Do you find yourself worrying about bad things that might happen? Feeling like you need to control things but that it’s hard to stay on top of this? Do you feel increasingly anxious and tense? Do you have trouble sleeping or switching off? If so, you may be one of the millions of people who suffer from an anxiety.
The word “anxiety” is now often used in day to day conversations to suggest an unpleasant feeling state that we’d rather not have to deal with. What’s more, many people worry about worry, and are concerned it won’t go away or that it sets them apart from others. Yet, everyone experiences feelings of anxiety at times, in fact it functions to energise us and focus our attention. However, when anxiety becomes intense and prolonged, it can interfere with our ability to engage in meaningful activities and/or relationships. When the balance tips in this way, it is likely that the person may have an anxiety disorder.
An anxiety disorder is when anxious feelings don’t go away and occur sometimes without any particular reason or cause. It’s a serious condition that makes it hard to cope with daily life.
Fortunately, there are many ways to begin to tackle anxiety and build your emotional well being. Here are three simple ways that you can use every day to begin this process.
Ways To Help You Manage Anxiety
Plan to worry!
This might sound odd, but taking the time to worry can help. However, the way you go about this is very important. Putting your worries down on post it notes throughout the day and putting them in a jar and then spend a focused period of time with a start and stop time, can ease worry. Too often we worry about things, but don’t stop to carefully consider the actual content of our thoughts. The Centre for Clinical Interventions have a great worksheet on how to do this. There is also a great App from ReachOut called worry time.
Being active will use the stress hormones associated with anxiety. Even if this is the difference between sitting in your office and taking a five minute break by walking outside. Try it, and see if it makes a difference.
When you’re anxious, your breathing becomes faster and shallower. Without you realising, over time your breathing can fall into this pattern throughout the day, keeping you feeling slightly on edge. In some situations where this is pronounced, you may even have a panic attack. Slow breathing is most beneficial when you keep your mouth closed. Some people find breathing or imagery helpful.
If you are concerned about the effect anxiety is having upon your life, or you would like support with the implementation and practice of these skills and more, it may be useful to consult with a psychologist.