Five Ways to Handle Anxiety - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
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Five Ways to Handle Anxiety

Why is it that I get more thoughtful/provoking on Fridays? Kidding my friends. I just write what I am interested in. I hope to write what is helpful to others as well. This is one of those topics that people don’t talk about much, but rather learn to try and deal with . I have had anxiety for a number of years and how I deal with it, can be the difference between functioning and not functioning as well. There is always plenty of time to talk about upcoming Fall Fashion and I will do so.. .on the blog. But today…


I am aware there are different types of anxiety. Social. ( no problem there, husband thinks I talk to people with “too much ease”. I take after my mom there. We have a story that we bring up just in this instance. Mom goes into a rest area, comes out of the ladies room talking to another woman.. We wonder “small world!, where did she meet this lady?” Mom had just met her in the ladies room and they came out talking like old friends. That is what I am dealing with!  So, let’s just say I don’t suffer from meeting new people, but rather a generalized anxiety that can take hold and cause issues with your thinking.

One of the things I do to try and deal with anxiety is  cognitive reasoning. I tell myself, “Why am I anxious?” ” ” I am thinking that I can not get done what I need to, and am afraid I wont have enough time to finish it. Then, I say to myself, what problem will this cause?” Sometimes stepping back and rationally looking at the issue does help to lessen the anxiety. I can be thinking something and it may be totally distorted from reality. This is known as Cognitive Distortion These  describe irrational, inflated thoughts or beliefs that distort a person’s perception of reality, usually in a negative way. We all can have these thoughts, it is how we deal with them, that makes them more powerful.  I have a habit of looking at things in black and white. Another example is “Catastrophizing” where you think of the worst outcome of a situation — ie. I would like to create a You Tube video but I am afraid I will look foolish and turn people off. This is most likely not the reality, but it is how we might see a situation.

Another tool I use to help is deep breathing. Either sitting or laying down ( depending on environment) take a deep breath slowly to five.  Then release it slowly. Just the act of deep breathing in this manner, will cause me to relax more and focus only on the breath. Along those lines, I have done some Guided Meditation. ”  A process by which one or more participants meditate in response to the guidance provided by a trained practitioner or teacher, either in person or via a written text, sound recording, video, or audiovisual media comprising music or verbal instruction, or a combination of both”. ** wikipedia. Just quietly listening to a recording or sounds with control of one’s breathing focuses on just that and should help release tension. I do like this idea and just need to do this several days a week in a quiet room of the house.

Pick up your hobby. I play guitar, read, enjoy watching crime shows, like outdoor activities. For example, to get out of a feeling of being anxious, I might sit down and listen to a song I want to try and play. Then I will print out chords or the music, find the music on You Tube and play for enjoyment. If you make jewelry, like to paint, or have another creative hobby, make your mind focus on that task.

Play with a pet. I find just the act of petting my boy Gibson, or Truffles my girl is a stress reliever. I may get one of their favorite toys and play fetch with them in the hall. Besides focusing on my breathing, distraction is one way to help with anxiety, and I truly enjoy being around my puppies…as they bring me joy!

Get your endorphins flowing. Sometimes I find that just taking a walk in nature can help. We live in an area with a 1 mile nature trail behind our back yard. I do like a regular walk on the Greenway, but access to this is convenient and taking my puppies for a walk can calm me down.

So to reiterate:

  1. Cognitive Reasoning
  2. Deep Breathing
  3. Guided Meditation
  4. Interest in a Hobby
  5. Take a Walk or other form of exercise.

So, these are just some ideas and techniques I use to deal with my anxiety. We don’t always know why we are anxious, but there are ways of dealing with it. And if all else fails…. There’s always Valium! ( kidding, kidding!)

I hope you have a wonderful  Labor Day weekend!

Jess xo

If you enjoyed reading this, perhaps you would like to read the post: Do Your Fears Hold You Back?



  • Elle Berman
    Posted at 19:46h, 11 September Reply

    Great advice on what is becoming an epidemic here as we tune in to screens and out of social situations with real life feedback. Your advice is spot on. I love playing with my dog, or even editing my photos, listening to books on tape is also soothing. Having been on long term steroids keeps the anxiety level up, so I have learned to cope with these methods. Walking outside is great too,
    Great post topic, and loved your photos! That blue print dress, and you with the guitar! Awesome!


  • Nicole Mölders
    Posted at 00:05h, 03 September Reply

    Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style. Great post. Anxiety can really be a hurdle.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:24h, 03 September Reply

      Thank you Nicole! I am glad you enjoyed it. Yes, it can be hard to deal with, finding ways to cope is essential. xx

  • barrettadeb
    Posted at 19:16h, 01 September Reply

    Thank you for the post Jess. I am experiencing quite a bit of stress at the moment. It seems everywhere I turn something is waiting for me. I rely on my faith when this happens. Sometimes just repeating the name of Jesus can set me straight. I also love walking in nature. There is something very soothing listening to bird song, the smell of flowers in the air or looking up to big fluffy clouds above my head. I hope you have a relaxing weekend love. Xo


    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:11h, 02 September Reply

      Deb, I am sorry to hear that. I do the same finding walking or walking in the woods very therapeutic. Let me know if I can help in any way! xx

  • Suzanne Smith
    Posted at 18:11h, 01 September Reply

    I have found meditation and hot yoga to be extremely helpful! Hot yoga also helps with hot flashes which definitely cause me anxiety! Thanks for a thoughtful post! Have a great weekend!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 18:43h, 01 September Reply

      Hi Suzanne! Thanks for your input. I have never tried hot yoga, but it does sound great. I know what you mean about hot flashes! Mine seem to last all night too! I hope you have a great weekend too! xx

  • Samantha Blair
    Posted at 16:40h, 01 September Reply

    Thank you for this Jess!
    I agree about cuddling or playing with a pet… always good for you.
    Exercise is also really important.
    So walking the dog would be ideal for me!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 18:42h, 01 September Reply

      Hi Sam! Yes! It took some years into our marriage to get the pups, but I knew how much they would help me deal with this and my illness. They bring so much joy too. I feel much better out walking the pups myself. xx

  • Amy Christensen
    Posted at 15:28h, 01 September Reply

    Great suggestions. I have recently began to deal with anxiety too…maybe it is an age thing, but you are spot on with your suggestions. I find, taking a walk, listening to music, deep breathing and reciting scripture all help to bring that revving motor back under control. Thanks for sharing. – Amy

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 18:40h, 01 September Reply

      Thank you Amy! So glad you enjoyed the post. I have dealt with this through my life, and have issues due to my disease, but find these ways of dealing with it very helpful. Glad you have found helpful means as well. xx

  • uncommonthreadsma
    Posted at 11:55h, 01 September Reply

    Great tips Jess…one more reason why I should get a dog 🙂 XO Susan

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 12:04h, 01 September Reply

      Thank you Susan! Well, I always encourage having a loving pet 🙂 xx

  • Jodie
    Posted at 09:36h, 01 September Reply

    Great message, Jess!
    I do try to figure out why I’m anxious…and what if the worst happened?? Then it’s usually not as bad.
    But it’s amazing how our pets can make us feel so much better too. Just taking the time to pet and love on them, is so relaxing!!
    Have a great weekend!!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:44h, 01 September Reply

      Hi Jodie. Thank you for your comment. There are times I don’t know what is causing it, but calming down by monitoring your breath and asking those questions is important. So true, I know that having Gibson and Truffles is such a joy in my life, and they also aid in releasing stress — Glad you enjoyed the article. You too! xx

  • Nancy
    Posted at 03:55h, 01 September Reply

    Beautiful article Jess! What helps me a lot is to focus on breathing!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:42h, 01 September Reply

      Hi Nancy, thanks for the comment. Yes, I have to do this and find it helpful. I take deep breaths, count to five and release. I am glad you found something helpful to you . xx

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