11 things that will help you cope better with anxiety

11 things that will help you cope better with anxiety

Along with depression, anxiety is the most common form of mental ill-health.

Anxiety and stress and worry, therefore, are some of the most common obstacles to happiness.

But the good news is that there are ways anxiety can be managed and overcome; and as a result, those who experience anxiety can live better and happier lives. Here’s how…

via Bustle by Carolyn Steber

While anxiety disorders can be difficult to fully overcome — especially since they can be chemical in nature, as well as deeply ingrained — that doesn’t mean you can’t learn coping skills for anxiety, or figure out ways to move past it.

And one of the best places to start is with the knowledge that having a little bit of anxiety is natural — and even helpful. “We are all hard-wired to experience anxiety,” psychotherapist Melissa Weinberg, LCPC, owner of Open Lines Counseling, tells Bustle. “It is a totally normal, universal feeling. We need to feel fear, and respond accordingly … to protect ourselves from threats. Anxiety can feel so difficult to overcome because the way that we typically learn to deal with our anxiety, i.e., by avoiding it [and] situations that provoke it and trying to make it go away, actually makes it worse.”

It’s much more helpful to learn coping skills, and tackling anxiety head-on, than it is to try to completely banish it from your life. “The process of recovering from anxiety involves making the choice to go towards the discomfort of anxiety, to let it in,” Weinberg says. “When we practice letting ourselves feel anxious, we start to learn that we can handle the feeling of anxiety and we can handle some uncertainty. And with repeated practice, this mindset becomes natural and anxiety is no longer such a demon.” Here are a few more things people who learn to cope — and even recover — from their anxiety disorder tend to have in common.

1. They Create A Support Network

It may be tough to admit to having anxiety. But once you do, it’ll be more likely for friends and family to gather around and offer their support — which can certainly make things easier on the road to recovery.

“Those who are open with those around them about their anxiety and make meaningful connections with others who understand — and can be supportive in touchy moments — are more likely to be resilient in the face of anxiety,” Weinberg says. “Feeling isolated, on top of feeling anxious, can be a true hinderance to recovery. In addition to finding a therapist who understands anxiety treatment, this could mean simply reaching out to friends and family or finding a therapy group or online support group.”

2. They Learn All They Can About The Disorder

It’s tough to try to overcome an issue you don’t fully understand, so the more you can learn about anxiety — what it is, how it works, its symptoms, etc. — the better off you’ll be.

Not only will knowledge give you the tools to better handle your symptoms, but knowing the facts can actually undermine the very way anxiety works. “Anxiety is often triggered by uncertainty — feeling out of the loop, not sure what is expected, and/or what will happen next,” therapist Laura MacLeod, LMSW tells Bustle. “So being proactive about seeking information is a strong, practical way to fight anxiety … [Doing so] builds your self-esteem, which also decreases anxiety.”

To get more knowledge, gather up books, sit down with your laptop and do some Googling, talk with friends, or set aside time to talk with a therapist. Once you learn more about anxiety disorders and all they can do, you’ll be better able to cope…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE