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Anxiety, Worry, and Stress Can Build Without You Noticing: 6 Strategies for Managing Anxiety, Worry, and Stress Throughout the Day

May 17, 2022

As humans, we can operate like a pressure cooker with anxiety, worry, and stress building slowly throughout the day or throughout our week without us really knowing it is happening…until we reach our metaphorical boiling point. A pressure cooker is a sealed chamber that builds up high steam pressure inside. As the steam builds, the pressure increases, and pushes the temperature of boiling water above 212 degrees Fahrenheit which results in food cooking faster. Do you ever feel like you are pushed beyond your limits of anxiety, worry, or stress and therefore react to things faster or with more intensity than you would otherwise?

 

If so, you are not alone. You start your day with your stress and anxiety levels at a certain point. They may be very low, or they could be high without you even noticing it. As the day progresses, things can happen that continue to fuel your stress and anxiety and again, you may not even notice that it is happening. You may also not notice how much impact it is having on you. In addition to external things happening that can impact your overall anxiety and stress levels, the thoughts that are running in your mind also impact your anxiety, worry, and stress levels. Sometimes these thoughts are obvious and noticeable (you are worried about a loved one who is sick, an upcoming presentation, a child not doing well in school, a rocky relationship, finances, etc.), and sometimes they quietly humming in the background without you even being aware they are there.

 

Despite not being aware of some of the thoughts that are running through your mind each day, they are still impacting your emotions. Like a pressure cooker, they can be adding to the anxiety and stress you are experiencing without you realizing it. Because of this, it is helpful to check in throughout the day and release some of the pressure that has been building, so that you bring it back down to its baseline.  There are some specific strategies that many of my clients find helpful so that they feel in control of their emotions and ensure that they don’t hit their “boiling point”.

 

6 Strategies for Managing Anxiety and Stress Throughout the Day.

 

  • Take 10 (or more) deep breaths. Breath in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, and breath out for 8 counts. When you breathe out you can also say a phrase like “release” or “relax”. 

 

  • Move your body. Get up from where you are and move your body around for just 5 minutes. You can take a walk, do some squats, do a quick yoga sequence, jump in place, do some knee lifts...really anything will work, so do what you enjoy.

 

  • Put on some music. Either put on music that will hype you up and change your mental state (combine this with a little dance for even more impact), or some soothing music that makes you feel like you are at the spa. Music can have a big impact on how we feel.

 

  • Dump your thoughts on paper. Take a piece of paper and write out everything you are thinking without censoring your thoughts. The goal is to get them out of your head and onto paper so that you give your brain some relief from all your thoughts that are causing you stress and worry. This will also help you identify those sneaky thoughts that you may not even know are humming in the background.

 

  • Write down one thing you are grateful for and one win you had each day. This will help ensure that your brain is logging the good things and not only the things that are causing you anxiety, worry, and stress. This will also help you feel better overall.

 

  • Practice mindfulness meditation. This practice will help you learn to tune into your thoughts that are causing you to feel stress, worry, and anxiety. Once you can recognize the thoughts, you are then able to manage them and change them so that you change the way you feel. If you want to learn how to do this practice you can grab my free guide by clicking HERE.

 

Give one or all of these a shot. I recommend setting an alarm to remind yourself to do one or more of these practices a couple of times per day. This will allow you to manage your anxiety, worry, and stress proactively before you hit your “boiling point”.

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