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40 Powerful Tips to Deal with Anxiety (That Actually Work)

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Anxiety has all kinds of surprising symptoms and signs, including reading faces. In a 2017 study1 by the University of Bristol, researchers found that people with higher levels of anxiety had a more challenging time reading people.

6 images of a man with different facial expressions.  In a 2017 study by the University of Bristol, researchers found that people with higher levels of anxiety had a more challenging time reading people. This relates to the article on anxiety tips.

Take a look at each of these 6 facial expressions. Can you tell which subtle emotion is being expressed? All 6 of these are shown in the above graphic. Can you assign the correct image to the right face?

____ Sad

____ Fear

____ Anger

____ Happy

____ Surprise

____ Disgust

Answer Key (click to reveal)

(1. surprise, 2. sad, 3. happy, 4. fear, 5. disgust, 6. anger)

When you live with anxiety, life is full of worry, second-guessing, and doubt. Your mind becomes a movie theatre for every worst-case scenario possible.

We’re never taught in school how to deal with anxiety or stress. 

But there are effective ways to work with your anxiety. Here are some science-based tips to lessen your anxiety and stress.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural emotional response characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure. It typically arises from anticipating uncertain events or outcomes. 

Anxiety can arise because of our life circumstances or because of our natural dispositions. 

Regardless of why you might experience anxiety, there are plenty of ways to cope with it successfully. 

You can watch our video here:

40 Anxiety Tips to Cope and Thrive

According to the Global Organization for Stress2, at least 60% of working adults in major global economies are stressed.

It’s normal to feel stressed and anxious. And it’s still intense and unpleasant!

Here are 40 pro tips to help you deal with anxiety.

Please note that these tips are not considered professional medical advice. Consulting a professional is always best if you are struggling and need further support. You can check out Mental Health America’s helpful list for a good resource for therapists.

Radically Limit Your Choices

Remember that infamous black turtleneck Steve Jobs would always wear? There was a reason he wore it (and it’s not because of the fashion)!

Choice paralysis is real. When we are overly concerned about making decisions, this can lead to distress, according to a recent study3

Indecision is a massive source of anxiety for many of us.

And here’s the key: Not all decisions are equal! There are 2 main ways we can decide—thinking and doing.

An image by Science of People showing the difference between thinkers and doers. This relates to the article on anxiety tips.

The thinking way of decision-making should be reserved for life-changing decisions. But when it comes to everyday choices such as what to eat for dinner or how to dress, science says it’s best to simply “do it” rather than linger to the point of stress.

We like to believe choices give us freedom, but often, choices can cause us stress. 

So, to reduce your symptoms of anxiety, let’s reduce your decisions.

Action Step: What’s the one daily decision that causes stress? Then, think about how to make a quick decision every day instead of wasting time.

Examples of how to make fewer decisions:

  • Deciding on what to eat for breakfast →, do Sunday meal prep, or have a three-meal rotation.
  • Deciding what to do first on your to-do list → Pre-plan the night before.
  • Deciding what to wear → make a uniform! Or make your entire closet color-coordinated.
  • Deciding which restaurants to go to for family dinner → Make a list of 10 favorites on your phone and work your way down the list in order.

Use the 5-4-3-2-1 Technique.

Here’s a reliable grounding technique. To use it, do the following:

  • Identify 5 objects around you that you can see.
  • Identify 4 things you can feel.
  • Identify 3 things you can hear.
  • Identify 2 things you can smell.
  • Identify 1 thing you like about yourself!

One of the most complex parts about feeling anxious is that you can’t be in the moment. You’re stuck spinning in your head. 

This exercise is a way to be present.

Use the Calming Power of Kindness

Kindness is one of the fastest ways to feel calm.

A study4 by Emily Ansell of Yale University School of Medicine found that doing kind things for others, even if it’s as simple as holding a door open for a stranger or offering a couple minutes of help to a coworker, minimizes stressful emotions. And it also makes you feel like a better person!

Next time you’re having a chaotic day, take a breather and do a random act of kindness. This can be as little as sending a hello text to an old friend or even buying a coffee for someone and asking them for a deep conversation starter.

Action Step: Pick one of 62 kindness ideas and do it today.

Thank You Instead of Sorry

Do you say sorry one too many times?

  • “Sorry for being late!”
  • “Sorry for my behavior!”
  • “Sorry for asking!”

The problem is, every time you say “sorry,” you’re subtly nudging yourself down and cutting your confidence.

If you’re an excessive sorry-giver, here’s the good news: you can be authentic! It’s OK not to say sorry for your actions.

Instead of saying sorry, think of replacing sorry with thank you:

  • Sorry for being late. —> Thank you for waiting.
  • Sorry for my mistake. —> Thank you for correcting me.
  • Sorry for saying that. —> Thank you for your understanding.

Action Step: Track down all the times you say sorry in one day and change those sorries to thank you’s. If you want to be creative, you can even make a “Sorry Jar” and put in a dollar every time you say sorry!

Conquer Your Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is when you feel nervous, tense, or uncomfortable in social situations because you’re worried other people are judging you. Almost everyone has experienced social anxiety at some point in their lives.

Life is filled with moments of self-consciousness—from job interviews to first dates, we all occasionally feel nervous around other people. But social anxiety becomes a problem when it’s so frequent or intense that it gets in the way of important things in your life.

I recommend reading more about social anxiety or watching this video below:

Talk in the Third Person

Have you ever noticed you are nicer to your friends than yourself?

Talking to yourself in the third person can reduce anxiety. Research5 suggests that third-person talk works because it creates “psychological distance” between you and the perceived threat.

In other words, third-person self-talk lets you look at things more objectively instead of being consumed by stress and anxiety. You will also talk with more kindness and forgiveness to yourself, just like you were consoling a close friend!

Here are some self-talk phrases you can try during stressful situations:

  • “It’s okay to be a little late, buddy.”
  • “Mike, don’t let small problems eat at you!”
  • “You did great during that interview, Mike!”
  • “Mike, you can do it!”

Sometimes, I also like calling myself “buddy” because it feels like a parent consoling a child.

Action Step: Consider a recent situation that caused you stress or anxiety. Think of the negative things you told yourself and replace them with positive third-person talk!

Track Your Triggers

Anxiety can sneak up on us out of nowhere. All of a sudden, we’re swallowed in worry.

But usually, anxiety sparks up because of a trigger.

Action Step: Spend a day with a notebook where you jot down the exact moment you started to feel anxious. What event caused it? What specific thought caused it?

See if you can find patterns.

Snap Out of Your Funk

You can trigger positive chemicals in your brain to fight the negative ones.  

When you’re anxious, you’ll experience cortisol (the stress hormone), adrenaline (the fight or flight hormone), and norepinephrine (the high-alert hormone).

You can counteract those hormones by inducing one of the following:

  • Serotonin: Feeling of belonging
  • Dopamine: Feeling of excitement
  • Oxytocin: Feeling of connection

Check out this article that will teach you how to boost each hormone.

Take Opposite Action

Do you find your anxiety leads you to self-destructive tendencies? Action can be the best thing you can do for your anxiety. But if you find yourself doing the wrong things instead of helping yourself, try a technique called “opposite action.”

As the name suggests, if you feel stressed, worried, sad, or upset, try doing the opposite of what you usually do:

  • If you need to make your bed and organize everything neatly before you leave the house in the morning, let it grow messier by the day instead.
  • Go outside for a walk or drive when you usually stay inside.
  • Cook dinner without a recipe or switch out random ingredients.
  • Color outside the lines, complete your tasks out of order and throw out the window all the rules you used to follow.

Sometimes, our brain gets stuck in patterns, and we must shake it up to reset. You could even try brushing your teeth with the opposite hand when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed. It doesn’t fix everything, but it helps!

Action Step: The next time you’re feeling in a rut, try completing an opposite action of what you’d typically do. If you’re someone who likes order in your life, you’ll soon see that there’s beauty in the chaos.

Destress With Anti-Stress Body Language

As soon as you feel yourself go into a stressful mental space, put your physical space into strong body language:

  • Roll your shoulders back and down your spine.
  • Aim your chest and forehead up towards the sun.
  • Place your feet firmly on the ground, shoulder-width apart.
  • Relax your arms at your side.

One study6 found that when athletes win a race, their body language becomes more expansive, and when athletes lose a race, their body language becomes more defeated. 

Want to look like a winner? Roll your shoulders back, firmly plant your feet, open your chest, and keep your head up. The more confident your body looks, the more confident you will be perceived as. This is called high body power—taking up space with your body.

Three images of Vanessa Van Edwards showing how you can take up space with your body. This is one of many anxiety tips.

Three kinds of power pose you can try:

  • Pride. We throw our hands above our heads when we win a race and smile happily.
  • Wonder Woman or Superman. Putting your hands on your hips and standing wide and firm is a great posture for confidence.
  • Dancing. The more you can move your body and take up space, the more likely this will turn into muscle memory. Turn on your favorite song and rock out—it’s the best stress relief.

Action Step: Next time you’re stressed, use your body language to regain control and get the right hormones pumping. You will be amazed at how different you begin to feel.

Let Nature Heal You

A 2019 meta-review7 showed that 90% of relevant papers found at least one positive association between nature-based recreation and mental health, including decreases in anxiety.

In other words, spending time around trees, plants, mountains, and fresh air can boost your mood! I try to walk at least once in the evening to unwind from a long, stressful work day.

What if you can’t take a stroll through nature? Bring nature to you!

One 2019 study8 found that when office workers took care of a small plant at their desks, it reduced stress. And better yet, they found that even just looking at the plant reduced their stress levels significantly!

Action Step: Go for a nice stroll for at least 15 minutes. Aim to do this at least three times per week! And if you can’t go out in nature, this next tip is for you. Find a great plant for your room or office.

What’s your type? Cat vs. Tiger

There’s no doubt that the mind and body are connected9 A new inpatient study10 found that 95% of patients who participated in an exercise program reported improved mood!

If you want to know how to deal with anxiety symptoms in an active way, you should try transferring your anxious energy into your body through physical activity. Finding your preferred cat or tiger exercise is one way to do that.

Cat exercises are activities like yoga, stretching, meditating, and walking.

Tiger activities include running, weightlifting, boxing, and cycling.

Both cat and tiger activities are great for people who need to calm down and have trouble focusing. However, cat activities are generally more relaxing and calming, while tiger activities are great for high-energy, anxious people.

Action Step: Which exercises do you prefer? Find your preference and do it today!

Take Down the Clock

Keeping track of time is an easy way to calm anxiety and take control. We allow ourselves specific time increments to complete tasks11 throughout the day. But if things take longer than usual, we can become stressed out!

It’s important to accept that we cannot control time.

Action Step: Pick a day to never look at a clock; just go about the day doing chores and performing routines as you see fit. But do not monitor the time! Choose parts of a day to spend with no plans. Stop thinking about time so much, and you’ll see that it doesn’t matter as much as you feel.

Go on a Digital Detox

Modern technology is great, especially when using it to your advantage. But sometimes, we use technology as a distraction, like when bored.

If you are bored, your brain might work differently than others. Studies12 suggest that people who experience boredom more often have a greater chance of experiencing anxiety and depression.

Check out this video where Vanessa Van Edwards (Science of People founder) goes into detail about how to go on a technology diet:

Also read: How to Do a Digital Detox: 3 Easy Steps for Success

Seek Out Scary Experiences

What? Seek fear-inducing experiences to reduce my fear. Yes! Sometimes, we love a good horror movie to give us a little scare in the comfort of our own homes. Yes, there’s a science term for that.

Voluntary arousing negative experiences (or VANE, for short) are those scary experiences we seek out just for the fun of it. Science says that VANE experiences condition us to adapt to and better handle13 adverse emotions in the future, including stress and anxiety!

Here are some other examples of VANE:

  • going on a rollercoaster ride
  • going to a haunted house
  • taking a walk in the middle of the night
  • reading a scary book

Seeking out fear has become a huge practice in my life—namely, my fear of heights. I’ve been practicing parkour for several years as a regular way to confront this fear. And it’s been a game-changer! I also find that challenging myself to strike up conversations with strangers in a park or cafe (to challenge my social anxiety) is similarly empowering.

Action Step: Are you a scare-seeker? If you can handle it, try VANE experiences to build your anxiety resistance!

Michelle Poler is a master at conquering anxiety! She conquered 100 fears in 100 days and transformed her fear into a business!

Science of People founder Vanessa Van Edwards did a video with Michelle. Check it out:

Use the ABCDE Model

Psychologist Albert Ellis came up with the ABC model to treat anxiety (later reformulated into the ABCDE model). The idea behind the model, which is also a part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy14 (CBT), is that our beliefs can cause anxiety, so changing our beliefs can change our emotions.

As the name suggests, there are 5 steps15 in the model ranging from A to E:

  1. Activating event: This is the real-world experience or adversity that triggered anxiety, such as being late or missing a deadline.
  2. Beliefs about the event: This is what you believe is true because of the event, like “I’m bad at timing” or “I don’t work hard enough.”
  3. Consequence: The feeling or behavior that resulted from your beliefs about the event. For example, you might tell yourself you feel useless and even give up trying to be on time.
  4. Dispute the beliefs: Here’s your chance to challenge the dysfunctional beliefs. Ask yourself: Why do you have to be perfect? Are you really bad at everything? Where is the evidence that people think you are useless?
  5. Effect: Write down your feelings after this exercise. See if you can change your beliefs through logical reasoning, behavior, or action-taking.

The more we analyze and understand our anxiety, the more in control we can become. Don’t be afraid to explore your activating events and triggers.

Find Your Flow

If you’re too energetic to meditate, transfer your energy to find something that makes you flow!

What is flow?

Flow is a state of consciousness where people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and total involvement with life.

In his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi found that this flow state makes our experiences truly satisfying. This flow state is when we feel truly “at the moment,” and everything outside disappears. You know when you’ve been in a flow state when you look at the clock, and you can’t believe how late it is!

I can often get into a flow state when I’m writing. I’ll get an inspired idea and let the inspiration move through me, guiding me into a new, unexplored terrain of thought. And time zips by!

Basketball is another huge flow space for me. It’s fast-paced and physical. I’ll sometimes be in a present, reflex-driven state for hours without realizing it!

A quote by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi about consciousness, which relates to the article on anxiety tips.

Here are some activities you can do to find your flow:

  • Cook or bake.
  • Clean your junk drawer/room/house/mom’s house. 
  • Do jigsaw puzzles.
  • Chat with a friend.
  • Hike in the forest or mountains.
  • Play an instrument.
  • Write poetry.
  • Do photography.
  • Go for a run.
  • Plant seeds in your garden.

Action Step: Find the one thing that makes you forget your sense of time and enter flow!

Repopulate Your Microbiome

Did you know the health of your gut determines your stress levels? More specifically, 

Reduced microbiome16 in the gut is linked with higher levels of anxiety and stress.

So, how do you know your gut health isn’t looking so good? According to Healthline17, a few symptoms to look out for are:

  • upset stomach
  • a high-sugar diet
  • skin irritation, and
  • sleep problems or constant fatigue

Action Step: If this sounds like you, try improving your gut health18 or following an anti-stress diet guide19

Reframe Stress and Anxiety

Your perspective of stress is your reality.

Columbia psychologist Alia Crum conducted research20 that shows that our mindsets shape our physical reality.

In the shocking study, her team told housekeepers that their work was exercise and gave them estimates of how many calories they burned per task. Within one month, they lost weight, while the housekeepers who were told nothing remained in the same physical state.

When the housekeepers simply believed they were burning calories by working, they burned more calories, similar to engaging in rigorous exercise!

Your body reacts the same way to your beliefs about stress.

If you believe stress is harmful, it will be. Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal found that people with negative perceptions of stress are more likely to experience fight-or-flight stress responses.

This includes the commonly feared reactions to stress, such as feeling panicked, unable to focus, and acting irrationally. People experience these symptoms because their bodies release large quantities of hormones, making it harder for them to deal with their anxieties.

Conversely, if you believe stress is a positive feeling, you will experience a challenging stress response. This type of stress response gives you an intense desire to prove yourself, heightens your focus under pressure, and gives you the energy you need to succeed in whatever situation you are in.

People with positive beliefs about stress have these advantages because their bodies produce higher levels of DHEA– the performance-boosting stress hormone!

When handled properly, stress and anxiety can be one of your greatest assets for boosting productivity and performance in challenging situations. McGonigal explains these five benefits of stress:

  • It increases your energy levels. When you choose to harness rather than hate them, stress and anxiety can be the source of energy and motivation you need to tackle your problems head-on.
  • It fuels flow states. If your stress and anxiety don’t lead to a panic attack, it helps you increase your focus on your triggers and efficiently develop beneficial solutions.
  • It makes you more productive. One study in the book found that worldwide national stress levels positively correlate with each country’s well-being as measured by GDP and other factors. In other words, stress inspires people to create more.
  • It rewires your brain to learn from experiences. To avoid dealing with the same stressful or anxious situation again, our brains alter our perceptions and reactions toward our triggers. This prevents you from repeating mistakes.
  • It makes you more resilient. Learning from negative experiences and reflecting on how you overcame them can heighten your threshold so small issues no longer worry you.

Watch McGonigal’s TED Talk, “How to Make Stress Your Friend,” TED Talk and read on for an eye-opening perspective on how stress affects us and how to use it to our advantage:

Draw a Mandala

Studies21 show that “structured coloring of a reasonably complex geometric pattern,” such as a mandala, can help reduce feelings of anxiety by leading you into a meditative state.

Drawing or doodling is also a great way to enter your flow state (see Tip # 24).

You can try creating your mandala, finding one online, or even downloading an app for mandala coloring!

Sing or Listen to Music

Are you one of those people who are afraid to sing out in public but an American Idol wannabe in the shower? This might be a great stress reliever, as research shows that singing improves people’s mental health and sense of belonging!

Not a big singer? Try loading up your favorite playlist on Spotify. Studies show that listening to music can even regulate stress and anxiety.

Action Step: Find your perfect song and sing it aloud (or just listen)!

Walk with Lemurs

In a 2020 study22, 86 participants walked through the UK’s largest lemur enclosure.

The result? The participants reported improved mood after their lemur walk. But you don’t have to live in the rainforest. The findings suggest that you can take advantage of this benefit by spending time with different kinds of animals, too!

Action Step: Try taking an anti-stress trip to the local zoo or spending more time with animals.

Take a Cold Shower

When you take a bath or shower, do you like warm or cold water? You might miss out on a major benefit if you answered anything but cold. This study23 shows cold showers help to decrease anxiety.

Cold showers are an amazing, instant “get out of funk” natural remedy.

The reason is that taking cold showers sends an overwhelming amount of electrical signals to our brain—unlike warm showers, which are calm and easy to do—which can lead to that possible anti-anxiety effect!

I’m also a fan of cold baths and find them an amazing jolt to my system. Plus, if I can last for a few minutes, I’m forced to relax in the cold, which can create a profoundly slow and present state of awareness.

Action Step: Don’t even think too much. Just turn on the cold shower and jump in! If you’re up for it, try a 30-day cold shower challenge!

Watch triathlete Joel Runyon’s TEDxLUC talk about how taking cold showers changed his life24

Put Yourself First

Trying to please people is a stressful habit. Before you know it, you’ve soon put everyone around you first and have forgotten about yourself.

I am permitting you to put yourself first.

Only help your friend or coworker when everything you need to do is finished first. Don’t overexert yourself if someone is asking too much of you.

Make sure your mind and body are well-rested, well-fueled, and recharged. Putting your needs before someone else’s will help decrease stress levels.

Big, Deep Breaths

Practice deep, diaphragmatic breathing. Researchers25 found that just five minutes a day of deep breathing measurably reduces stress and increases relaxation.

One method to start with is box breathing.

Action Step: Try going through the following four steps. See if you can do a total of five cycles.

  • Breathe in for four counts
  • Hold your breath for four counts
  • Exhale for four counts
  • Hold your breath for four counts
  • Repeat!

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Here’s another one of the most effective relaxation exercises26 that helps reduce physical and mental muscle tension.

Find a comfortable position, sitting or lying down, and gently close your eyes. Focus on your feet. Squeeze your feet tightly for five seconds, then fully relax them for 10 seconds, releasing all tension.

Continue this pattern of tensing and relaxing with your calves, thighs, glutes, stomach/chest, shoulders/arms, fists, and face. And then, finally, do everything all at once.

Create a Morning Routine

Sometimes anxiety increases because life feels chaotic and out of control.

One way to restore order is with a morning routine.

This routine doesn’t have to be complex; it can be as simple as making your bed, enjoying a healthy breakfast, or spending a few minutes in meditation. These actions signal your brain that the day starts on a positive, organized note, reducing the uncertainty that often fuels anxiety.

Whenever my life feels like it’s starting to go haywire, I consistently return to this wakeup routine:

  • Make my bed
  • Stretch for 5 minutes
  • Meditate for 15 minutes

Just those 20 minutes gives me a sense of groundedness and order. 

What might work for you?

Action Step: Create a morning routine that’s anywhere between 1 and 3 steps. It doesn’t have to be complicated!

See if you can execute your morning routine each day this week.

Caffeine Cleanse

Caffeine is known to contribute to anxiety27 and even panic attacks in high enough doses.

If you can reduce or eliminate your caffeine intake, you can help your nervous system regain a sense of calm and balance. 

Action Step: If you’re usually a caffeine drinker, can you reduce your daily dose by 50% for the next week?

Write Out Your Thoughts

Journaling out your thoughts is shown to help with negative mental health symptoms28

There are lots of ways to journal, but one helpful way to deal with anxiety is called Positive Affect Journaling. It’s essentially where you spend time writing about the positive aspects of your life. The idea is that wherever you put your attention, it will grow.

Action Step: Spend ten minutes journaling on any of these prompts:

  • What aspects of yourself do you cherish the most?
  • What achievements fill you with pride?
  • What obstacles have you successfully navigated through?
  • What brings joy into your life?

Massage Trade 

What’s more relaxing than receiving a massage?

If you don’t have the money to splurge on a professional massage, you can get one for free by trading with a friend!

Action Step: Ask a friend you are comfortable with if they’d be open to trading 30-minute massages.


Essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus can calm the mind and improve mood. Use them in diffusers, baths, or as part of a massage for a soothing effect.’

Studies29 do suggest that aromatherapy can help lessen anxiety and improve sleep.

Action Step: Go to a wellness store and purchase a few essential oils that call to you. Then, use them in your next hot bath.

Set Realistic Goals

Sometimes, we experience stress and anxiety because it feels like we’re never reaching our goals. If you try to set goals and you’re constantly falling short, this can create feelings of defeat, angst, and low self-esteem.

If this is a challenge you have, you might appreciate this free training on how to use science to set the right goals for yourself:

How To Set Better Goals Using Science

Do you set the same goals over and over again? If you’re not achieving your goals – it’s not your fault!

Let me show you the science-based goal-setting framework to help you achieve your biggest goals.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

What is Time Trying to Teach You?

Time can be another huge source of anxiety if you’re constantly running late or feel like there’s never enough time.

Think about what challenges you consistently face in your relationship with time. Perhaps these aren’t life features but opportunities for you to learn lessons and grow.

Action Step: If time is a source of anxiety for you, write out the most stressful aspects of your relationship with time (e.g., “I feel like I’m running out of time!”)

Then, for each challenge, write the following: “If time were a teacher, they might be giving me this challenge to help me learn ______.”

Lean on Your Loved Ones

Leaning on loved ones makes life so much easier!

Don’t hesitate to seek support from family and friends. Sharing your worries and joys with trusted loved ones can provide comfort, perspective, and a sense of shared burden.

Action Step: Is there anyone you can open up to or ask for support in your life? Shoot them a text!

Transmute Through Art

Sometimes, unpleasant emotions can be powerful fodder for beautiful art.

Unlike drawing a mandala (from an earlier tip), which can help get you into a flow state and not focus on your challenges, transmuting through art can offer a therapeutic outlet for anxiety. It can help you process feelings non-verbally and find greater self-understanding.

Action Step: If you have a creative outlet, see what it’s like to explore or express your anxiety. 

If you don’t have a creative outlet, try expressing your anxiety through one of the following:

  • Writing a short story
  • Buying some colored markers and making a drawing
  • Putting on a song and dancing

Feel Your Feels

Try to embrace your anxious feelings instead of resisting them. 

Sometimes, your anxiety is trying to show you something, and other times; it just wants to be felt.

Action Step: Try out this four-minute meditation:

Clean Up Your Sleep Hygiene

Studies show30 that good sleep helps with anxiety.

Sometimes, getting your sleep on track can be challenging, but see if you can give it a shot for a week.

Action Step: Try out these sleep hygiene tips for a week:

  • Wear an eye mask while sleeping to block out light.
  • Wear suction earplugs to block out noise.
  • Try to go to bed at the same time each night this week.
  • Try to wake up at the same time each morning this week.
  • If possible, try to avoid caffeine, alcohol, and screens within an hour before bedtime (I know this one can be tough!).

Find a Part of You That You Can Trust

Lots of times, anxiety can arise because you feel like you don’t know what to do or you feel uncertain. Your anxiety “tricks” you, in a sense, into believing that something is wrong, bad, or needs to be worried about.

But if you have another part of you that you can trust—a part that is wise, grounded, and loving—then when you feel anxiety, you can check in with this wise, grounded part of you and get a clearer sense of what’s true.

Action Step: Sit with your eyes shut for a few minutes and see if you can come in touch with a part of you who is wise, grounded, and compassionate. Notice where that lives in your body. Practice coming into touch with this part a few times. Next time you feel anxious, see if you can return to this wise part for a reality check.

Pick Up a Hobby

Engage in a hobby to channel your energy and focus away from anxious thoughts. It can be fun to throw yourself into a hobby and enjoy the fruits of your practice.

Action Step: Is there a hobby you’ve enjoyed in the past? See if you can give it an extra hour or two this week!

If you’re not sure, here are a few ideas:

  • Swimming
  • Gardening
  • Yoga
  • Pottery
  • Knitting

Practice Self-Compassion

We all experience anxiety! If you feel anxious, it’s okay. It’s normal. There’s nothing wrong with you 🙂

Be kind and understanding towards yourself, especially during anxious moments. Acknowledge that experiencing anxiety is a part of being human and not a personal failure. 

If you can meet your anxiety with acceptance when it arises, it’ll make your life much easier. 

Action Step: The next time you feel anxious, try the following mantra a few times:

“I feel anxiety, and that is okay.”

What is the Difference Between Stress and Anxiety?

Stress and anxiety often go hand-in-hand.

What is stress?

Stress is the feeling of worry caused by external factors, such as being late to a meeting or giving a big presentation. Stress usually goes away after the external condition is removed.

Think of stress like an alarm clock. That constant signal tells you, “Hey, it’s time to do something!” and if you don’t listen to it, your stress hormones ramp up, causing you even more stress!

Anxiety, on the other hand, can be triggered by stress.

What is anxiety?

What is anxiety? Anxiety is a feeling of worry caused by internal factors and often can be characterized by a “feeling of dread” or “butterflies in the stomach.” Anxiety typically lingers around after stress is gone.

The bottom line is if you are anxious, it’s likely that an external stressor is causing you worry. And if you have stress, it might cause you to be anxious! 

Frequently Asked Questions About Anxiety Tips

Tips on how to relax with anxiety

To relax with anxiety, focus on deep breathing, relaxation techniques, and mindfulness meditation techniques to calm your mind and body and engage in the present moment. Also, relaxing activities like a warm bath or soothing music can be beneficial.

How to cope with social anxiety 

To cope with social anxiety, prepare for social situations by practicing conversations and focusing on others rather than yourself. Also, gradually exposing yourself to social settings can help build confidence and reduce social phobia.

Tips on how to overcome anxiety

To overcome anxiety, challenge negative thoughts and engage in positive self-talk to shift your mindset. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle also play a crucial role in managing anxiety levels.

Tips on how to help someone with anxiety

To help someone with anxiety, listen to them without judgment and offer support and understanding. Encourage them to seek professional help if their anxiety is significantly impacting their life.

Control Your Anxiety, Control Your Life

Stress and anxiety can have underlying problems. It’s important that if you need medical help, seek out a professional therapist or physician for psychotherapy or other treatment.

Hopefully, some items on this list will also help you with your anxiety journey.

Also, if you’re also prone to burnout, and that’s a big source of your anxiety, you might be interested in this free training:

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Remember, you are important! Hang in there because it WILL get better.

You got this 💪

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12 thoughts on “40 Powerful Tips to Deal with Anxiety (That Actually Work)”

  1. Dorla Harness

    Thank you for all the awesome information Vanessa! My husband and I first found you when we purchased your Non-Verbal Communication course from the Great Courses to help us with marketing for our ecotour business. Your teachings truly make a difference in people’s professional and personal relationships! Thank you so much!

  2. Dorla Harness

    Thank you for all the awesome information Vanessa! My husband and I first found you when we purchased your Non-Verbal Communication course from the Great Courses to help us with marketing for our ecotour business. Your teachings truly make a difference in people’s professional and personal relationships! Thank you so much!

  3. Dorla Harness

    Thank you for all the awesome information Vanessa! My husband and I first found you when we purchased your Non-Verbal Communication course from the Great Courses to help us with marketing for our ecotour business. Your teachings truly make a difference in people’s professional and personal relationships! Thank you so much!

  4. Dorla Harness

    Thank you for all the awesome information Vanessa! My husband and I first found you when we purchased your Non-Verbal Communication course from the Great Courses to help us with marketing for our ecotour business. Your teachings truly make a difference in people’s professional and personal relationships! Thank you so much!

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