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How to manage anxiety

Tips to help you relax

Anxiety is a normal part of life. You may be anxious when you’re trying to get to an event on time or when you’re prepping for a test. But constant anxiety can interfere with your life, making it hard for you to do daily tasks. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issues in the United States. But there are ways you can keep it under control so you can focus the things you care about most.

how to manage anxietySymptoms of anxiety

The National Alliance on Mental Illness says that people with anxiety often have one or more of these symptoms:

  • Feelings of worry or dread
  • Feeling tense or jumpy
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Anticipating the worst and being watchful for signs of danger
  • Pounding or racing heart rate and trouble breathing
  • Sweating, shaking and twitches
  • Headaches, fatigue and trouble sleeping
  • Upset stomach, frequent urination or diarrhea

Anxiety management tips

The Mayo Clinic offers these tips to help you manage anxiety:

Exercise often

Exercise has many health benefits. It releases endorphins, which can help lower stress. Try to get between 30-60 minutes of exercise a day. Find an activity that you enjoy so you can stay motivated. Even light exercise can help!

Eat healthy

A well-balanced diet may help lower anxiety. For a healthy diet, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says your meals be made up of four parts:

  1. Half of your plate should be fruits or veggies
  2. One-quarter of your plate should be whole grains
  3. One-quarter of your plate should be lean protein
  4. Have one to two servings (1/2 cup) of low-fat dairy a day, if you eat dairy products

Get sleep

Sleep can have a big impact on your health and wellbeing. You should try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Here are some tips on how to get a good night's sleep.

Get care that’s right for you

In addition to lifestyle changes, you can get help. Talk to your doctor about your anxiety before it starts get in the way of your daily life.


One way to help treat anxiety is through therapy. Here are two kinds of therapy that may help:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT teaches you how you can think, act and react to things to help you feel less anxious. Exposure therapy is a CBT method that can help you face fears that may be the cause of your anxiety.
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT): ACT focuses on things like mindfulness and goal setting to lower anxiety.

We have some tips that may help you find a behavioral health specialist who is right for you.


Medication may be used on its own or along with therapy. Talk to your doctor to see which medication may be right for you. If you start taking medication, make sure you talk to your doctor if your symptoms don’t go away or worsen. Don’t stop taking medication without talking to your doctor. Stopping suddenly may worsen your symptoms.

More tips with Sharecare

Find ways to help keep your anxiety in check with Sharecare. You’ll find lifestyle tips, guided meditations and more to help bring you calm.

Blue Cross of Idaho members have access to Sharecare, an app to help you live healthier by getting personalized tips for exercise, healthy eating and more. To get the app, visit to create your Sharecare account, download the app and take the RealAge® Test. Do not download the Sharecare app directly from the App Store or Google Play.


Disclaimer: This wellness program is administered by Sharecare, Inc., an independent company that provides health improvement management services to Blue Cross of Idaho members. Sharecare, Inc., does not provide Blue Cross of Idaho products or services and is solely responsible for the health improvement management services it provides.


Posted: May 25, 2022