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by Ciara Gorby, Therapist

Let’s be honest, Anxiety is confusing. Do we all experience it? If I experience anxiety does that mean I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder? Is my anxiety the same as everyone else’s? These are all questions that can make anxiety a challenging emotion to manage. The brief answer is yes- Everyone does uniquely experience the emotion of anxiety at some point in their lives and no- that does not mean everyone who experiences anxiety has a disorder.

Whether you were diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, or it is just a tough emotion for you to manage, there are a few things you can do to help reduce the impact.

Here are some tips for managing anxiety:

  1. Practice relaxation techniques: Deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation can help you relax and reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety.

  2. Get outside: Exercise can help reduce stress by releasing endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters, but if exercise is not attainable in the moment, just getting outside can help transition your mood and decrease stress by getting in some vitamin D.

  3. Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can make anxiety worse, so it's important to prioritize a healthy sleep schedule and routine. Guided meditations for sleep can help improve sleep quality, helping you feel more rested throughout the day.

  4. Limit caffeine and alcohol: Both caffeine and alcohol can increase anxiety symptoms, so it's best to limit your consumption of these substances.

  5. Challenge negative thoughts: Try to identify and challenge negative thoughts that contribute to your anxiety. Ask yourself if your thoughts are realistic and if there's evidence to support them.

  6. Seek professional help: If your anxiety is severe or interfering with your daily life, consider seeing a mental health professional for support and treatment options.

Remember that managing anxiety is a process, and it may take time to find what works best for you. Be patient and kind to yourself as you work to reduce your anxiety.

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