Strategies to deal with stressors
We’re all dealing with a lot each day – it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. Taking stock of what’s making you anxious can help you take control of that anxiety and make a plan.
Before anxiety even hits, you can do some work to get ahead. The goal isn’t to never feel anxious again – it’s to feel confident that you can deal with whatever life throws at you.
When it comes to tackling the things causing you stress and anxiety, you’ve got options.
Some things you can’t change. Accepting what is rather than wishing it wasn’t so can be a relief.
Anxiety can help protect us from threats in our world. If we didn’t experience anxiety, we wouldn’t know when or how to react to danger, discomfort or uncertainty.
You may be able to avoid stressors that trigger your anxiety by setting boundaries that allow you to define your needs, feelings and responsibilities. This can help you feel more grounded and less overwhelmed by anxiety. Once you communicate your boundaries to others in your life you can say “no” when you need to avoid an anxiety trigger without feeling guilty for doing so.
Alter what you’re doing to reduce anxiety
Switch up your space or change your routines in ways that reduce stress for you. This could include:
- Consuming less caffeine
- Getting more sleep
- Eating a balanced diet and not skipping meals
- Determining with a health professional if any medications you’re taking may trigger anxiety
- Taking better care of yourself, physically, mentally and emotionally
- Working with an advisor to reduce financial stress
- Taking advantage of any workplace benefits you may have (counselling, massage, etc.)
- Practicing mindfulness to acknowledge the anxious feeling and redirect your mind to something else
- Journaling to learn what’s making you anxious, what you can control and what your attitude towards anxiety is
Adapt how you think about anxiety
Change the way you think or reframe problems in a way that helps you solve them.
- View anxiety as a condition you can manage by making the changes you need to feel better.
- Accept that anxiety is normal and necessary. While it can sometimes be unhelpful, anxiety can also be that nervous energy that helps you get through an exam, major project or sports event.
- Understand you need to make daily choices, especially during stressful times, to help reduce your anxiety.