How to deal with Anxiety

 

Anxiety can be triggered by a multitude of scenarios. It may be your first day at a new job, an important presentation, or something as simple as riding on public transport. Everybody experiences anxious moments from time to time, but there are some who experience anxiety to a debilitating degree. This may be characteristic of an anxiety disorder. But don’t worry, you are not alone, a 2017 study estimated that around 284 million people globally have an anxiety disorder. If you find yourself suffering from anxiety, here are some short and long term coping mechanisms.

 

Deep and focused breathing

One of the first signs of anxiety is often a rapid heartbeat in response to a stressful situation. Controlled and deep breathing can often help with this symptom, which can sometimes be quite frightening.The 4-7-8 technique is a well known breathing exercise derived from an ancient yoga technique called pranayama. This involves inhaling for 4 seconds, holding for 7 seconds, and breathing out for 8 seconds. Begin by practising for 4 breaths, and slowly work your way up to 8 for further relaxation.

 

Aromatherapy

Using scent to keep calm is a well known trick to use when feeling anxious. There are a few popular scents for calming, which include lavender, vanilla, lemon, fresh linen and general fruit scents, and baby powder. There are many ways you can use aromatherapy, including diffusers, bathing salts, boldy oils and lotions, rollerballs and sprays.

 

Meditation/guided imagery

Meditation can take many forms. It can be done alongside a yoga practice, as a guided meditation via an instructor or a video/audiobook, or you can simply guide yourself to relaxation. The act of focused concentration and bringing yourself back to the present moment can help with reducing feelings of anxiety, and bring your attention back to your mind and body. It can take time to master this skill, but you will improve with practice. Try a guided meditation first before branching out on your own.

Guided imagery is a form of meditation which involves the visualisation of positive and relaxing scenes such as a beach, or a peaceful meadow. Some people prefer having a visual stimulus to concentrate on when trying to relax.

 

Keep a diary or journal

Meditation can take many forms. It can be done alongside a yoga practice, as a guided meditation via an instructor or a video/audiobook, or you can simply guide yourself to relaxation. The act of focused concentration and bringing yourself back to the present moment can help with reducing feelings of anxiety, and bring your attention back to your mind and body. It can take time to master this skill, but you will improve with practice. Try a guided meditation first before branching out on your own.

Guided imagery is a form of meditation which involves the visualisation of positive and relaxing scenes such as a beach, or a peaceful meadow. Some people prefer having a visual stimulus to concentrate on when trying to relax.

 

Looking after your physical health

There are many aspects of your physical health that contribute to the maintenance and wellbeing of your mental health. For example, sleep, diet and exercise. Placing a priority on keeping up with your physical health can make a big difference to your anxiety and general mental wellbeing. Be sure your bed is comfy, your sleep environment is right and you leave screens behind when you go to bed to ensure you get a good night’s sleep. Eat a balanced diet, drink water daily, and try and get in at least a walk everyday.

 

Learn and accept what is out of your control

A lot of people spend time worrying about things they can’t control, for example the outcome of a test or job interview, or what someone else thinks about you. Once you come to accept that there are things you are unable to control, try and remove your worry and focus from these. It doesn’t do you any good spending time being anxious about things that would have turned out the same if you hadn’t been worrying about them.

 

Focus on one thing at a time

Modern day life usually means we have several deadlines, things to do and places to be at the same time. This alone can cause anxiety for many people. Focusing on one thing at a time and making sure you are as organised as possible can help ease some of these feelings of general anxiety. Prioritise your tasks, and always remember to take time out for yourself, don’t burn yourself out.

If you ever need to talk about your anxiety of negative feelings, we are always available.