What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is the name for feelings of worry, fear or just general unease. It is completely natural to experience anxiety in certain situations throughout your life but for some people, the feeling of anxiety is more common and becomes a part of everyday living. I have suffered from anxiety for years and a lot of that time was spent not really knowing what it was or why I was feeling it. Anxiety can be triggered by many things some completely rational and some entirely unknown.
Here are ten ways that might help reduce anxiety:
Stop and Take Five:
Simple yet effective. Everyday life can be overwhelming and stressful at times. There is no shame in taking a break. By doing this when you feel an anxious situation arising it gives you time to assess, evaluate and take action before it escalates into a full-blown attack.
It might sound obvious but if you start to feel overcome with anxiety taking long deep breaths can help. By doing this you slow everything down which in turn can make things seem much more manageable.
Whether it’s running, aerobics classes or just a gentle walk, incorporating exercise into your daily routine can help prevent anxiety by reducing stress and just making your overall mood feel much better. Exercise can also help with sleep patterns which can be a huge help for anxiety sufferers.
Cut Out Caffeine:
Caffeine is a stimulant and has an impact on our nervous system. Sometimes after too much coffee, you can feel jittery which can trigger an anxiety attack. caffeine also disturbs the sleep so cutting back is definitely beneficial. Remember caffeine is in more than just tea and coffee so try to find a good middle ground based on what works for you individually and then switch to decaf.
Try Meditation, Acupressure, Reflexology or Yoga:
There are so many complementary therapies which boast benefits for anxiety sufferers. These aren’t for everyone but I suggest giving them a try to assess whether they work for you. Anything that helps is worth a try, right?
Give Your Diet a Shake:
It’s true that what you put in is what you’ll get out and although diet alone isn’t going to stop all anxiety, if you have a better diet you will feel better overall which can make things seem easier to cope with.
There is sometimes a stigma attached to anxiety because people don’t really understand it. There aren’t many physical symptoms so explaining how you feel can be hard. Sometimes though just talking about what is going on can make you feel like a weight has been lifted. Find someone you can trust and feel comfortable with whether it’s a family member, friend or professional who understands.
Write it Down:
If you feel like you can’t talk about it writing down how you feel can help. By getting everything down it helps analyse potential triggers and can feel as though you are ‘offloading’ your anxiety.
Take Your Mind off it:
Listen to music, read a book, dance anything to take the spotlight off the feelings of anxiousness. This can be the difference between feeling anxious and it escalating into a full-blown attack. Everyone is different – find what works for you.
Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep makes anything harder to deal with and it’s important to rest your body and mind to be at your best. People with anxiety can find sleep difficult but getting a good night’s rest can really help. Try not consuming caffeine after lunch, cutting back on alcohol and cigarettes, taking a warm bath before bed, no technology e.g phones, tablets & TV at least an hour before you plan to go to sleep to help induce a better night’s rest.
If you feel like you are suffering from anxiety and it is beginning to affect your life then it’s always best to speak to a medical professional about help and options available to you. If you want to know more about anxiety then visit the Mind website.
**Please note this article is based purely on my own experiences with anxiety and is not intended to replace or contradict advice provided by medically trained professionals. In the first instance regarding medical help please refer to your GP.
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