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12 Ways to help calm anxiety

12 Ways to help calm anxiety

Ways to help calm anxiety

It is thought that around 6 million people in the UK are currently suffering from Anxiety and Depression, with 3 million living with anxiety. 

Some people have circumstantial anxiety, where a stressful trigger causes a feeling of anxiety. This kind of anxiety is usually fairly short-lived, going away again when the trigger or stress is removed. But for other people anxiety is part of their daily life, and makes doing normal, day to day tasks almost impossible.

So what can be done to help reduce anxiety? 

Here are some practical ways to help calm anxiety  

Distract yourself

Distract yourself either with an app, or with a task or by playing some cheerful or calming music. Set a timer for 15 minutes and go do something else. Useful apps for anxiety include

All of which can be found on the Apple App Store and/or on Play Store

Challenge your thinking

We often believe everything we tell ourselves or totally buy into the ‘facts’ we create about any given situation, so for a second ask yourself if this is just a thought or a fact. Remember thoughts and facts are two very different things and we can with practice change our thinking! 

Write down an ‘if this then that’ list

If you are worrying about a specific thing, try writing down a ‘if this then that’ list. Basically this is stating if *this* happens then I’ll do that…

It gives you back a sense of power and control over the situation. There may be a number of solutions to the problem in hand and if so, list them all. This gives you a range of options to consider, if whatever you’re worrying about actually happens! 

Breathe Deeply

If you find that you are breathing rapidly it can help to slow your breathing right down, breathing in for 4 and out for 7. 

Ground yourself

Here’s a useful grounding exercise. Look around the room and notice

  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can touch
  • 3 things you can hear
  • 2 things you can smell 
  • 1 thing you can taste

Consider if whatever you’re worrying about really is important?

Most things we encounter aren’t really that important in the global scheme of things. Richard Carlson, Author of ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff’ wrote ‘Ask yourself the question will this matter a year from now?’ Chances are it won’t and if that’s the case don’t worry about it! 

Be kind to yourself for the small steps you make

If you suffer from anxiety which often prevents you from doing day to day stuff, set yourself a small challenge each day and then profusely praise yourself for any progress you make.

If going out is uncomfortable but you get as far as the gate, then you’ve made progress. Even if you just make it as far as the door, that’s progress. But then build on that progress and tomorrow see if you can get as far as next door and then praise yourself for that too.

embarrassment

Consider how long the ‘pain’ will last

If you’re anxious about a driving test, exam, job interview etc, consider how long the ‘pain’ of the situation is going to last for. A driving test will probably last less than an hour but once you’ve passed, hopefully you’ll never need to do that again, and the gain from sitting the test will last a lifetime. A job interview also generally lasts for around an hour and again even if it’s very painful the ‘pain’ will go fairly quickly afterwards.

Get rid of unnecessary stress

I remember one day a while ago needing to be at a meeting in an unfamiliar part of a city nearby. For days panicked about getting there, finding the venue, finding the parking, allowing time to get lost, not knowing what I would do if there was no parking available etc etc. In the end I cancelled my appointment and the whooosh of relief was huge. It made all the difference not having to tackle it. It wasn’t life cruical, I wasn’t letting anyone down by not going, and to be able to gift myself the knowledge I just didn’t have to go, was all that was needed to bring my anxiety back down to normal levels.

image of sugar. Sugar can excerabate anxiety

Cut back on Sugary Foods and Caffeine 

Studies have shown that Sugary foods and Caffeine both affect people’s anxiety levels so try drinking water, herbal teas and drinks without caffeine and avoid having a sugar rush.

Have regular Treatments

Complementary Therapies that may help with anxiety include

These all calm and soothe and can help you to relax and feel less anxious. Some treatments can be available as home visits which would be good for those who have agrophobia.

 Useful Essential Oils to help with anxiety

Essential oils are great for helping reduce anxiety. The best ones for anxiety are 

Useful Resources

Anxietyuk.org.uk 

Mind.org.uk

 

Read Related Article 


Image of lady with anxiety

 

Read Related Article about the Symptoms of Anxiety

Over to you! 

What helps you with your anxiety? Please let me know in the comments box below

Are you feeling stressed?

Are you feeling stressed?

 

Are you feeling stressed? Stress is thought to affect around 70-80% of Adults in the UK alone with many adults being signed off work sick with stress at one point in their lives or another.

Stress can manifest itself in different ways

Stress manifests itself in many different ways, often presenting with a wide range of physical, emotional and psychological symptoms and changes in behaviour.

If you find that you’re suddenly suffering from low energy, headaches, stomach upsets, aches, pains, mood changes or are coming down with way more colds and flu than is normal for you, chances are you’re feeling stressed.  Stress can also affect your libido and cause problems in the bedroom. 

As stress can cause you to feel overwhelmed by everyday tasks going out and socialising can become a challenge. This can contribute to low mood and loneliness and avoidance of social situations. 

Emotionally, stress can leave you feeling worried, with racing thoughts, inability to focus, poor decision making and feeling pessimistic. As most of your thinking capacity is taken up by the fight, flight, freeze response, you may find it hard to remember things and leave you feeling disorganised. 

Behaviourally, you might find that your appetite changes either making you crave foods and over eat, or reduce your appetite levels right down. You might also find yourself biting your nails, fidgeting, procrastinating or self-medicating with alcohol, nicotine, or recreational drugs.

What causes stress?

Stress can be triggered by life events such as marriage, moving house, the death of a loved one, divorce/separation, losing a job or major change in financial situation, money worries, problems with school/work/university, having a new baby, caring for family members and working too hard with not enough time out. 

Often a stressful situation will resolve itself without any problem but until it does there are some simple things you can do to to help yourself.

What can be done to ease stress?

Concentrate mainly on what you need to do to get through each day. This could just mean having clean clothes or uniform to wear, food to eat for every meal and if at all possible a short walk to help settle the mind.

Keeping yourself hydrated is key as dehydration will make you feel worse.

Consider if there’s anything you can delegate that doesn’t need to be done by you or if there’s anything that you don’t have to do ever, that could simply be crossed off the list.

The same goes for things beyond your control. Some things we can change and other things (like what’s happening in the world around us) we can’t. If you can’t change it, don’t worry about it. I’ve seen people getting stressed about the snow, we can’t make it not snow so the best thing we can do is be as prepared as possible for snow and then let it get on with it! 

Face the thing that most scares you. If you’re putting off making a phone call because you’re scared of the outcome, then make that call first, so at least you’re not having to worry about it all day. Then give yourself a reward (no matter how small)

Diarise time out for yourself if at all possible, plan something fun into the diary so that you have something to look forward to

Have a regular Reflexology, Massage, Aromatherapy Massage, or Reiki treatment can help reduce stress levels and improve mood, sleep patterns and increase your sense of wellbeing

Resources:

NHS Website has some useful tips for managing stress, anxiety and depression https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/understanding-stress/

Here are my top three aromatherapy blends for helping stress https://www.sarahcooper.co.uk/essential-oil-blends-for-stress-and-anxiety/

 

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