Many people struggle with spotting symptoms of anxiety — in themselves or others. Anxiety is an overwhelming feeling of nervousness or excessive worry that often results in an array of symptoms. Physical discomfort, muscle aches, trouble sleeping, irritability, poor concentration, and panic attacks are all symptoms of anxiety.

Anxiety itself is a symptom of your body releasing adrenaline which is supposed to help you act fast in a dangerous situation. However, when we are feeling stress and overwhelm our body may release adrenaline, though, we are not in danger. For those of us who deal with anxiety, this chemical reaction happens often and can negatively affect the way we function. Here are six steps to managing anxiety without medication:

  1. Learning your triggers is a first steps in therapy for someone who has anxiety. Understanding what makes you anxious is the basis for the following steps. Triggers can be mental — like a memory you have about a traumatic incident, or physical — like being over stimulated in a crowded arena. Some people have social anxiety, or are triggered by traffic or deadlines at work. Whenever you find yourself feeling anxious take a moment to think about what triggered that feeling and make a note of it.
  2. The next step is to set boundaries which is very important as you seek peace. Setting boundaries is about creating distance between yourself and what triggers you. You can’t control everything so it is important to manage your environment. Setting boundaries is about advocating for yourself.
  3. Expressing your needs are similar; however, it is encouraged to go a step further and ask for support from those we trust. When feeling anxious, it is difficult to calm down so preparing a friend or two makes it much easier to manage a panic attack when it occurs. Tell your support system what helps you relax, and they can remind you to use your coping skills and help you through it.
  4. A go-to for holiday anxiety is to create a game plan. Make sure you have an exit strategy for when the family dinner turns into a battlefield, or even on regular days, when the office is randomly busy and extremely triggering. Prepare a signal for a friend or a coworker that it is time to “dip out” for a much-needed break.
  5. Meditate Daily: There’s not much more to say about this one, science has proved that meditation positively affects brain clarity and reduces anxiety. Make it a part of your daily routine, and find out how 7-10 minutes of morning meditation can completely change the course of your day.
  6. Creating a self-care routine is the best way to release daily stressors that often pile up. Many people wait until they are burned out, or for a special occasion to self-care appropriately. This is often too late.

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