The 5 R’s for Coping with Anxiety

The 5 R’s for Coping with Anxiety

Kate Rhodes MS, LPC, NCC


Anxiety, more often than not, has the ability to sneak up on us in the most inconvenient ways. A little anxiety is useful in times when we need a good push; it lets us know we are alive, trying new things and not simply resting on what’s comfortable. However, too much anxiety can interfere with our daily activities and keep us from experiencing all that life has to offer. Learning a few simple coping skills to help combat anxiety can be a great way to take control at times of high stress. There are a variety of techniques you can use to help lessen your anxiety; using trial and error to weed out good vs bad is the best way to find a routine that best fits your needs. This is how I came up with the 5 R’s for coping with anxiety: Relocate, Redirect, Reframe, Relax, Re-center.

Relocate– Remove yourself from the environment you are in. Take a walk outside when you are feeling anxious. This is especially helpful if you suffer from social anxiety and begin to feel closed in or overwhelmed.

Redirect– By redirecting and changing your focus you can distract racing thoughts in a simple, creative and fun way. Puzzles, coloring books and free form art are all easy ways to concentrate your mind on calming, non-threatening activities.

Reframe– Reframing negative thoughts can help put your anxiety into perspective. Asking yourself, “Is this really that bad?” “Will failing this test keep me from passing the class?”…

Relax-Using breathing techniques to slow down your rapid heartbeat and calm your nerves is one of the most effective ways to relax in the moment. Using a simple 3 count, breathe in for 3, hold for 3, breathe out for 3 can refocus your mind and ease your anxiety.

Re-center– Bringing yourself back to a place of peace can help re-center your emotions. You can use meditation, yoga, or music therapy to find your own piece of serenity.

The 5 R’s for coping with anxiety can be adjusted to fit your own personal preferences through experimentation and practice. Let the 5 categories guide you in your path to health and wellness as you learn to manage your anxiety. For additional information and professional help please contact The Lighthouse Emotional Wellness Center to begin your journey to self healing.