3 effective ways to manage anxiety and regain control

Anxiety is a natural response ingrained in our survival instincts, often triggering our fight-or-flight response when we perceive a threat. Under normal circumstances, we operate within our "window of tolerance," where we feel safe and capable of handling life's challenges.


However, there are times when external factors push us beyond this threshold, plunging us into a whirlwind of worry and apprehension. Stress and anxiety are indeed part of the human experience, but when they become excessive and chronic, they can significantly impact our well-being.

As a therapist with years of experience helping clients navigate through anxiety, I've found three effective strategies that can empower individuals to manage their anxiety more effectively. Let's delve into these techniques and explore how they can help you regain control over your thoughts and emotions.

1. Worry log

One of the first steps in managing anxiety is acknowledging and understanding the root causes of your worries. Take a moment to create a worry log where you can jot down all the things that are causing you concern. Here are a few common examples of worries that people often encounter:

  • What if I fail my upcoming exam?
  • What if I lose my job?
  • What if I embarrass myself during the presentation?
  • What if something bad happens to my loved ones?
  • What if I never find a fulfilling relationship?

By identifying and articulating your worries, you can gain clarity on the specific issues that are weighing on your mind.

2. Worry tree technique

Once you've listed your worries, it's time to assess their validity and significance. Google images can be a helpful tool in this process. I have a link, hopefully, that works on your end. Search for the "worry tree," a visual representation that allows you to categorise your worries into two main branches: current problems and hypothetical situations.

As you navigate through your worry tree, you'll likely discover that many of your concerns fall into the realm of hypothetical scenarios — situations that may never come to fruition. Recognising this can be incredibly liberating, as it enables you to differentiate between genuine problems that require your attention and worries that are merely products of your imagination.

It's essential to understand that expending energy on hypothetical worries can be draining and counterproductive. By acknowledging the difference between what you can control and what lies beyond your influence, you can redirect your focus towards actionable solutions and regain a sense of empowerment.

3. Coping statements

Changing your mindset is key to managing anxiety effectively. Crafting a list of coping statements can serve as a powerful tool in challenging and reframing your anxious thoughts. These statements should be personalized to resonate with your individual experiences and needs. Here are a few examples to get you started:

  • "Even though I feel anxious, I have the strength to cope with whatever comes my way."
  • "This feeling of anxiety is temporary, and I am capable of overcoming it."
  • "I am doing the best I can in this moment, and that's enough."
  • "One step at a time, I am moving forward and making progress."
  • "Every small victory is a testament to my resilience and determination."

By internalising these affirmations and repeating them regularly, you can cultivate a more positive and resilient mindset, enabling you to confront and manage anxiety with greater ease.

Managing anxiety is a journey that requires patience, self-awareness, and perseverance. By implementing these three strategies — keeping a worry log, utilising the worry tree technique, and creating coping statements — you can take proactive steps towards regaining control over your thoughts and emotions.

Remember, you are not alone in your struggles, and seeking support from a therapist or trusted confidante can provide invaluable guidance and encouragement along the way. With dedication and determination, you can navigate through anxiety and emerge stronger, more resilient, and empowered to embrace life's challenges with confidence.

If you're considering seeking professional support to address your mental health concerns, know that you're not alone. Taking the step to reach out for help is a brave and empowering decision. As a verified professional therapist (Reg. MBACP), I am here to support you on your journey towards healing and growth.

Whether you're struggling with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, or simply seeking guidance on improving your overall well-being, I offer a safe and confidential space where you can explore your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Together, we can work collaboratively to identify your goals and develop strategies to help you navigate life's challenges with resilience and self-awareness.

Please don't hesitate to contact me — I am more than happy to help support you on your path towards a happier, healthier life.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Lanark, South Lanarkshire, ML11 9EE
Written by Mandy Wilson, (Reg.MBACP)
Lanark, South Lanarkshire, ML11 9EE

Meet Mandy: counsellor, mum of two, and resilient spirit. From complex childhood to thriving business owner, she believes in growth for all. With over a decade of experience, she guides others to their full potential, inspired by her own journey of overcoming adversity.

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