Coping with Anxiety.

Anxiety is something that people find very difficult to describe or explain.  But it can have a massive impact on someone’s well being and day to day life.  Often people can feel over whelmed with the amount of things that they have to do, worried about something major that is coming up in their life, or they can be experiencing some kind of panic about changes that my be happening.  These changes can feel overwhelming and people can find them very difficult to deal with.

Anxiety is an emotion that rises and people can begin to feel on edge and start to worry.  Often they may experience a sense of fear or panic, or perhaps start to feel as though they can’t cope.  Sometimes people feel as though they can’t eat or sleep, or they may experience feeling very tired / exhausted and perhaps have a dry mouth / throat.  Everyone can have a different experience, so some people may end up sleeping a lot or over eating as a way of coping with what they are feeling.

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Often anxiety is associated with stress. People can become very anxious when they feel overwhelmed or under threat. This threat may be real or perceived.  Perhaps there is a threat to a job, a relationship or a friendship.  Sometimes people can fear things being taken away from them. Other times they can feel anxious when they are separated from loved ones.

Anxiety can manifest and people can have irrational fears about accidents or other worse case scenarios.  At other times it can leave people doubting the conversations they have had, lying awake replaying the things they said and beating themselves up endlessly about what they see as ‘failure’.  Anxiety can leave people feeling as though they aren’t good enough or even at times loved. It rises and leaves people feeling very on the edge and full of self doubt.  Often it comes out of nowhere and it can feel all consuming.

Fundamentally you don’t want to become a prisoner to your anxiety. You don’t want to allow it to win or take over. Here are some useful ways to help you to manage it – they cant take it all away, but they can make it so much easier to live with.

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  • Taking deep breaths or focusing on breathing is a very good way of instantly calming down.
  • Yoga and Pilates – great ways of dealing with anxiety, and managing the stress that comes with it.
  • Exercise is really beneficial.  Often people will feel better if they go out for a walk, a run, or perhaps a swim.  It is important that this exercise doesn’t become extreme or too intense.
  • Write about your anxiety and how you feel.  This could be keeping a journal for example or writing lists in order to make things more manageable .
  • Take regular breaks and to go away when and if this is possible.  A change of scenery can really make a big difference.
  • ‘Down’ time each week is also vital.  Everyone has different ways of switching off / relaxing. It is important to find the one that works for you.  Eg// taking a bath, reading a book etc
  • Talking and sharing the anxiety is another great way of coping.  This can be done with a friend, partner or someone that people feel they can trust.  It is important to feel able to say ‘I am feeling really anxious right now’ and to try and identify where things are coming from.
  • Therapy is really good for people when anxiety becomes too overwhelming or hard to manage.  Sometimes things can really get out of proportion for people and in general just feel too much.  When this happens and people are under a great deal of stress, it is important that they reach out and speak to a counsellor.

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