe it’s something that comes over you every time you need to have an uncomfortable or difficult conversation. This feeling is known as anxiety. 

    Read full article
  • Article preview
    1 Mar 2022

    What Are the Main Symptoms of Anxiety?

    5 min

    Anxiety presents in many different ways. The range of symptoms is so broad that many people don’t even realize that they’re suffering from anxiety. An estimated 3.8% of the world’s population live with an anxiety disorder, but many more go undiagnosed. And while it's true that everybody feels anxious now and then, prolonged anxiety affects our ability to show up authentically and live life to the full. And when anxiety pervades everyday life, it is also highly likely to manifest as physical issues that can turn into chronic disease. These are some of the main symptoms to look out for. 

    Read full article
  • Article preview
    25 Feb 2022

    How to Heal Your Nervous System

    4 min

    Nervous system dysregulation is a surprisingly widespread phenomenon. According to Polyvagal Theory, which was developed by neuroscientist Stephen Porges in the 1990s, there’s a highly intricate system of signals transmitted between the brain and the body along the various branches of the vagus nerve. This pathway – which runs from the brain through to the abdomen – is integral to the functioning of organs and hormonal responses, as part of the Autonomic Nervous System. When the ANS is aroused by a sense of threat or stress, the fight or flight response kicks in. If the ANS is overwhelmed, the body begins to enter a freeze state, or shut-down. These responses are imperative for basic human survival, but the messages can get jumbled and result in chronic activation and dysregulation – which is detrimental to physical and psychological health. This strain on the body can result in all kinds of ailments, from anxiety to digestion issues, chronic pain, and life-threatening disease. Healing the nervous system is a vital piece of the well-being puzzle.

    Read full article
  • Article preview
    7 Mar 2022

    How to Increase Your Self-Confidence

    5 min

    Confidence is, most often, a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we believe we will do well in life, chances are more likely that we will. Even when people with a high level of confidence fail, the secure sense of self that comes hand-in-hand with confidence means that they are much more likely to get back up, brush themselves off, learn from the experience, and move forward. While psychologically, there’s a bit more to building true confidence than a simple ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ approach, there certainly are measures we can take to kickstart a little more conviction in our self-belief. Whether you’re experiencing chronically low levels of confidence or just experiencing a temporary dip, you can take control of the narrative.

    Read full article
  • Article preview
    6 Sep 2022

    Effective Ways to Manage Anger

    5 min

    Anger can bring out the worst in us. It can cause relationship rifts to grow greater, find fits of furiousness fueling violence, and unnecessarily escalate a situation from minimal annoyance to intense rage. But anger is still a normal (and mostly healthy) emotion, and learning to control it can help us to limit loathsome damage. 

    Read full article