Anxiety is one of the trickiest emotions to handle, and if you’re feeling down about it, you’re not alone. It’s an unfortunately common feeling that plagues many people.
Want to know how to stay positive when feeling anxious? The best way to keep a positive attitude when you’re experiencing anxiety is to distance yourself from your stress and find soothing activities, following these steps:
- Identify potential stressors.
- Make a list of positive distractions.
- Get active.
- Brew a cup of tea.
- Make yourself laugh.
- Unplug from social media.
It’s important to be honest with yourself when you’re feeling anxious; that’s why you should focus on dealing with anxiety now instead of waiting until the future to do it. With these six steps, you’re bound to be able to bounce back in no time. Read on to find out more about how you can manage your anxiety and stay positive through the struggle.
1. Identify Potential Stressors and Create Distance
Sometimes, when we feel anxious, there is no particular reason for the emotions we’re experiencing. Many people suffer from chronic or clinical anxiety disorders, which means that they experience anxiety almost constantly and usually without a particular reason.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, over 18% of Americans suffer from an anxiety disorder yearly. For other people, anxiety comes and goes depending on their circumstances, like when they’re at work or in public places.
Take a few moments to consider whether you feel your anxiety is chronic or situational. It’s okay if you don’t know the answer – it’s a difficult question, and you might experience a combination of both chronic and situational anxiety. Either way, do your best to identify why you might be feeling anxious.
For example, are you anxious about world events? Consider why you’re feeling the way you are, and, as best you can and as healthily as you can, distance yourself from them – perhaps you need to turn off the news and power down your phone.
2. Make a List of Positive Distractions
One of the best ways to decrease anxiety and stay positive when you’re anxious is to distract yourself. Studies have shown that distractions are an effective way of decreasing the severity of anxiety. Instead of focusing on how stressful it is to feel anxious, focus your attention elsewhere.
What sorts of activities make you feel good and bring positivity to your life? You might like to take a long, hot bath or give yourself a face mask – check out this Organic Avocado Mud Mask for an easy and natural way to bring some beauty into your life and occupy your mind with a fun task.
Another fun distraction might be a favorite video game or board game. One of the most popular games out right now is Animal Crossing: New Horizons, where you get to play as an animated villager in a town full of talking animals. The game is majorly soothing, and it’s a low-stress alternative to more stimulating games.
3. Get Active
It’s been proven that exercise literally changes brain chemistry, giving our bodies more of the feel-good hormones that people with anxiety disorders often lack. This exercise doesn’t have to be an exhausting workout. It can be something as simple as going for a stroll in the sunshine or jogging around the block. If you’re feeling bold, a quick half-mile run will help you get your heart rate up.
Another option for exercise that helps soothe anxiety is yoga. Psychologists believe that practicing yoga can help decrease worry. It’s also a great way to release muscular tension in the body that can build up from being anxious.
This Natural Cork Yoga Mat is easy to transport and store for when you want to sit down and stretch out. Load up your favorite yoga DVD, or find a video on YouTube to follow along with – Yoga With Adriene has over 7 million subscribers and comes out with new routines every week.
4. Brew a Cup of Tea
One of the easiest and most affordable ways to perk up your mood when you’re feeling anxious is to brew a cup of herbal tea. You don’t have to be a master herbalist to make yourself a cup, either.
Nowadays, there are plenty of options for natural soothing teas that you can find at your local grocery store. One of the most popular stress-relief teas on the market is Celestial Seasonings’ Tension Tamer. One of the main ingredients in this blend is an herb called eleuthero, a traditional Siberian root that has been proven in studies to increase quality-of-life in elderly adults.
Another widely-available herbal tea that’s good for anxiety is Yogi Tea’s Kava Stress Relief blend. The main ingredient in this tea is kava kava, a bark from the South Pacific that has been used for generations as an aid for relaxation.
Note: Make sure you check with your doctor about potential interactions with these teas before curling up with a warm cup.
5. Make Yourself Laugh
You’ve probably heard someone say before, “laughter is the best medicine,” and they weren’t wrong. In the short term, laughter has been proven to relieve momentary stress, and in the long term, has been proven to boost your immune system. To promote your health, find things that make you laugh. Maybe you’re a fan of reading comics – check out the Strange Planet comic book from illustrator Nathan Pyle.
You can also watch any number of funny, light movies on your favorite streaming site. Once you’ve brewed your cup of tea and have a few moments to settle down, turn down the light and curl up in a blanket for a few laughs.
6. Unplug From Social Media
Unfortunately for those of us who are tech-savvy and spend much of our time on social media, it’s been proven that more time on social media can indicate greater levels of depression and anxiety. It can be difficult to “break-up” with your phone for a bit. If you absolutely need it for work or if you just have to be in contact with someone, leave your phone across the room, and only access it when you truly need to. Do the same with your laptop.
If you have a smartphone, you likely have a “Screen Time” setting already installed – take a look there and see how much time you actually spend on your phone a day. Use this setting to monitor yourself and stay off social media as best you can.
Even if anxiety pops up every now and again, you have the tools you need to stay positive. Take an honest look at your thoughts and see what might be causing your anxiety. Is it chronic, or is it situational? If it’s majorly situational, see if you can temporarily distance yourself from your main stressors.
Put together a list of distractions that will keep you occupied and avoid focusing on the anxious feelings. Go for a walk or do some yoga and make yourself a cup of herbal tea (skip the caffeine). Find a book or movie that makes you laugh and stay off your phone for as long as you can. Now that you’ve set yourself up for success, enjoy the relaxation you’ve worked so hard to cultivate.
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- National Institute of Mental Health: “Anxiety Disorders”
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America: “Facts & Statistics”
- European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: “The influence of rumination and distraction on depressed and anxious mood: a prospective examination of the response styles theory in children and adolescents”
- Amazon: Organic Avocado Vegan Dead Sea Mud Mask
- Harvard Health Publishing: “Can exercise help treat anxiety?”
- Psychology Today: “Suffer From Anxiety Disorder? New Research That Yoga Helps!”
- Amazon: Gurus Natural Cork Yoga Mat with TPE Latex-Free Bottom
- Amazon: Celestial Seasonings Herbal Tea, Tension Tamer
- Kaiser Permanente: “Eleuthero – Uses”
- Amazon: Yogi Tea – Kava Stress Relief
- US National Library of Medicine: “Kava for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (K-GAD): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial”
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Kava”
- Mayo Clinic: “Stress relief from laughter? It’s no joke”
- Amazon: Strange Planet (Strange Planet Series)
- Anxiety.org: “Creating a strong online identity may contribute to depression, anxiety, and other problems”
- Amazon: Nintendo Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Nintendo Switch
- YouTube: Yoga With Adriene
- Absolute Motivation