Anxiety can be overwhelming. It casts a shadow on our lives. Even though we can read article after article about how to deal with anxiety, one of the best ways is to implement a few self-care strategies that better manage the day-to-day anxious thoughts and feelings.

Living in and experiencing the present is our best choice; being anxious about the unknown and projecting into the future prohibits us from enjoying the moment we’re in.

Here are some simple anxiety-relieving strategies. Do a few of these for just 15-20 minutes each day to notice a difference in your anxiety levels.

1. Deep breathing. Taking long, deep, belly-focused breaths when you first wake up will set a calming tone for your day. Avoid shallow breathing from your chest, as that type of breathing has been known to actually cause anxiety.

2. Practice self-care. Carve out time for yourself, and do something you enjoy. Take a day trip. Get a massage. Read a book. Get out in nature. Do something that you enjoy.

3. Acceptance. Accept that anxiety is a part of you, but set the intention that you will not let it take over your life.

4. Curb financial spending. Dealing with money is a huge stressor in most people’s lives. Debt can keep you up at night and give you feelings of hopelessness. Look for little ways to cut your daily or monthly expenses—things like trading out cable for Netflix, lowering your heat/AC bills, cooking at home instead of eating out, drinking Starbucks twice a week instead of daily—these little things add up to a big monthly cost and will give you a better grasp on your budget, thereby relieving some anxiety.

5. Get rid of clutter. Studies show if you keep your workspace or house free of clutter, it ends up affecting how organized you feel about your life in general.

6. Go to bed early. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep is crucial to good health. Sleep deprivation leads to anxiety and depression, as it amplifies your brain’s anticipatory reactions.

7. Cut back on caffeine and sugar. Caffeine and sugar have been linked to anxiety as caffeine can elicit heart palpitations and trigger panic attacks. Sugar is a stimulant along with processed foods, and both can increase inflammation.

8. Exercise. Working out produces endorphins and is a natural way to boost your “feel good” emotions. It’s also a quick and immediate feeling of positivity post-workout!

9. Challenge beliefs. Challenge your negative thoughts and beliefs when anxiety pops up. Remember, feelings are not always right, rational, or reality so asking yourself, “Is this actually true?” can help you feel grounded again.

10. See a therapist. Seeking a professional for support will often provide you with better insight to get to the root cause of your anxieties.

No one is exempt from anxiety—it strikes us all at one point or another. However, if anxiety is preventing you from being present and available in the moment, and is holding you back from experiencing your life to the fullest, it might be a good time to take action and do something. Refer to these 10 tips to manage anxiety, or download our e-Book to learn more about self-care and why it’s so important for keeping anxiety at bay.

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Maybe you’re not sure whether you need counseling or psychotherapy, but wherever you’re at in your journey, Creative Counseling Center is here to help. Complete the brief form below to request a free phone consultation and we’ll answer your questions and guide you in the right direction based on your needs and goals.

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