Health & Wellness

3 Strategies For Prioritizing Your Anxiety While Regaining Control

By Maya Khamala | Apr 6, 2020
Maya Khamala | ACHNET

Prioritizing your anxiety may seem like counterintuitive, or even neurotic. After all, we tend to want our anxieties to disappear, rather than fall further down on our priority list. And is a list really going to calm you down?

The fact is, doing away with anxiety is a process, so prioritizing your anxieties (both big and small), can go a long way toward helping you regain control.

Worries, fears, and panic attacks can be downright paralyzing, but there are ways to minimize them and move past them, and being organized can help. If you’ve been finding it hard to come up for air, here are 3 steps for prioritizing your anxiety and regaining some control:

1. Make an actual list of your anxieties

It doesn’t take long. Take 5-10 minutes to dump all your anxieties onto paper. Relationship problems, work stresses, money trouble; anxieties that seem baseless as well as those that feel very well-founded. This act of unloading will eliminate the pressure caused by keeping everything tidily bopping around in your head, and your mind will be freed up to focus on other things—like the present moment, for example.

For some, the use of numbers, bullet points, or well-organized columns may add to the calming effect of this exercise. Others may find a diagram or colourful web better suits their style. The important part is to jot down anxieties as you experience them. Maybe you’ll find it useful to continually update a whiteboard, or maybe you’ll turn your list into a journal.

Patterns may start emerging: are you more anxious at certain times of day or under particular circumstances? You may choose to record the circumstances off each entry to generate even more fruitful self-data.

2. Prioritize actionable anxieties — and then address them

Once you have your list, go ahead and prioritize your anxieties. Which ones can be acted on?