I have a confession to make about ways I manage to reduce my anxiety. I still use a planner, a real physical planner with pages and all. When it comes to planning out my weeks, I like to map it out visually. One tactic I recommend is to start putting right into your planner or calendar the things that will help you to reduce your anxiety. If you put them in your calendar, you will be more likely to complete them. The more items you complete, the greater chance there is for an improvement in anxiety relief. Below are five action items for you to add to your planner. Whether you do them once a week or every day that is up to you. The important thing is to keep up with your planner and follow your daily tasks. You can reduce your anxiety through using these tips.
Reading on a regular basis is a helpful way to keep your mind sharp, as well as reduce anxiety. Pick two books and read them at regular intervals. Pick one book for pleasure like “Harry Potter” or “Hunger Games”. Pick one book for education, such as “Feel The Fear and Do It Anyways” or “The Feel Good Handbook”.
Meditation is a proven tactic to help reduce anxiety, both in the short-term and long-term. A daily meditation practice can transform your life. And it doesn’t take a long time either. Ten minutes of meditation is all you need. YouTube has a lot of ten-minute meditation videos. We also have Muse to help you learn to meditate and track your progress.
Picking up your journal and writing in it is an important tool in reducing anxiety. You can write about your day, the unhealthy thoughts that came up or visualizations for the future. Writing is a very healing and cathartic experience and should be incorporated into a regular routine.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, in order to reduce anxiety you are going to have to get up and move! Exercise is going to be one of the most effective tools in reducing anxiety. Take your dog on a walk. Take a dance class at a local dance school. Do whatever you enjoy when it comes to exercise. The more you like it, the more likely you are to continue doing it. Read all about How Edorphins Make You Happy!
5. Therapy sessions
Make a commitment to attend therapy until your anxiety is under control. Thankfully, anxiety disorders are responsive to treatment. Be sure to find a therapist that specializes in anxiety disorders. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the most common form of treatment for anxiety.
While these are great ideas, everyone has different interests and coping skills they can use to reduce anxiety. If yoga helps you to relax, include that in planner instead. If meditation doesn’t work for you, trying coloring. The key is to plan your self-care routine and stick to it.
Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP , Mental Health Counselor of the Year by the Florida Mental Health Counseling Association, decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Amanda has been a therapist for ten years and has a private practice in Wellington, Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and substance abuse in teenagers and young adults. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here.