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A Guide for Managing Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition in the United States affecting over 40 million adults. If you are one of those people, you know how difficult it can be to manage your anxiety. The good news is that there are many things you can do to improve your symptoms and feel more in control. In this guide, we will discuss self-care practices that can help, as well as when to seek professional help for anxiety.

Lifestyle Changes

It’s important to make sure you are taking care of yourself and living a healthy lifestyle. Eating well, getting regular exercise, managing your stress levels, and getting enough sleep are all factors that can all help reduce anxiety symptoms. These changes may seem small, but they can have a life-changing impact on how you feel.

Mindfulness Practices

Mindfulness is the practice of being in the present moment without judgment or expectation. This includes activities like meditation and yoga, but also paying more attention to everyday tasks like walking or preparing food. Research has shown that mindfulness can be an effective way to manage anxiety.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a therapy used to treat various mental health conditions, including anxiety. It is based on the idea that our thoughts and beliefs can influence how we feel. The goal of CBT is to focus on changing negative thinking patterns into more positive ones, which can reduce anxiety symptoms.

Self-care Practices

Self-care is important for managing anxiety. This includes activities like journaling, spending time with friends or family, listening to music, or doing something creative. Taking regular breaks and finding a balance between work and leisure can also help manage stress levels and prevent anxiety from escalating.

First Steps to Self-care Practice

Self-care is an important part of managing anxiety. Here are some tips for getting started:

1. Create a routine – Establishing a regular routine can help you feel more in control and less overwhelmed by your day-to-day tasks. It also keeps you from feeling like you’re constantly fighting against time. Having a set schedule for meals, sleep, and even leisure activities can help make life easier to manage. 

2. Make self-care part of that routine – Once you have identified activities that make you feel good, make sure to include them in your daily or weekly routine. This could be anything from taking a walk to reading a book or watching a movie. 

3. Take time off when needed – It is important to take breaks throughout the day and give yourself permission to rest and recharge. This could be anything from taking a nap to enjoying the outdoors or spending time with friends.

4. Set boundaries – Boundaries are important in helping you manage your feelings and emotions, as well as preventing yourself from becoming overwhelmed or overburdened. Set limits on how much time you can spend on certain activities and tasks, and make sure to take breaks whenever needed.


Journaling is a great way to express your thoughts and feelings in a safe space. It can also help you identify underlying issues that may be causing your anxiety. Writing down your worries or fears can make them easier to manage. If you’re not sure how to start journaling, here are some tips:

• Start by writing down what you are feeling 

• Try to identify the source of your anxiety 

• Write down solutions that you can work on 

• Write down why it is important for you to manage your anxiety

• Write down any positive steps you have taken 

• Reflect on your progress 

Different Ways of Journaling

There are different ways to journal that can help you better manage your anxiety. Here are some ideas:

• Free writing: Writing down whatever comes into your mind without worrying about structure or grammar. 

• Gratitude journaling: Writing down things you are grateful for and reflecting on the positive aspects of life.

• Problem-solving journaling: Identifying a problem and writing out different solutions to help solve it.

• Thought-stopping journaling: Identifying negative thoughts or worries and coming up with ways to switch them into more positive thoughts. 

• Dialogue journaling: Writing a conversation between yourself and the source of your anxiety. 

• Reflection journaling: Writing down your reflections on a particular experience or situation. 

Physical Exercise

Physical activity can help improve anxiety by releasing feel-good hormones and helping to reduce stress and tension. Exercise also helps with sleep, which is important for managing anxiety symptoms. To get the most benefit, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week.

What Is Moderate Physical Activity?

Moderate physical activity is any activity that increases your breathing and heart rate for a sustained period of time. This includes activities like walking, jogging, swimming, or biking. It does not have to be strenuous and can be tailored to your individual fitness level. 

Talk Therapy/Counseling 

Talking with a mental health professional can help you gain insight into why you feel anxious and how to manage it more effectively. A therapist or counselor can also provide guidance in setting goals and developing coping strategies to better manage anxiety symptoms. If you are interested in pursuing talk therapy, ask your healthcare provider for recommendations or do an online search for therapists in your area. 

Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises can help you relax and cope with anxious feelings. A few techniques to try include:

• Deep Breathing: Take deep, slow breaths from your diaphragm and practice breathing out for longer than you breathe in. 

• 4-7-8 Method: Breath in for a count of four, hold the breath for a count of seven, then exhale through your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat this cycle several times. 

• Belly Breathing: Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly and focus on taking slow breaths that make your belly rise and fall instead of focusing on taking deep breaths. 

• Visualization: Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a peaceful and relaxing place. Visualize all five senses to make the experience as real as possible. 

When Do You Need Professional Help for Anxiety?

If your anxiety is severe and interferes with your daily life, it’s important to seek professional help. If you find that self-help strategies are not enough to manage your symptoms, talk to a healthcare provider about treatment options such as medication or therapy. A mental health professional can provide specialized help in managing anxiety and helping you develop more effective coping strategies. Don't wait until things get worse—seek professional help when you need it. 

The best way to manage anxiety is by finding a combination of techniques that work for you. Remember, the key is to be patient with yourself and practice self-care every day! 

Relieving Your Anxiety

If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, reach out to Jackson House for help. Our team of mental health professionals are dedicated to helping individuals find relief from their anxiety symptoms. Our counseling and therapy services provide a safe and supportive environment in which our clients can explore the source of their anxiety and learn effective strategies for managing it. 

We also offer specialized breathing exercises, physical exercises, and other lifestyle interventions tailored to the individual's needs. With our help, you can find lasting relief from your anxiety symptoms and regain control of your life. Don't wait any longer—contact us today to take your first step towards recovery.

About the author

Jackson House

Jackson House

We built Jackson House because we realized there was a critical gap in our healthcare system and many individuals with mental illnesses and substance abuse problems were struggling because of it. While there are many outpatient treatment options and locked, inpatient facilities there was nothing in the middle. Nothing to help people who needed around the clock care but wanted to receive treatment voluntarily, on their own terms. Jackson House is different. We provide clients with the level of care they need in a welcoming environment. When you walk through our doors, we will meet you wherever you’re at and help you on your journey toward feeling better.

It's time to feel better

We are here to help and we are in-network with most insurance providers. Call us for a free and confidential consultation.

If you’re a provider and need to send us information on a client, please feel free to fax us at 619-303-7044. If you need help immediately, call our 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-766-4274. If you have a medical emergency, call 911. Jackson House is licensed by the State of California Community Care Licensing Division and certified by the Department of Health Care Services. We are also CARF Accredited. If you have any client or quality of care concerns, please reach out to us at (888) 255-9280. If your concerns need further attention, you can contact the Department of Public Health at 619-278-3700 or the Community Care Licensing Division at 1-844-538-8766.