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You’ve Been Diagnosed with Anxiety… What Are Your Next Steps?

A teenager is in a counseling room meeting with a therapist to talk about anxiety.

Stress. Panic attacks. Fear. Constantly being worried. Maybe these are things you’ve been dealing with for some time now and finally received an anxiety diagnosis that helps explain them. 

Alternatively, maybe you had no idea what was going on in your mind and body, but a practitioner was able to uncover an anxiety diagnosis.

While it’s common, it can still be a lot to take in. You may find yourself wondering what comes next. Here are a few points to help guide you. 

Write Down Questions

Once you’ve learned the reason you’re experiencing your symptoms, you may feel some relief. But with that will likely come questions and concerns. 

Having questions is completely normal. Keep a notebook or use a note app in your phone to jot down anything that comes to mind. Note questions you may have about treatment options, concerns about any symptoms you may be having, or areas you’d like to explore in future visits. 

Don’t Panic

Having anxiety will place you in an elevated alert state at times, so try to avoid adding fuel to that fire. Hearing that you have anxiety may make you feel like you’ve been branded; unfortunately stigmas are still real. 

Rather than approaching this as a label or permanent title, think of this as a tool to use to get the help and resources you need to thrive. It describes a small piece of something going on, not a label of who you are. Try not to panic.

Keep a Journal

Journaling can be a helpful tool to release or collect thoughts you’re having throughout the day. It can also be used as a coping mechanism to alleviate symptoms of your anxiety. 

During an anxiety flare up, if you find your mind getting stuck on a certain thought, try writing it down to break that pattern. By physically writing it down, you can process that thought to be able to return to other things. 

With journaling, you may also be able to track any trends in thought patterns that can be working against you. Negative or unrealistic thoughts are things that can possibly be addressed with a therapist. 

Maintain Your Physical Health

The link between your physical and mental health is very strong. When your body isn’t being cared for, it’s likely that your mind is going to suffer. In order to manage your anxiety, you’ll want to do things that help calm your mind.

Start practicing healthy habits that serve to reduce your anxiety symptoms. Nothing will change immediately, but getting into a healthy routine will set you up for greater success.

Get in recommended physical activity each week, whether it be walking, jogging, swimming, or yoga, to name a few.

Get the appropriate amount of sleep each night. Try to get yourself on a schedule, going to bed and waking up around the same time each day, weekend included. Create a space for sleeping that promotes quality rest. 

Fuel your body with the right kind of foods and nutrients. If you’re a chronic snacker or frequently eat processed, sugary foods, now is the time to re-evaluate those habits. Start changing it out for whole, raw, and unprocessed foods. Limit your caffeine intake. Drink plenty of water.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Yoga and meditation practices are great tools for managing anxiety symptoms. Both can easily be done during a break in your day to give your mind (and body) a refresh. Guided meditation and breathwork practices exist for those who are new to it.

Collaborate with Your Healthcare Team

As you trial different coping mechanisms and find yourself having new questions or concerns, you’ll want to keep a close relationship with your physician and/or your therapist. Let them know what’s working, what isn’t working, and what you might need more help with. 

Have you been newly diagnosed with anxiety? We offer counseling for anxiety for children, teens and adults. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you thrive. 


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