By Priya Tahim
Ever get that feeling in the pit of your stomach that feels like you have to pee, but when you go to the bathroom nothing comes out? Do you ever feel like you can’t breathe, but can’t figure out why you’re feeling so claustrophobic all of a sudden? I have, and similar to other people who suffer from anxiety, I know it’s a constant struggle to find ways to reduce the feeling of anxiety and/or get rid of the feeling completely.
It seems that my anxiety comes and goes, but when it’s here it feels like I’m breathing through a straw. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell if it’s anxiety or my asthma flaring up; other times my anxiety triggers my asthma.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, about 18% of the US population is affected by anxiety. That being said, just because you feel anxious doesn’t necessarily mean you are depressed, have a mental illness, or there is anything clinically wrong with you. It’s normal for everyone to feel anxious from time to time. The key, however, is how you deal with your anxiety.
There are thousands of different methods that work for individuals to help reduce anxiety, however what works for one person may not always work for the next. The key is to try out different coping skills for your anxiety and find the ones that work best for you.
During my career of in the mental health field, I’ve developed my own list of coping strategies that help reduce anxiety. Here are a few that have helped some of the individuals I’ve worked with, including me!
While it's important to remember that a certain amount of anxiety is normal, it shouldn't interfere with your normal life functioning. If you find that you're having trouble managing your anxiety, you may need outside assistance from a therapist to help you cope.
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