Anxiety – Coping Strategies

There are lots of different anxiety coping strategies for different symptoms – not all of them will work for you. Often, it’s a case of trial and error and it might be that you use different techniques in different situations.

If one particular method doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t mean that you’ve done it wrong or that the technique isn’t good, it just simply means that it’s not the right one. Everyone uses coping techniques in their day-to-day lives, sometimes these are helpful behaviours, such as counting to ten in your head if your starting to fell angry. Below, is a list of anxiety coping strategies and things you may find helpful to consider:


If you are taking a long time to fall asleep or having disturbed sleep:

  • Try to avoid alcohol and caffeine (tea, coffee, coke, energy drinks) from mid afternoon. They are stimulating and will keep you awake
  • If you are not asleep within half an hour, get up and do something
  • Avoid sleeping during the day and try to be more active during the day
  • A warm bath before bed might help you feel sleepy
  • Avoid doing lots of physical and mental activity just before going to sleep
  • Go to bed and get up at regular times
  • Avoid smoking late at night. Like caffeine, it is a stimulant and can keep you awake


Anxiety coping stratgies

  • Know what you can change and what you can’t
  • Try to laugh lots: watch funny films, tell jokes, read funny books
  • Breath slowly and deeply
  • Agree to do the things that you want to do, even if it’s challenging like going to college for the first But, equally, say “no” to the things that you don’t want to do
  • Accept that it’s ok to make mistakes, we all do and nobody is perfect. We often learn the most from the mistakes that we make
  • Try to have time to do the things that you enjoy like reading a book or going out with friends
  • Exercise – this releases endorphins. Exercise doesn’t have to be going to the gym or running a marathon, it might be having a kick about in the park with your mates or walking instead of using the car
  • Try to eat healthily and avoid junk food. A healthy diet has the obvious physiological benefits but it can also make you feel good about yourself. Try to avoid caffeine, nico­tine, alcohol and illegal drugs, as these have a negative impact on your body and therefore your anxiety levels
  • Talk to people you trust. Talking helps you to understand your feelings and can make you feel less anxious
  • Problems have a tendency to mount quickly, until it can seem like there’s too many to count. Tackle them one at a time. Set achievable goals and ask for help if you need it

There are also self-help toolkits available that offer ways to help develop your own strategies. In the Self Help Section of this website you will find resources including: