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Anxiety can be frustrating at the best of times, and completely debilitating at the worst of times. With symptoms of panic attacks, chest pain, quickened heart rate, light-headedness, shortness of breath, tightening of the chest, and feelings of being out of control, anxiety is a mental health condition that knows no boundaries. It can ruin your mood and affect your work, study and social life. So, it’s important to have a few strategies to overcome anxiety on standby.

Check out 10 effective ways to manage anxiety that aren’t medication.

Slow breathing

When anxiety strikes, breathing becomes fast and shallow. To get your breathing back to its regular beat, try slowly breathing in for three seconds before holding the same breath for three seconds and releasing the breath for three seconds. Repeat until you’re feeling calmer.

Return to the present moment

Often when someone is anxious, their feelings are connected to a future event or scenario; something that is yet to occur. Press rewind on your thoughts and bring yourself back to the present moment by observing the sights, sounds, smells, and sensations around you.

Challenge your self-talk

Negative self-talk can lead to negative emotions, so why not challenge those pesky thoughts in your mind? Rather than opting for a worst-case scenario style of thinking, consider whether your thoughts are accurate. Is there more to the story than your mind is making you believe?

Schedule worry time

Feelings of anxiety and worry don’t run on a schedule. They can’t be predicted, however scheduling 15-minutes each day to sit down and vent can be helpful in overcoming anxiety. Try writing down anything that’s bothering you in a notebook before returning to daily life with a clearer, more present mind.

Move your body

When you physically experience the fight-or-flight response as a result of anxiety, the body becomes flooded with adrenaline and other stress chemicals. The best way to burn through these chemicals is by exercising. Aim for three to four sessions of movement every week.

Practice yoga

Yoga is a form of exercise that helps you to work equal parts on your inner self and your outer self. Yoga classes are normally slow, yet challenging, and people with anxiety can find them more manageable than a typical styled workout. Plus, the addition of breathing, relaxation, and meditation techniques makes yoga an ideal anxiety-relieving strategy.

Get familiar with your anxiety

Learn what triggers your anxiety. Keep a diary detailing when your anxiety occurred, what caused your anxiety, and the emotions you felt in relation to that experience. Once you’ve gathered a decent amount of data on your anxiety, reflect and prepare for future events where you may be triggered.

Talk it out

It’s true what they say; a worry shared is a worry halved. So, if you feel comfortable to do so, chat with your mates about your anxiety. Let them know what’s going on so they can help you feel less alone should you ever be triggered. Not confident chatting to your mates? Seek professional help or connect with others who are experiencing anxiety through an online forum or in-person support group.

Manage your screen time

Whether it’s your television, mobile phone, laptop, or smartwatch; technical devices can be a massive distraction from daily life. With the smorgasbord of social media platforms on offer, exposing yourself to the high expectations and FOMO of friends, celebs and influencers can worsen your anxiety. Small doses of screen time will help to ensure you’re staying present and living a reasonably anxiety-free life.

Take life one step at a time

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your life. If you find yourself in an overwhelming situation, space it out. Work through the tasks in small bursts, taking the time you need to comfortably complete tasks in a manner that suits you.

This article is designed to be informative and educational. It is not intended to provide specific medical advice or replace advice from your medical practitioner.