Dealing With Anxiety

Updated: Oct 28, 2020

Having suffered with anxiety from a young age, I'm very aware of how debilitating that feeling of unease, fear, worry and apprehension can be. For some it's mild, for others it's severe and it can come and go.

It's normal to feel anxious from time to time, especially if you're starting a new job, moving to a new area or taking exams. BUT it's how long it lasts for and the overall affect it has on your health and life.

Over the years I've made some lifetime changes to help deal with anxiety and this is what I have found helps me, however, I'm aware that anxiety affects everyone differently.

Self Awareness

Anxiety can creep up on you in no time, starting with waking up feeling apprehensive, normally that feeling in the 'pit of your stomach', trouble sleeping or getting off to sleep, and concentrating, negative thoughts and feelings, the list goes on. However, it's important to be aware of the signs especially if they are lasting a long time.

I have learnt over the years that I have triggers and they can build up and start my anxiety, these can be, too much caffeine, lack of exercise, unhealthy eating, disorganisation in my life and that mind/thought chatter that never seems to give up!

Self Help

Once I became aware that it was anxiety I was suffereing from, I started to research how I could help to reduce the triggers and in general feel better about myself, I did this through self help books and speaking with people who suffered too. I found personally the following benefits made a big impact on how I dealt with anxiety and for my overall wellbeing.

STOP! I know that we all know we need to STOP but what is stopping? It's stopping what you are doing and switching off for 5-10 minutes, closing your eyes and taking in deep breaths, just slowing down your breath helps with the mind, concentrating on your breathing slows down the mind. If you can build up overtime and do it for longer, you will begin to see the benefits of a peaceful and calm mind. When you start to hear that chatter - STOP!

Sugary, salty, fatty foods & drinks, I noticed that when I over indulged in these, and it can happen quickly overtime, it had a big impact on my overall wellbeing, I felt tired, sluggish and irritable. Start slow by eliminating certain foods and drinks that don't make you feel good.

Movement, you don't have to join a gym or run a marathon just moving daily, especially if your job is sitting down most of the time. Walking is free and easy if you are mobile, just start daily for 5 minutes and gradually build up. Again deep breathing and getting out and connected with nature helps our mind and body.

Planning, for me this is important, being organised clears the clutter from my mind. Instead of thinking what I have to do daily, weekly, monthly, I like to write it down and have a plan, whether thats food menus, shopping lists or just what is in my diary.

Creativity, being creative doesn't always come naturally but when we do something creative it helps focus the mind and has calming effects on the mind and body. Gardening, sewing, cooking (healthy batches for the freezer!), vision boards, painting, jigsaw puzzles, the list is endless.

Affirmations, I'm a great believer in reciting positive chatter, words, quotes that make me feel good. 'My thoughts create a wonderful new opportunity'.

Talk, don't suffer in silence, talking about how you feel, what you are thinking is very important, don't bottle up and think that people don't understand, you'll be surprised at how many people suffer with some form of mental health issues, it's not something to be ashamed of and you will be helping others too if you talk about it.

I have made these lifestyle changes and although when suffering from anxiety, any changes can make you feel even more apprehensive, but these changes, even if small will add long term benefits to your health and wellbeing. Stay positive.

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