Updated: Jun 8, 2020
As a therapist, there are two responses that I receive when I start discussing anxiety;
people cringe at the thought or they fully embrace the idea. Anxiety is fear of the
unknown and a natural response to stress. We have all experienced anxiety; the
intensity and frequency vary from person to person. What does anxiety feel like?
Constant worry, increased heart rate, racing thoughts, poor sleep, irritability, emotional
outburst, sweating, pacing, the feeling of “I can’t sit still”. These are some common
anxiety symptoms, but symptoms can vary depending on the individual. There are
healthy and unhealthy ways to cope with anxiety. We want to focus on healthy ways to
cope with anxiety daily.
Practice Mindfulness: Have you ever driven home from work and did not
remember the drive there? That is our brain on autopilot. Mindfulness is allowing
yourself to be present at the moment. The most common way to practice mindfulness is meditation. We can also implement mindfulness practices in our daily routine by using our five senses. Throughout your day take a moment to focus on what you hear, see, smell, touch, taste. This practice allows us to be grounded in the here and now.
Worry Time: Create a time in your day where you are going to worry about a
situation, once that moment is over, we release the worry. For example, this afternoon
3:00-3:30 pm I am going to only focus on my finances. I know this is easier said than
done but practice makes perfect! This technique allows us to free up space in our minds, decreasing constant worry.
Create a safe space: We play many roles in our lives; parents, friends, family
members, caretakers, & coworkers…the list goes on. It is important that we create an
environment in which we can take off those hats and fully experience ourselves. Allow
yourself to experience your emotions without carrying the burden of those roles. This
environment can be on your drive home from work, meeting up with friends for a
brunch, taking an afternoon walk, sitting in a quiet room, or speaking with your therapist. Find what space makes you feel safe and spend some time there.
It is important that we understand that feeling anxiety is not a death sentence, it is an
emotion like any other. We must learn how to cope with this emotion daily. Be open to
learning and implementing techniques to cope with anxiety. The techniques shared in
this post are not the only ways we are able to cope with anxiety. It is recommended that
you find a mental health professional to help create a more personalized plan to cope
Tamyra Villines is a licensed mental health counselor that specializes in anxiety
disorders. Tamyra has a private practice, Lynn eTherapy PLLC, where she offers
individual therapy virtually in select states. Tamyra offers free over the phone
consultations. Check out Tamyra's website www.lynnetherapypllc.com for more