Overwhelmed by Anxiety Advice? Here’s How to Manage It

Overwhelmed by Anxiety Advice? Here’s How to Manage It

Anxiety advice is fairly easy to find. One of the advantages or our modern era is the plethora of information available to us wherever we are and whenever we want it. Self-help books abound, and in them you can find incredibly useful techniques for managing anxiety. Websites like HealthyPlace are wonderful resources. Videos are great resources for anxiety tips, and social media platforms offer pages, groups, and posts from individuals working their way through anxiety and eager to share success stories to help others. This is very positive, of course, but it can also be daunting, overwhelming, and exhausting. It can be helpful to know how to manage all this information once you have it so you can actively begin reducing your anxiety.

Gathering information to help you reduce anxiety is essential in overcoming it so you can live your version of your best life. This step is only the first, however. It can be tempting to seek more and more information, but sometimes, we fall into the trap of gathering and planning so much that we don’t actually do anything with the information and strategies we’re gaining (we all do this). We then have so many ideas for beating anxiety that we feel overwhelmed. We look at our stacks of books full of sticky notes, our notebooks filled with gems gathered from around the Web and from our loved ones, and we shut down, feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. It’s not uncommon at this point to feel more anxious than ever. 

If you have so much anxiety advice that you don’t know what to do next, take heart. Here are just two (in the interest of not adding even more tips to your growing pile) things you can do to manage the strategies you have and begin to truly reduce your anxiety.

Managing Overwhelming Anxiety Advice: Cherry-Pick Your Own Top Tools

You’ve gathered tons of great tidbits and tools. Some likely seem to contradict each other. That doesn’t mean some strategies are incorrect or useless. There are multiple approaches to reducing anxiety because there are so many different types of people with unique experiences with anxiety, individual personalities and preferences, life situations, and more. There’s a good chance that you have a lot of information that is useful to other people. Now it’s time to narrow it down to those strategies that are useful to you.

Devote some time and attention to reviewing what you’ve gathered. Look at notes you’ve jotted down and passages you’ve highlighted in books. You made special note of these items for a reason. They resonate with you in some way. Start a new list of tips that speak to you. 

Once you have this initial list, you might still be overwhelmed. At first, it’s easy to get excited about tips that could reduce your anxiety. Now it’s time to get critical. Return to your list and pick your very top tips, up to about eight. Fewer than eight might not give you enough to work with, and significantly more than that can continue to be overwhelming and unworkable.

Write these eight tips down on a new sheet of paper (or document on your computer or phone). These are your starting point for actively reducing anxiety. Keep the rest of the list because as you make progress, you might want to add some new strategies (only one or two at a time). With your shortlist in hand, proceed to the next step: action. 

Dealing with Too Much Anxiety Advice: Do More Action with Fewer Tips

With a shorter list of anxiety-reducing advice, tools, and strategies, it’s easier to dive in and take action. The tips by themselves do nothing. It’s your action that puts them to work for you. 

Even though your list is short and workable now, it can still be helpful to start with one (maybe two) strategy. Create an action plan around that piece of anxiety advice. It’s probably pretty general. How can you take it and apply it to your own life? In what situations will you use it? What steps do you need to take every day to implement it? 

Create a plan of action using that tip. As you get used to applying it and it becomes a more natural part of your life, you can begin to add other tools from your list of golden nuggets. The key is to turn those tips into action and to build them into your life step by little step. 

In weeding through your collection of anxiety advice, selecting approximately eight tips that resonate with you, and turning them into workable action steps you apply every day, you will begin to take charge of your anxiety. It’s a workable way to go from feeling overwhelmed and stuck to in control and free. 

Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC

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