3 Stress and Anxiety Management Tips
How to Manage Stress and Anxiety
In Between Visits With Your Therapist
At Good Therapy SF we help clients with a range of symptoms that include signs of depression, burnout, stress, anxiety, and more and then provide scientifically based techniques that help with stress and anxiety management. Try using one or more of the research-supported tips below to help manage stress and anxiety issues.
Journaling or writing out specific thoughts that contribute to stress is an essential part of stress and anxiety management and therapy. Why? Writing these anxiety or stressful thoughts creates perspective. This perspective is essential to reducing the intensity of stressful emotions.
Research shows that journaling creates more activation in the prefrontal area of the brain (the thinking / executive function area) and less activity in the amygdala (the fear center). Essentially, the act of journaling forces the brain to gain perspective through this neurological process.
If you find it difficult to get started, try using one of these prompts:
What am I feeling right now? How intense is this feeling?
What happened today that might have triggered this feeling?
What negative future am I predicting? What is the percent chance this future is really going to happen? Why this percent?
Meditation / Mindfulness
Meditation or mindfulness is particularly helpful for stress and anxiety management. Similar to journaling, meditation helps to provide perspective and has an overall effect of reducing the intensity of emotions. Mindfulness skills can be helpful in the moment, but the overall goal is to lower the stress baseline over time with regular practice.
Often clients say they do not know how to meditate or they feel intimidated by starting something new. This is especially true when considering meditation, which can sometimes look more mystical than scientific to the uninitiated. To provide anxiety therapy and move past this anticipatory stress try one of the following:
Sit comfortably in a chair for two minutes and notice your breath. How often does your mind drift to something other than your breath?
Sitting down, place your phone about an arm’s length away. Look at your phone without touching it for two minutes. Notice what thoughts, feelings, or physical sensations appear.
Sitting down, pick a spot in the room where you can focus your gaze. Concentrate on that one particular spot for two to five minutes. If you find your mind wandering, bring your attention back to the spot.
Focusing on personal time is an often-overlooked skill to help manage stress, burnout, and those suffering from signs of depression. Why? Often a trigger for these symptoms is poor time management and not prioritizing personal needs.
For example, setting up work meetings back to back without breaks can contribute to burnout. This is because our bodies run on approximately 90-minute cycles, creating a need for some recovery at the end of each cycle. Without some type of break, symptoms of fatigue, frustration, stress, and eventual burnout are possible.
For stress and anxiety management, personal time is even more important as self-care essential to the treatment process. Some activities to consider for effective personal time include:
A Regular Sleep Schedule
- 30 minutes of exercise daily
- Taking time to eat/cook nutritious meals
- Some activity that you enjoy. Reading, hobbies, or connecting with others are great examples. Try to avoid activities that involve screens.
Try these three tips for stress and anxiety management or if you are experiencing signs of depression or burnout. If you are interested in speaking to a psychologist or want to know more about anxiety therapy and mental health reach out at email@example.com.