How to manage anxiety
Having suffered from anxiety in the past, you can learn how to manage it moment by moment until you rarely have a day when you feel anxious.
Our behaviours and responses to anxiety or stress triggers can be restructured with some help. Anxiety can be caused by many reasons and it can become a mental health problem if it impacts your ability to live your life fully.
Obviously every person is different, but here are a few techniques to help you get through each day and eventually lead a life free of an anxiety-free life.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a talking therapy that helps you to change the way you behave, think and understand how others behave around you. It is mainly used to treat current problems and in some cases, it can help you understand the past. It is used to treat:
Although it cannot magically take your problems away, it can help you deal with them and how you interact with others that may be causing you problems.
For guidance on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy click here.
Whenever you feel anxious find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed and practise some mindful breathing. Sit comfortably with your eyes closed or lowered and your back straight. Bring your attention to your breathing.
Notice the natural, gentle rhythm of your breathing as you breathe in and out, and focus only on this. Thoughts will come into your mind because that is just what the mind does. Just notice those thoughts, then bring your attention back to your breathing.
You may notice sounds, physical feelings and emotions, but again, just bring your attention back to your breathing. Don’t follow those thoughts or feelings, don’t judge yourself for having them or analyse them in any way just bring your attention back to your breathing.
Thoughts will enter and your attention will follow them. No matter how many times this happens, just keep bringing your attention back to your breathing. If you are very distracted it might help to say ‘in’ and ‘out’ as you breathe.
The more you practice this exercise the more it will help you to manage your anxiety.
At least 5-10 minutes a day is recommended.
Use the worry tree
Click here for guidance on using on the worry tree.
Get some exercise
Exercise releases endorphins. When you release endorphins while walking or doing any form of exercise, it can help you feel less stressed and anxious. When you next feel anxious, put on something comfortable and go for a walk.
Surround yourself with the right people
If your inner circle are confrontational and argumentative, you need to surround yourself with more calm, friendly and laid back people. If you are confrontational and argumentative yourself, seek some help here.
Don’t get involved in difficult situations if you can avoid it
Anxiety is much more heightened when faced with difficult situations. It could be a bullying situation at work, issues with your child’s school, dealing with debt, going through counselling/CBT Therapy or even dealing with a difficult neighbour. Where you can avoid confrontation or difficult situations do it. If there are times that this is not possible (ie at home or at work), go into an office or another room in the house and use mindful breathing to calm yourself and then use the worry tree to determine how and when you need to deal with the situation. Taking that all-important time out will alleviate your symptoms and give you the time and space you need.
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