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Gemma’s Gem of the Week: 5-Step Plan for Managing Anxiety

Gemma’s Gem of the Week: 5-Step Plan for Managing Anxiety

Anxiety can make it easy to feel like life is spinning out of our control, convincing us that we no longer have a hold on the reigns. Today we’re going to create a plan of action in 5 steps that that will help us manage anxiety a little easier.

Step #1: Acknowledgement

Acknowledging our anxiety is the first step to re-grounding ourselves. We’re allowing ourselves to understand that what we’re feeling is real; even if we’re the only ones experiencing it in that moment. Identifying when anxiety is making an appearance leaves room to create a plan of action.

Step #2: “What I Can Control”

Creating a list, either mentally or physically, of “What I Can Control” has been an incredibly helpful resource for me. My therapist taught this to me as a grounding technique. Examples that can be added to this list are:

  • Drinking a glass of cold water
  • Eating something that will energize you
  • Who you spend time with
  • Taking a walk
  • Listening to music
  • Breathing
  • Writing

Step #3: “What I Can’t Control”

Here’s the opposite side of the previous step: “What I Can’t Control.” This tool allows us to acknowledge the circumstances around us that we simply do not have control over. In a way, there is comfort here, because we are able to identify a clearer understanding of what is true. Examples that can be added to this list are:

  • The past
  • The future
  • How others see you
  • The actions of others
  • If people like or dislike you
  • The weather
  • The exact outcome to anything

Step #4: Fresh Air and Movement

Movement has been a healing resource when it comes to my anxiety. Getting some fresh air after sitting in the same position for a while can help quiet things down a bit. Being surrounded by nature and green scenery is a peaceful and accessible tool that allows us to set aside time for ourselves. Movement also helps to release the emotions and stress that may have been bottled up. You can even bring your headphones along and turn on your favorite playlist to further relax your mind.

Step #5: Reaching Out

Sometimes, all we need is someone to be there and listen. Reaching out to a trusted friend, family member, or professional may feel intimidating at first, but having the right people there is well worth it in the long run. Talking to a friend can even lead to leaving your current environment and going out to a coffee shop or another safe space you enjoy. This change of scene, along with the valued company, can create an incredibly comforting, beneficial tool.

Please note: I am not a licensed therapist or health provider. This list is entirely based on my own personal experiences. If you need further assistance, please seek guidance from a mental health professional.

If you have any questions you would like me to answer, feel free to email me at t2cweeklygems@gmail.com, and they may be featured in next week’s article!

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Gemma Farquhar is the writer of "Gemma's Gem of the Week" and author of "The Shape of Something New." She is passionate about the future of storytelling and welcomes all ages to her column.

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