Anxiety is one of the most debilitating feelings we can have. We are anxious when we imagine a negative future. We do this in our head, triggering many processes in the brain that make us feel helpless and lost. Therefore, learning how to control anxiety can be very important in living a happy and healthy life.
Last week, I shared 25 tips on how to calm anxiety. Here are 35 more tips on how to control anxiety, which I hope you will find useful and easy to follow.
How to Control Anxiety Tips (26-59)
- Tell yourself, “I am safe”, whenever you feel unsafe. Remember that anxiety is all in your head. Teach your head to say it whenever anxiety happens and it will do it after enough practice.
- Set goals. Make sure to write them down. Having goals and having anxiety is the same process. We go into the future and in both of them, in our mind, but with goals, we imagine a positive future!
- Spend time with your pet. People who have pets are very happy to be around them (otherwise, they wouldn’t bother having a pet, right!). When you feel anxious, go and play with your pet. It will distract you perfectly!
- Spend time with babies and young kids. Babies and young kids are very joyful and innocent. They are a great reminder of our joyous moments in life. They laugh and smile a lot and are happy with simple things like hugs, smiles, a song and a cuddle. They are fantastic in getting the perspective right.
- Clean up. This is something many people do naturally when they are anxious. Sometimes cleaning your physical environment can do some brain clean up.
- Go to the movies. It helps shift your focus from yourself to others and whatever happens to them is not a real risk for you.
- Avoid addictions. Addictions increase our anxiety. Whenever the substance is gone, we get into anxiety mode. If you are addicted to anything, finding out how to control anxiety should start by kicking those habits.
- Count your blessings. When you are aware of what you have, you will be less likely to create a bad future in your mind.
- Improve your time management skills. Being organized can bring lots of certainty into your life. When you feel you have no time, you will become more anxious. Use your time wisely.
- Write a success journal. While writing a journal is good in realizing feelings. Writing a success journal helps you focus on the good in your life and teaches your mind to expect more positive than negative from the future.
- Watch comedies. It will make you think happy thoughts. Sometimes, it’s not about how to control anxiety, but how to change your focus to something good and comforting. Laughter also helps control your anxiety chemically by releasing “happy” chemicals in your body.
- Write yourself a love and encouragement letter for emergency. In this letter, write yourself an example of things that you were anxious about, worried about and they turned out well to your advantage. As with the happy list, read it when you are so afraid of the future.
- Create a vision board. Much like goals, a vision board helps us think of a positive future rather than a negative future.
- Learn non-attachment. It is a very Buddhist concept and very useful. There is lots of freedom in acceptance and there are many ways, ancient and modern to learn non- attachment. Seek and you shall find them!
- Ask yourself, “Is there anything I can do, now, to change that imaginary bad future?” If you ask, you will find answer, go and do it. Small changes will do the trick. It will move you from fear to action!
- Ask yourself, “Do I know for sure that this is what will happen?” After many times of asking it, the answer will always, always be “NO.” You want to hear yourself saying to your anxious mind that the story it tells you is not necessary true.
- Have a hobby. Hobbies make us feel good. They give us a sense of control over our life and can be a positive distraction from our anxiety.
- Play the “If I win the lottery” game whenever you feel down. Ask yourself what you would do if you win the lottery tomorrow. It will teach you to imagine a positive future.
- Have faith. People having a faith have trust in the future.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation exhaust the body and makes us more anxious. If you can’t sleep, make sure you get enough rest.
- Avoid coffee. Much like alcohol, coffee makes people anxious and edgy and the more coffee they drink, the worse fortunetellers they are. Part of how to control anxiety is how to control its triggers, like coffee.
- Ask yourself “what’s the worst thing that can happen?” and answer it. Sometimes the fear of the wolf is greater than the wolf itself.
- Play the “disaster game”. Imagine a horrible imaginary, horrible outcome. It is something like this. “I went into the interview and found out that the interviewer was an alien”, “When I stood in front of the audience I realized they were all vampires”. Go wild, it will minimize the anxiety from the event and make it sound ridicules.
- Avoid high consumption of sugar. Sugar is an external substance of feeling good. It works exactly like alcohol and drugs. When the substance is gone, we become very anxious.
- Play the “If I had super powers what would I do with it?” game. Anxiety many times triggers the helplessness button and playing the “power game” can help us shift the focus from helplessness to power.
- In an argument, when you want you want to be right at all cost, you are anxious. Do not feed it! If you have that thought in your mind, it is a sign it took you to your reptile brain when all you think is “fight or flight”, which in your case is “fight”.
- Notice that perfectionism is a fear and comes with lots of anxiety. When someone is perfectionists, he is anxious about being perceived as not good enough. There is something addicting in perfectionism. Stay away from it! If you need help to get over it, get help!
- Do not be afraid of conflicts. You will survive them. Fear of conflict is a major anxiety issue that people will do everything to avoid. Again, conflicts are like the wolf. The fear of the wolf is greater than the wolf itself.
- Keep busy. Anxiety requires thinking time and when you are busy, there is no time to “think” those thoughts. Fill up your schedule with things to do, people to be with, action, activities, fun, even spare time to be busy doing nothing.
- Supplement with magnesium. Studies show that Magnesium has some relaxations effect.
- De-clutter. Much like cleaning up, de- cluttering can help you think clearly. Messy environment sometimes translates to messy mind. Some people cannot think clearly in a messy desk of messy room, which only increases the anxiety.
- Fake it until you make it. Sometimes we are anxious about something in the future and we feel we can’t control it. Try acting yourself in that situation, practice yourself in the event without the anxiety, without the fear and rehearse it you mind over and over again. Much like most people in the world, I was anxious about public speaking and this strategy helped me be able to stand in front of thousands of people and feel good.
- Let go of the disease to please. When you are so focused on pleasing others, your judgment is cluttered.
- Focus on personal development. The more developed you are, the less likely you will create in your mind a negative future to be afraid of. Personal development helps you be aware of who you are and work better with your set of skills and abilities.
I hope this very detailed list with 59 tips on how to control anxiety will be useful for you and your children in living life to the fullest and enjoying a successful, positive future.
This post is part of the series How to Deal with Anxiety: