cope with anxiety

Thought Leaders and Experts Share Their Best Personal Way for Coping With Their Anxiety

You don’t need to go far online to read about the how anxiety affects our daily lives.

It is difficult – if not impossible – pinpoint where anxiety comes from, yet it sits there quietly, a lurking and objectless threat.

Anxiety is the voice in our head causing us self-doubt, the sweaty palms, the constant waiting for something dreadful and inexplicable to happen.

Anxiety has affected us all at one point or another, yet all too often we sit telling ourselves we are being irrational, and are left managing how we feel in a sense of shame and embarrassment.

In this post, Thought Leaders and Experts who are dedicated to elevating our well-being in their own special way provide real-life actionable advice that works for them when they feel anxiety overwhelm, by answering one question:

“What is the best personal way you’ve found to cope with anxiety?”

*This is an ever-evolving pillar article for Curiously You.

If you have an online presence serving others, and are interested to add your own personal answer to this question, please send me an email to and I’ll let you know if your mission is a good fit to share on this page!*

Here are their responses below, in order of receipt:

Courtney Carver

Courtney Carver, Be More With Less

Sometimes we feel anxiety because of what other people say, or even because of what we think they think. Worry less about their opinions about your life by knowing your heart. I find great inspiration and guidance from hearing other people’s stories, talking to friends, and listening to advice, but when I want to know what’s best for me, I put my hands on my heart and turn to the person who knows me best.

Rachel ShankenRachel Shanken, Mind Body Wise

My favorite way to manage anxiety and the way I prescribe first and foremost to all my clients who suffer from anxiety is conscious, embodied breathing as calming medicine. Mindful breathing (especially when coupled with body awareness) is proven to be just as effective anti-anxiety medications, if done properly.

Many of us are mouth-breathers. Breathing in and out through your mouth increases the activation of your central nervous system, which increases anxiety. Also, if your exhale is short (as it is when you’re hyperventilating), your central nervous system gets more activated – and you feel more anxious.

My favorite breath for anxiety is the “One-Two Breath” with visualization. This one packs a powerful combination of mindful breath and body awareness that calms your system waaaaay down.

– Close your eyes and sit or stand tall in your spine with your chin parallel to the floor.

– Seal your lips gently and soften your tongue, separating your top teeth from your bottom teeth.

– Now, simply breathe in for a count of 3 and on your exhale let it take 6 counts to fully release your breath. Keep breathing like this, counting your inhale at 3 and your exhale at 6, all through your mouth. Feel the breath moving through you and visualize it ballooning your lungs and expanding your rib cage and feeling your belly.

– Do at least one minute to two minutes like this. If the 3 to 6 ratio feels like too much, then cut it to 2 counts on your inhale and 4 counts on your exhale. The most important things are that the breath is going in and out through your nose (not your mouth), that your exhale is longer than your inhale and that you’re visualizing the breath moving in your body.

Kelly Wynne Just Cut The BullshitKelly Wynne, Just Cut The Bullshit

The best way I’ve been able to cope with my anxiety is by trusting myself and my intuition. It can be difficult to trust your body when you are thrown into panic mode at times, but listening, in my experience, is the more beneficial way to have a productive lifestyle.

On days I wake up feeling a high level of anxiety, I will take my day step by step, deciding by the minute or the hour what I will do based on how my body and anxiety is feeling. This allows me to avoid stressful situations and never force myself into anything too uncomfortable.

On days I am feeling calm and confident, I will challenge routines that typically cause anxiety. The balance between these two extremes allows me to live in a normal routine on days I feel good, even with a small amount of anxiety. In summary, it’s okay to coddle yourself on tough days and challenge yourself on good days. Listening to how you feel, and giving in to it, may be beneficial for you as well.

Alexa Rosenthal, rise gatheringsAlexa Rosenthal, Rise Gatherings

The best way I’ve found to cope with anxiety is learning how to embrace it. When I’m deep in an emotion and anxiety begins to rise, I put my hand on my heart, I name the emotion and I forgive myself. I talk silently to myself to reassure myself that this emotion is okay, I am safe – and not to be afraid.

Meditation has taught me how to look objectively at the emotions that arise in my body, and not to identify them as who I am, but what’s working through me in this human experience.

Joy Dushy, The Joyful ApproachJoy Dushy, The Joyful Approach

I started meditating a few years ago after escalating anxiety episodes and insomnia. Looking back, I probably carried stress for a while before it became chronic, which led to frightening moments of anxiety or “panic” attacks.

With the understanding that anxiety arises from fear of the future, I practice staying in the present moment. Mindfulness is a great resource for tapping into and helping reduce anxiety. Here is a quick how-to to get you on the path to mindfulness:

– Find a quiet place.

– Take a deep inhalation through your nose for 4-5 counts and hold for a few seconds at the top pf 5 expanding your belly outward.

– Exhale through your mouth with pursed lips, allowing your belly to deflate back to normal. With the exhalation, allow for a gentle smile when finishing the breath.

– Repeat five times. If at any time you feel lightheaded or dizzy please stop.

– When you feel you’ve mastered the technique you can practice this for 10 -20 minutes two times a day. Set an alarm for 10-20 minutes to avoid any distraction or worry of time.

The process of practicing on a daily basis will have great benefits in stress and anxiety  reduction, and optimal vitality.

I also turn to source energy when I am feeling despair and anxiety. I have found that in these moments when I feel I’ve let my thoughts take over and get out of control, I turn to spirituality. I call on to my guides, angels and source and with prayer and or chanting in Kirtan (devotional music), I feel love and peace override the anxious fearful feelings that consume me.

Jess Garay, Live Well With JessJess Garay, Live Well With Jess

Anxiety can be so difficult to manage if you are not intentional about the things that you allow into your world.

For me, I practice intentional living by taking out the things that do not bring me joy and infusing my life with the things that do! I try to say ‘no’ as often as possible to the things that are not aligned with my current path and purpose, because saying ‘no’ to something means saying ‘yes’ to something else.

In practicing self care, breathing and meditation I am able to create more flow in my life and ultimately make a larger impact in those around me that matter most.

kara maria anandaKara Maria Ananda,

There are several practices I do in my life to reduce and transform anxiety, which I’ve learned out of necessity over the years.

First is to physically move my body. Exercise, stretching, and dancing all really help to get energy moving through our body, and literally puts the emotions into motion, allowing for deeper breath and energy release. Music is transformational. I keep playlists of my favorite positive music and can always turn on a song, dance wild in my house and feel improvements in my mind and body within 5 minutes.

I’m a huge fan of essential oils, and the aromatic compounds in pure plant essential oils travel through the inhalation into the nose, through the olfactory nerve to the limbic system, creating shifts in the emotional center of the brain.

In addition, at nighttime when my mind is active and I can’t sleep, I’ll take time to write in my journal, get my thoughts out of my head onto paper, and am able to rest and relax into slumber without juggling too much information on my mind. Plus, chocolate, baths and orgasms all help too!

Dr Ricci-Jane Adams Institute for Intuitive IntelligenceDr. Ricci-Jane Adams, & Institute for Intuitive Intelligence

In my experience, anxiety is a messenger. It arrives in my life when I am out of congruence between my head and my heart. My heart is where my intuitive intelligence, my highest form of intelligence, resides. When I get too caught up in my cranial, thinking brain, I lose contact with my intuitive intelligence, and at those times anxiety will often show up as a way to bring me to my senses.

I don’t try to cope with my anxiety. I try to listen to it. It has good information if I am willing to be fully present to it. The anxiety can often appear when my heart’s truth is guiding me away from my comfort zone. Staying fully present in this moment now is the key to preventing the anxiety running rampant. I ask myself this question: What if there is no problem? It is so important to me I even have it tattooed on my arm. It brings me back to my present time, intuitive intelligence in an instant. It takes devotion to ride with anxiety rather than resist it. The devotion is to deep listening, and a willingness to abide by our true intelligence. This goes against all of our programming, but it can be done. And when we do it, as has been my experience, the world truly opens up.

Amy Crumpton, Purpose DwellerAmy Crumpton, Purpose Dweller

Have you ever noticed how gravity is always present? You never have to wake up wondering, “Will gravity show up to support me today?” You don’t have to struggle to believe in gravity. You trust gravity already.

Gravity lets us live a fairly predictable life. Gravity keeps things where we leave them. Gravity let’s us maintain a sense of order.

Try this exercise

Whether you are lying, sitting, or standing-

Take a deep breath.

Leave your head and enter your body.

Feel where you physically connected to what’s beneath you.

If it’s a chair, feel your bottom in the seat and your feet on the floor.

If it’s a bed, feel your back there, the mattress pushing up against you.

If you’re standing, feel where your feet meet the earth.

Sound. Solid. Sure.

When you get present in your body and appreciate the way gravity holds you steadfast, you feel a certain calm. Let that calm help you root down into the earth.

Amanda DaviesAmanda Davies, Light Purpose Living

In an increasingly online world, anxiety tends to creep up on us over time. Why? Because it’s easy to end up in a very subtle comparison-trap.

We spend hours scrolling through Facebook and mulling over picture-perfect Instagram feeds, all the while comparing our own so-called crappy reality to what’s being carefully curated and presented.

Suddenly you may find yourself thinking, ‘why can’t my life be like hers?’ or ‘how come everyone else is celebrating 7-figure business success, but not me?’ We begin to feel less than and anxiety creeps in.

My advice is to step away from the computer and be intentional about how you use social media. Are you going on Facebook to post your holiday snaps and connect with friends or promote your business? Or are you stalkin’? 😉 You know the truth. Set some clear boundaries around your mental and emotional energy. Make time to connect to the 3-dimensional people, put your feet on the grass and soak up the sun.

Rifka KreiterRifka Kreiter, Author Home Free: Adventure of a Child from the Sixties,

Dealing with anxiety is always a challenge, and there are so many helpful methods of doing so.  Here are some of my ways:

– First step, of course: become aware that I am feeling anxious.  (If I skip this step, what happens is I drink, watch TV, and/or start a fight with my partner.)

– I breathe in deeply (but without straining) on a count of 4; hold breath for count of 4; breathe out on count of 8 (or 10).  

– I remind myself:  “Rifka, just allow the anxiety—let it be.”

– I observe it.  Where do I feel it in my body?  Accelerated heartbeat?  Sweaty palms?  If I pay attention to exactly how it feels, without trying to make it go away, it diminishes.  (There’s an old aphorism:  Whatever you resist, persists.)

– By the way, I ask myself, who is observing all these things?  I notice then that I have an awareness that contains this anxiety, a spaciousness that contains all these feelings, thoughts, sensations.  Wow!  When I pay attention to that awareness, the anxiety inevitably feels lighter.  In fact, remembering to pay attention to that higher awareness helps me cope with all of life’s challenges.  (For this, I meditate every day.)

Tara Green, The Radiant Goddess CollectiveTara Green, The Radiant Goddess Collective

Anxiety is our acceptance of a lie. The un-truth that something is seriously “wrong” if we don’t do something different, something more, something better to prevent “it” from happening. Anxiety is an indicator of where we are out of alignment with our true nature and the way that Source or the Universe view us: as indescribably beautiful, powerful beings who are never at risk, but always whole and perfect in every moment.

Whenever you sense a wave of anxiety sneaking up on you, step into your place of “peaceful empowerment.” Your relaxed, open space where you feel connect to All That Is and expansive in your energy and perspective. Where you feel at ease.

Practice accessing this place BEFORE anxiety visits. Discover what helps you reconnect to your Higher Self. For me, it takes a few deep belly breaths and allowing my awareness to descend out of my head-space and back down into my heart center or solar plexus. When I’m in and exhaling from the center of my energy field, I know I’m in my center. Magick oils on my pressure points and third eye also help me circumvent the ego or conscious mind and help me access the pure, wild, native piece of my Soul that is always there to guide me back to tranquility.

Laura McEgan Divine Light YogaLaura McEgan, Divine Light Yoga

As a yoga & mindfulness practitioner and teacher, I am very aware of the sensations within my physical and energetic body, particularly with rapid shifts such as when I am experiencing anxiety or fear.

I try to tune into these sensations, reminding myself that they are temporary and that I have the ability to control my responses. I slow my breath down, inhaling and exhaling through my nose using 3-part breath ( focusing on deeply breathing into my belly, rib-cage and chest) whilst repeating the affirmation, ‘I am safe, I am calm’. During extreme anxiety, I often use tapping in which I slowly tap my index and middle finger just above my heart as a way to encourage the rhythm of my body to slow down and keep my mind focused on this slow, calming rhythm.

Lee Lee Thompson, The Perpetual YouLee Lee Thompson, Managing Editor, The Perpetual You Magazine

I didn’t even know that I was an anxious person until my son was diagnosed with Selective Mutism (an intense form of social anxiety) and I started reading about anxiety and realized–hey! That’s me!! Ha ha. Once I had that label, it felt better knowing I wasn’t alone in the world and that there were books I could read and strategies I could follow. I felt less “crazy lady,” if you will.

Of course, like all other feelings, anxiety is different for each individual. Mine often presents as irritability and is sometimes accompanied by depression. I’m much more prone to be anxious/irritable when I’m on my period. The most important “strategy” I’ve found is just being able to recognize when I’m anxious, sitting with the feeling(s), and, sometimes, figuring out what led to it. (There isn’t always a specific reason.)

As I move further down the path of mindfulness, positive thinking, and intentional living, I become more adept at choosing not to be anxious/irritable, even when I am scared or overwhelmed. For me, anxiety is often a “front” for other, much more real feelings, and the more I know myself and love myself, the easier it is to sit with those actual feelings. Though those feelings might seem harder to deal with on the surface, in reality, they are manageable because there’s always a path away from them; whereas, with anxiety, there’s no “cure.”

There is also a physical component to anxiety, which is why it’s important for me to stay well-rested, take care of my daily needs, and eat food that makes me feel nourished and whole. My biggest strategy for coping with life in general is to manage the blend of work, life, career, family, fun, etc. The more comfortable I am at blending everything–and not feeling as though I “should” be doing something differently–the happier and more relaxed (and less anxious) I feel.

Rachel Winston Full Cup Play TherapyRachel Winston, Full Cup Play Therapy

As a therapist, I know that anxiety is when we’re stuck in a state of “readiness”, anticipation and high mental activity not to mention those vivid sensations racing around the body! I first acknowledge that to myself then I try to take some kind of action to get myself unstuck. This can be hard and I do engage in personal therapy which really helps and I recommend this if you’re struggling to take action yourself.

My favourite ways to move myself into action and discharge all those pesky stress hormones are to move my body! Dance break can turn me from a stressed out panic into a laughing idiot (which I much prefer!).

I also love to nourish my taxed nervous system by having an epsom salts bath. Anxiety causes our bodies to use up more salts and minerals to power all that activity going on inside which is felt as overwhelming sensation.

If I’m not at home and can’t do those things, there are strategies I use for on the go! I always have one of these tools in my handbag!

– Essential oils. I like lavender, geranium, rose for balancing me out. Combined with conscious slow breathing into the belly these can really help me switch out of fight or flight nervous system.

– 85% dark chocolate. Cocoa is a powerful antioxidant and helps lower cortisol (stress hormone) in the body. I take one cube and slowly let it dissolve in my mouth. Like a mindfulness exercise. It has to be 85% or more otherwise the chocolate will be much higher dairy and sugar content which cancels out the cortisol lowering benefits.

– Draw/colour it out! I’m passionate about play therapy and have witnessed and experienced the power of taking what’s inside and putting it outside so you can see it. It’s like turning a light on in a darkened room. Scribble, doodle or colour in a kids colouring page. Why a kids colouring page? When I’m in anxiety it’s often triggered by feeling overwhelmed. Having an easy task that I can complete gives me such satisfaction and clears my head.

Abi FoxAbi Fox, Soul Empowerment Coach

Whatever we allow our mind to focus on, we give it energy. Everything is energy fromthe chair you’re sitting on to the thoughts in your mind. If you focus on the fact you have anxiety, you’re just reinforcing that you have it. It is something your mind creates and by giving it more energy, you feed it and make it stronger.

To me anxiety is fearing a feeling. It’s the fear of what may happen and so we create stories in our mind! The easiest way to start overcoming anxiety is to CHOOSE to stop worrying. Cultivating awareness of our thoughts nips things like anxiety in the bud in seconds. The problem many people make is that they focus on the problem, instead of the solution.

The solution isn’t about stopping anxiety, it’s about asking yourself how can you create more self confidence. How can you become a person better equipped at dealing with stressful situations? When we grow our strengths, our weaknesses will start to fall away. Fear and worry will ALWAYS be present, we just have to grow our own awareness of when we feel fear and do it anyway! So here the 4 A’s, steps you can take to deal with anxiety.

– 1. Awareness. Firstly be aware that you are having stressful thoughts, fear or worry about a particular situation and take some deep calming breaths.  

– 2. Ask. Ask yourself what specifically am I worried about? Where is this feeling coming from?

– 3. Act. What can i do to feel more comfortable about this situation?  

– 4. Awesome. What would my BEST and most awesome self do in this situation?

Bryonie WiseBryonie Wise, artist, heart alchemist and moon lover

One breath to one breath is how I move through the world.

When my heart clenches, when my mind skips in place like a record, when I am in a triggered, reactive state of being, I return one breath to one breath.

Sometimes, the only way is through a hurricane of emotion (no matter what it is) is to surrender.

Water comes to mind and I let the wave carry me, all the way out to sea, if need me. I’ll drop an anchor. I’ll make a shape. I’ll know that beneath me is the ocean and her stories. Above me is the sky and the mapping of the future. I sit and breathe one breath to one breath and I know somewhere in me that someone else has always been where I am.

If I am feeling brave, I ask for help. I ask for someone to hold me. I ask for a safe space where I can feel unsafe.

One breath to one breath can last a long time and if I can stay with the golden thread of light that moves through my body, even when I deep in my discomfort, I know that time will pass and I will come through the other side and I will have learned something new to take with me as I bob in the waves, far out to sea.

Colleen Valles Slow Simple LifeColleen Valles, Slow Simple Life

I find that anxiety can stem from a lack of confidence in our actions and decisions or from indecision itself. When I’m feeling this way, I try to take some time to meditate either by taking slow breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth, or by moving, for instance dancing or hiking, to get myself centered and back in touch with my intuition.

By focusing on our breath or your steps, we’re not focusing on the problem that’s making us anxious. The more we focus on the issue, the bigger it seems and the harder it is to see clearly. Meditation, whether through breathing or movement, helps the conscious brain get in touch with our intuition, and “listening to your gut” is how we make the best decisions. If we listen to that little part of ourselves that gives us that nagging feeling about something, and we act on what it’s telling us, we can be confident in our actions and decisions, helping to dispel anxiety.

*This is an ever-evolving pillar article for Curiously You.

If you have an online presence serving others, and are interested to add your own personal answer to this question, please send me an email to and I’ll let you know if your mission is a good fit to share on this page!*


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