How to manage anxiety

Have you ever thought what to do and how to manage anxiety? Those who experience feelings of anxiety will tell you that it’s not easy to manage anxiety. What’s even worse, the majority of those who suffer from anxiety disorder think that anxiety is a normal part of life. However, anxiety can affect your quality of life if left untreated.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a common and natural human response to stress or perceived threats. It is characterized by feelings of apprehension, worry, fear, or unease. While it is normal to experience some level of anxiety in certain situations, such as before an important event or during times of change, anxiety becomes problematic when it becomes excessive, persistent, and interferes with daily life.

Anxiety can manifest in various ways, including physical symptoms (such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, trembling, or shortness of breath), cognitive symptoms (such as racing thoughts, excessive worrying, or difficulty concentrating), and behavioral symptoms (such as restlessness, avoidance, or compulsive behaviors). Some common types of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.

Why you need to manage anxiety

Mental well-being

Anxiety can significantly impact your mental health and overall well-being. Unmanaged anxiety can lead to chronic stress, which can contribute to the development of mental health disorders such as depression, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. Taking steps to manage anxiety can help improve your mental well-being and reduce the risk of developing these conditions.

Quality of life

Ultimately, managing anxiety contributes to a better overall quality of life. It allows you to experience more peace, enjoyment, and fulfillment in your day-to-day activities. By taking steps to address and manage your anxiety, you can lead a happier, healthier, and more balanced life.

Enhanced relationships

Anxiety can strain relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners. It can lead to difficulties in communication, increased irritability, and withdrawal from social interactions. By effectively managing your anxiety, you can improve your ability to connect with others, maintain healthier relationships, and reduce the strain on your interpersonal interactions.

Physical health

Anxiety doesn’t just affect your mind; it can also have physical effects on your body. Prolonged periods of anxiety can lead to symptoms such as muscle tension, headaches, stomachaches, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Additionally, chronic anxiety has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular problems, weakened immune systems, and digestive disorders. By managing anxiety, you can minimize the impact it has on your physical health.

What are the impacts of anxiety in your life?

Emotional Impact: Anxiety can lead to persistent feelings of fear, worry, and unease. It may cause irritability, difficulty concentrating, and restlessness. Individuals with anxiety may also experience frequent mood swings and have a heightened sensitivity to stress.

Physical Impact: Anxiety can manifest physically, resulting in symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, muscle tension, headaches, stomachaches, and fatigue. Chronic anxiety may also weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to illnesses.

Occupational Impact: Anxiety can affect job performance and career prospects. It may hinder concentration, decision-making, and productivity. Additionally, individuals with anxiety may struggle with public speaking, meeting deadlines, and handling job-related stress, potentially limiting their professional growth.

Interpersonal Impact: Anxiety can strain relationships with friends, family, and romantic partners. It may lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, and a decreased ability to communicate effectively. Anxiety can also influence intimacy and trust within relationships.

Health Impact: Chronic anxiety can contribute to the development or exacerbation of other health issues, such as cardiovascular conditions, gastrointestinal problems, and compromised mental well-being. Proper management of anxiety is crucial for maintaining overall health.

Common types of anxiety disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): GAD involves chronic and excessive worry and anxiety about various aspects of life, such as work, health, relationships, or daily activities. Individuals with GAD often struggle to control their worries and experience physical symptoms like restlessness, fatigue, muscle tension, and difficulty concentrating.

Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia): Social anxiety disorder involves an intense fear of social situations and being negatively evaluated by others. Individuals with social anxiety may experience extreme self-consciousness, fear of embarrassment, and avoidance of social interactions. Common situations that trigger social anxiety include public speaking, meeting new people, or participating in social gatherings.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive and distressing thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions) performed to alleviate anxiety. Common obsessions include fear of contamination, aggressive thoughts, or a need for symmetry. Compulsions may involve repetitive behaviors like hand washing, checking, or counting.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Symptoms include intrusive memories or flashbacks of the traumatic event, avoidance of reminders, hypervigilance, nightmares, and emotional distress. PTSD can significantly impact a person’s daily functioning and quality of life.

Other common types of anxiety disorder

Specific Phobias: Specific phobias are characterized by an excessive and irrational fear of a particular object, situation, or activity. Common specific phobias include fear of heights, animals, flying, needles, or certain environments. Exposure to the phobic stimulus often leads to intense anxiety or panic attacks.

Separation Anxiety Disorder: Separation anxiety disorder is commonly seen in children but can also affect adults. It involves excessive and developmentally inappropriate fear or anxiety about separation from attachment figures, such as parents or caregivers. Symptoms can include distress, nightmares, refusal to go to school or leave home, and physical complaints when separation is anticipated.

Panic Disorder: Panic disorder is characterized by recurring panic attacks, which are intense episodes of fear and discomfort. Panic attacks typically involve sudden and overwhelming sensations of impending doom, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, and a feeling of losing control. People with panic disorder often develop a fear of having future panic attacks and may avoid situations or places associated with previous attacks.

What are the common symptoms of anxiety disorder?

Anxiety disorders can manifest in various ways, and different individuals may experience different combinations of symptoms. However, here are some common symptoms associated with anxiety disorders:

Excessive Worry: Persistent and uncontrollable worry about everyday situations, events, or activities. The worry may be disproportionate to the actual threat or impact of the situation.

Sleep disturbances: Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or having restless, unsatisfying sleep. Some individuals may also experience intense or vivid nightmares.

Muscle tension: Experiencing muscle tension, aches, or soreness throughout the body. This tension is often a physical manifestation of the anxiety experienced.

Racing thoughts: Having a rapid stream of racing thoughts or a constant preoccupation with negative or worrisome ideas. It can be challenging to control or quiet the mind.

Difficulty concentrating: Finding it hard to focus, pay attention, or concentrate on tasks. The presence of anxious thoughts can interfere with cognitive processes.

Restlessness: Feeling on edge, restless, or keyed up. It may be difficult to relax or concentrate due to an underlying sense of unease.

Fatigue: Feeling tired, lacking energy, or experiencing a general sense of fatigue, even without engaging in physically or mentally demanding activities.

Irritability: Being easily agitated, irritable, or having a low tolerance for frustration. Small stressors or disruptions may trigger outbursts or irritability.

How to manage anxiety by identifying triggers

Anxiety disorders can be triggered by a wide range of factors, and these triggers can vary from person to person. Here are some common triggers that can contribute to the development or exacerbation of anxiety disorders:

Stressful life events: Major life changes or traumatic experiences such as the death of a loved one, divorce, job loss, or a serious illness can trigger anxiety symptoms.

Chronic medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic pain, or respiratory disorders, can cause or worsen anxiety symptoms.

Substance abuse or withdrawal: The use of certain substances like drugs, alcohol, or even caffeine can trigger or exacerbate anxiety symptoms. Additionally, withdrawal from substances can also lead to anxiety.

Medications and substances: Some medications, including certain antidepressants, stimulants, and corticosteroids, can have anxiety as a side effect. Certain substances like recreational drugs and stimulants can also induce anxiety.

Genetics and family history: Having a family history of anxiety or mental health disorders can increase the likelihood of developing an anxiety disorder. There may be a genetic predisposition that makes some individuals more susceptible to anxiety.

Phobias and specific triggers: Certain specific phobias, such as fear of flying, heights, spiders, or social situations, can trigger intense anxiety symptoms when exposed to the feared object or situation.

Environmental factors: Growing up in a stressful or unstable environment, such as a home with high levels of conflict, abuse, or neglect, can contribute to the development of anxiety disorders.

Here is how you can manage stress:

1.Talk to someone

Here is how talking to someone helps in managing anxiety:

Emotional support to manage anxiety: Sharing your feelings and concerns with someone you trust can provide you with emotional support. It allows you to express your thoughts and worries, which can provide relief and help you feel understood.

Venting and catharsis: Verbalizing your anxiety can act as a form of release. It allows you to unload your thoughts and feelings, which can provide a sense of relief and catharsis. Simply venting about your anxiety can help alleviate some of the emotional burden associated with it.

Social connection: Anxiety can lead to social withdrawal or isolation, making it challenging to engage with others. By reaching out and talking to someone, you can maintain or strengthen your social connections, which can have a positive impact on your overall well-being.

Perspective and reassurance: When you talk to someone about your anxiety, they can offer a different perspective on the situation. They may be able to provide reassurance, challenge negative thoughts, or help you see things from a different angle. This can help you gain a clearer understanding of your anxiety and reduce its intensity.

Validation: Anxiety can sometimes make you feel like you’re alone or that your worries are irrational. By talking to someone, you can receive validation and realize that others may have experienced similar feelings or concerns. This validation can help reduce feelings of isolation and normalize your experiences.

2. How to manage anxiety through physical exercise

Regular exercise can be highly beneficial for managing anxiety. Here are several ways exercise can help:

Releases endorphins: Exercise triggers the release of endorphins, which are natural chemicals in the brain that act as mood elevators. These endorphins promote feelings of happiness, reduce stress, and alleviate anxiety.

Reduces stress: Physical activity helps to reduce the production of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Regular exercise can lower overall stress levels and make you more resilient to stressors, thus reducing anxiety.

Improves sleep: Anxiety often disrupts sleep, and lack of sleep can further exacerbate anxiety symptoms. Regular exercise promotes better sleep quality, helping you fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper, more restorative sleep. This can significantly reduce anxiety levels.

Provides a sense of control: Anxiety often makes individuals feel out of control. Engaging in regular exercise allows you to take charge of your physical well-being, creating a sense of control and empowerment, which can counteract anxiety.

Boosts confidence: Engaging in regular exercise can improve your physical fitness, strength, and overall well-being. Achieving fitness goals, seeing positive changes in your body, and feeling stronger can boost self-confidence and self-esteem, ultimately reducing anxiety.

3. Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep is crucial for managing anxiety. Here are several ways in which adequate sleep can help alleviate anxiety:

Reduced Hyperarousal: Anxiety often leads to a state of hyperarousal, where the body and mind are constantly on high alert. Sufficient sleep helps regulate this hyperarousal by providing necessary rest and allowing the body to recover. It promotes relaxation, reduces tension, and calms the nervous system.

Balanced Neurotransmitters: Sleep plays a vital role in maintaining the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which are involved in regulating mood and anxiety. Sustaining proper levels of these neurotransmitters through adequate sleep can help manage anxiety symptoms.

Restoration and Recovery: Sleep is a restorative process that allows the body to repair and recover from daily stressors. It supports immune function, physical health, and overall well-being. When your body is well-rested, it is better equipped to cope with anxiety and its physiological effects.

Perspective and Problem-Solving: Sleep deprivation can make problems appear larger and more overwhelming, amplifying anxiety. Conversely, getting enough sleep provides a fresh perspective, helps put things into proper context, and improves problem-solving abilities. It allows you to approach challenges with a clearer and more rational mind set.

Improved Cognitive Functioning: Sleep deprivation impairs cognitive functions, including attention, concentration, and decision-making abilities. When you’re well-rested, your cognitive functioning is optimized, enabling you to think more clearly, process information effectively, and better manage anxious thoughts.

4. Support system to manage anxiety

Having a support system can be immensely helpful in managing anxiety. Here are some ways in which a support system can assist:

Emotional support: When you’re feeling anxious, having someone who understands and empathizes with you can make a significant difference. Sharing your feelings and concerns with a supportive friend, family member, or therapist can provide a sense of relief and comfort.

Active listening to manage anxiety: One of the most important aspects of a support system is having someone who will listen to you without judgment. By actively listening, they allow you to express your thoughts and feelings openly, which can help you gain clarity and reduce anxiety.

Encouragement and motivation: Anxiety can sometimes make you feel overwhelmed and demotivated. A support system can provide encouragement and motivation, reminding you of your goals, helping you stay focused, and offering a gentle push when needed.

Accountability: A support system can help you stay accountable for self-care and implementing healthy habits. They can remind you to engage in activities that promote well-being, such as exercising, maintaining a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and avoiding excessive stress.

Validation and reassurance: Anxiety often comes with self-doubt and second-guessing. A support system can validate your experiences and reassure you that your feelings are valid. They can offer perspective, reminding you of your strengths and capabilities when anxiety makes you question them.

5. Limit alcohol intake

Limiting alcohol intake can help manage anxiety for several reasons:

Dependency and withdrawal: Regular alcohol consumption can lead to dependency, and when alcohol is not consumed, withdrawal symptoms may occur. These symptoms often include increased anxiety and restlessness, which can perpetuate a cycle of alcohol use to alleviate anxiety temporarily.

Physical health effects: Excessive alcohol consumption can have detrimental effects on physical health, including liver damage, cardiovascular problems, and increased vulnerability to other mental health conditions. These physical health issues can further exacerbate anxiety symptoms and overall stress levels.

Impaired judgment: Alcohol impairs cognitive functions and decision-making abilities. Under the influence, individuals may be more prone to engaging in risky behaviors or making impulsive choices, which can lead to increased stress and anxiety in the long run.

Sleep disruption: Alcohol can interfere with sleep patterns, causing disturbances in the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep. Poor sleep quality can contribute to increased anxiety levels and make it harder to cope with stressors.

Chemical effects: While alcohol may provide temporary relief from anxiety symptoms, it is a depressant that affects the central nervous system. It can disrupt the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin, which plays a crucial role in mood regulation. This can lead to increased anxiety and worsen existing symptoms.


Everyone’s experience with anxiety is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. So, it’s essential to seek professional help if anxiety symptoms persist or worsen. A mental health professional can provide appropriate guidance, therapy, and support tailored to individual needs.


1.What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural human response to stress or perceived threats. It is characterized by feelings of fear, worry, unease, and nervousness. While mild anxiety is normal and can be helpful in certain situations, excessive or chronic anxiety can interfere with daily life and well-being.

2.How can I tell if I have anxiety?

If you experience persistent and excessive worry or fear, have difficulty controlling your worries, feel restless or on edge, have trouble sleeping, experience physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat or sweating, and find it challenging to concentrate, you may be dealing with anxiety.

3.When should I seek professional help for my anxiety?

If your anxiety significantly impacts your daily life, relationships, or work, or if you are experiencing panic attacks, it’s essential to seek professional help.

4.What role does self-care play in managing anxiety?

Self-care is crucial in managing anxiety. Taking time to focus on your physical and emotional well-being can reduce stress, improve resilience, and help you better cope with anxiety.