Modern life comes with its own unique stresses and strains.

In order to cope when things get too much, it’s important to develop coping strategies which work for you.

Soothing an anxious mind can be difficult in the midst of an anxiety attack or during times of particularly high stress, but there are solutions out there to help you get through.

Here are our top 5 tips for managing your stress and anxiety levels, with solutions for both short and long-term.

1. Get Active

A major cause of stress and anxiety is inactivity, and the effects of getting out and about can be quite radical.

Finding a sport or activity you love is a great way of taking your mind off your troubles and getting a positive boost of endorphins – so have a look for something you think you could stick with and give it a try.

2. Visualise Your Nightmare Scenario

Confronting your fears might not sound very appealing, but imagining the worst thing that could happen and walking through what that would really be like, step by step, is a great way of putting these self-doubting, anxiety-inducing thoughts away for good.

Accept that like many situations we imagine in our heads, it probably won’t ever happen – and if it does, you’ll be prepared.

3. Lose Your Idea of Perfection

Getting something done is always better than waiting for it to be perfect.

Perfect doesn’t exist. If you wait around for perfection – the perfect life, the perfect job, the perfect partner – you will merely drag yourself down into a spiral of anxiety and unhappiness.

Be pragmatic about your goals, and don’t abandon ambition – but focus on what will really work for you, not some abstract concept of perfection which keeps you from going after what you want.

4. Stay Connected

When anxious or stressed, sometimes our connections with those around us become ever more strained.

Remember to reward yourself by reconnecting with the people you care for by making it a priority and sticking to your social commitments.

5. Give Yourself a Pep Talk

We all have an inner voice which passes judgement on how we handle different situations, but it’s incredible what a difference changing this narrative from a critical voice to a positive ally can make.

Give yourself a break – and focus on what you handled well in each individual situation.

You are a work in progress, so don’t be disheartened if it takes some time to really feel the newly positive things you are saying to yourself are true; just think of it like running a car – you need to continuously add fuel in order to keep it going – and so it is with positive thinking.

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