10 rules for anxiety: Choose more lightness

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10 rules for anxiety: Choose more lightness

Fear is a completely natural - and from an evolutionary-biological point of view even vital - emotion that every human being knows. It helps us to recognize threats and to react correctly in dangerous situations. Sometimes, however, fear takes on a life of its own and occurs in situations that are not threatening. In this case, we can speak of a Anxiety disorder the speech.

According to a study by the German Society for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Around 12 million people in Germany are affected by anxiety disorders, although a high number of unreported cases can be assumed. Anxiety disorders are therefore among the most common mental illnesses of all.

Pathological Fears can be very agonizing and consequently massively impair the quality of life. Fortunately, you can actively take countermeasures. The 10 rules for anxiety, which we will present to you below, can effectively support you in the fight against your fears.

Understand your fear: Why you are afraid and how it manifests itself

The first of the ten rules for anxiety is: Understand your anxiety. This is a perfectly normal physical and mental reaction that is neither harmful, let alone lethal. Your psyche is merely classifying as dangerous a situation that, rationally speaking, is harmless.

It is not uncommon for anxiety to manifest itself through physical reactions such as sweating, trembling and racing heart. In these situations, realize that fear is merely a feeling. Nothing bad can happen to you.

10 rules for anxiety: embrace your fear

Surely you know the following paradox: The harder you try to banish a certain thought, the more intrusive it becomes. It is the same with your fears. The second of the ten rules for fear is therefore: Accept your fear.

Do not frantically try to distract yourself and banish fear. This only leads to great mental exhaustion. Instead, say to yourself, "Well, the fear is there now. What is it trying to tell me?" Here we are already at the third of the ten rules for anxiety.

fear definition

Identify your triggers: what triggers your fears and how can you reduce them?

The third of the ten rules for anxiety is: Identify your triggers. What situations trigger anxiety and why? The better you know your anxiety triggers, the more effectively you can arm yourself against them. The following questions can be helpful:

  • How does the fear feel?
  • Is it a constant feeling or does it change?
  • What thoughts are going through your mind?
  • What are the physical symptoms?

Identifying your fear triggers in no way means that you should avoid fearful situations in the future. Quite the opposite. The fourth of the ten rules for anxiety is: confrontation.

At this point we would like to share a well-known Wisdom quote, "The only way out of fear is through fear." Expose yourself to the situations you fear. Only in this way can you experience that your fears will not come true.

Interesting to know: According to a Statistics from 2022, it is the fear of poverty due to an increase in the cost of living that concerns Germans the most.

Find positive coping strategies: How to manage your anxiety

A common and counterproductive method to get anxiety under control is the avoidance strategy. Here, the fear triggers are consciously avoided. What sounds logical at first, however, can limit your lifestyle in the long run. If you are afraid of crowds, for example, the solution is not to never enter a shopping mall again.

The fifth of the 10 rules for anxiety is therefore: Find positive coping strategies. These can be relaxation exercises, for example. Try to consciously focus on your breathing as soon as you feel anxiety. Also, talk to your anxiety: "I perceive you and I am gratefulthat you want to protect me. But this situation is not dangerous. I don't need you now."

Another coping strategy can be to talk to other people about your fears. This way you feel understood and less alone. Knowing that other people have fears, too, can make you feel more comfortable. Self-confidence give back. In addition, it is valuable to share experiences and strategies for coping with anxiety.

10 rules for anxiety: why a supportive network is so important

Your environment may encourage your fears or support you in moving away from them. If the former is the case, you should definitely make changes, which may include reducing contact. The sixth of the 10 rules for anxiety is: Create a supportive environment.

People who smile at your fears or even stir them up for "fun" are not conducive to your recovery. The same applies to people who mother you full of pity. It is more important to show understanding, but not to protect yourself from everything. Constructive support consists of encouraging you in fearful situations.

If you don't find anyone in your environment who supports you, psychotherapy or a self-help group can be useful. This way you will find the support you need.

Question your fears: Is it really your fear?

Let's stay thematically a little longer with your social environment. The seventh of the 10 rules for anxiety is: Question your fears. It is not uncommon for children to be shaped by their parents' fears well into adulthood.

Try to find out whether your fears are really your own, or whether you have inherited them from your parents or other close people. Do not adopt the fears of others as your own, but allow yourself to gather your own experiences. Example: Just because your mother was afraid of water doesn't mean you should never learn to swim.

10 Rules for Anxiety: How to Challenge Yourself While Remaining Realistic

Understandably, you want the unpleasant feelings of anxiety to disappear as quickly as possible. However, we have to take this illusion away from you: Conquering fears is not a sprint, but a marathon. This path takes time and can also be associated with setbacks. The eighth of the 10 rules for anxiety is: Don't overtax yourself.

After analyzing your fear triggers, you can start approaching them step by step, gradually increasing the level of difficulty. Let's say you have Fear from dogs. Instead of stroking a dog right away, it's enough to observe it from a safe distance first. Now you go a little closer every day until you dare to touch him.

This example can be applied to almost any anxiety situation. It is important that you do not take on too much at once. You can also reach your goal with small steps. The continuous sense of achievement will help you to conquer your fears.

10 rules for anxiety: practice self-care

The ninth of the 10 rules for anxiety is: Be good to yourself. Don't blame yourself for currently suffering from anxiety. Every anxiety disorder has a deeper cause that needs to be identified and dealt with. In everyday life, you should therefore consciously do something good for yourself, even if the anxiety should be present at the moment.

Get yourself up to go on dates with friends or to go to the gym. It is not about distracting yourself, but about the realization that life has its beautiful sides despite fear. Realizing this will give you the strength you need to overcome your fears. Remember: Fear is only a temporary feeling and not a part of your personality!

Celebrate your successes: why it's important to reward yourself and celebrate successes

The last of the 10 rules for anxiety is: Reward yourself for successes, no matter how small. Facing your fears is a real feat that takes courage. Be proud of yourself.

The greatest reward is probably when you can once again participate in activities that your anxiety has prevented you from doing for a long time. How the rewards can look in everyday life is up to your taste. Anything from a good meal to a wellness weekend is possible.


The 10 rules for anxiety can support you on your way to an anxiety-free life. It is important that you do not put yourself under too much pressure when implementing them. An anxiety disorder to overcomeThe ten rules for anxiety can also serve as a guideline for therapy. In the context of therapy, the ten rules for anxiety can also serve as a guideline.



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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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