How to manage anxiety

Anxiety can impact your day-to-day life in massive ways, but there are tools you can use to manage and control your anxiety. There are also a number of things you can do if these tools don't work, including seeking help from people who can design a unique treatment plan for you.

This can help if: 

  • You experience anxiety 
  • You have trouble relaxing 
  • You want to learn about the different ways to manage anxiety

Abstract black and white photo of girl

What to do about anxiety

When fear, worry and anxiety are interfering in your life, you need to do something about them to stop things from getting worse. It sucks when you can’t do everything you want to do and be everything you want to be because your anxiety is getting in your way but there are a ton of things you can do to manage and deal with it. Keep in mind that some of them will work for you better than others.

Top tips for tackling anxiety

Things to do that have been shown to help include:

  • Exercise. You might not feel like it, but getting sweaty five times a week makes people less anxious, stressed and depressed.
  • Self-talk. Learning self-talk that'll help you combat anxious thoughts that go through your head. Check out our stuff on self-talk.
  • Practical stuff. Looking at practical things you've got to deal with and knock them over one at a time – avoiding things feeds anxiety.
  • Build a toolkit. Getting tools like deep breathing and relaxation techniques that'll help when things get too much.
  • Try to focus your thoughts. Find out more about meditation and mindfulness techniques.
  • Check your thinking. Study your anxious thought patterns so you can see when things start to get out of control, and challenge the accuracy of these thoughts when they start.

Need something stronger?

Sometimes you can’t beat this on your own – and that’s why there are professionals who study mental health for years to lend a hand. Find people to help you work on anxiety – that means seeing a doctor for a referral to a psychologist or other mental health professional, who are really helpful and work with people on stuff like this all the time. That kind of help gives you a massive head start and will help you get through it easier and more quickly.

It can be hard to know where to find the right support you need. ReachOut NextStep is an anonymous online tool that recommends relevant support options based on what you want help with. Try ReachOut NextStep to learn about the support options available for you.

If you want to hear from others, watch this 3-minute video about feeling anxious. 

What can I do now?

  • Exercise and relaxation techniques are great for stress release.
  • Get personalised support options for anxiety with the ReachOut NextStep tool.
  • Try to write down exactly what you are worried about and see if you can think it through.
  • Talk to your GP about the stuff that’s worrying you.


Last reviewed: 30 March, 2016
Did you find this article helpful?

You have already rated this article

Add a comment

Read the commenting guidelines: keep safe and respectful


  • Gabi    (1290 days ago)

    Hey R Ogden

    It must be so frustrating to be anxious all the time but not understand the cause of it! We as humans generally like to seek the cause of things because we seek treatment. Maybe its because we think that if we find the cause we can sort out our issues by ourselves.

    Unfortunately for some mental health issues and illnesses, like anxiety and depression, there is sometimes never a specific cause. There are certain types of anxiety, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, that have specific triggers, but then there are others, like generalised anxiety disorder that seem to just develop in people, with no explanation as to when they started or why. And that really sucks when its obvious that preventing to cause of something can prevent it happening at all!

    Because of this, most of the tips on this factsheet mean that you don't need to know the cause of your anxiety to do some stuff to help deal with it. The tips on exercising and doing practical stuff are some great examples, where you can just focus on the task in front of you instead of trying to figure out what you are anxious about.

    Just by noticing your anxiety is a great place to start R Ogden, so you've made a massive step! If you still don't find this fact sheet helpful, I really encourage you to speak to someone about what you are going through, like a close friend or family member, because they can offer some support and advice!

    Hope I could help!


  • R Ogden    (1292 days ago)

    This all would and could be good if I knew why the heck I was anxious and fearful,,,, but I don't have a clue as to why I am anxious and full of fear , , ,