We all have things or situations that we’re a little scared of. Mine seem to go through phases. At one point the dentist, then flying, then the dentist again,...
If you saw the first part of our self-help tips for coping with anxiety you would have seen that many people suffer with anxiety on a daily basis and how debilitating it can be as as an illness. However, there is always hope. As well as professional treatment there are some things you can try at home which can help to ease your symptoms or just give you a crutch on which to lean.
Read on for 5 more tips on how you cope with anxiety.
6. Sleep well
When you are tired, your resistance is often lowered and it can become more difficult to control feelings of stress or worry. Try to prioritise your sleep and ensure that you get 8 hours every single night, even if you have to make sacrifices elsewhere such as letting the housework slip or leaving work on time for a few evenings. When you’re feeling anxious, your own well being needs to be a priority and getting a good nights sleep will make it much easier to cope with the other symptoms. Also turn off your phone and the TV at least an hour before bedtime and do something calming such as having a warm bath, reading or just talking to your partner or a family member. All of these things will help you to get a better nights sleep and eventually you will begin to feel stronger and happier for it.
7. Challenge negative thoughts
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), is often used as a method to treat anxiety and disorders such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorders. It helps sufferers to deal with their condition in a more positive way, based on the idea that your thoughts are connected to the physical symptoms you experience when anxious. Unlike traditional counselling, CBT teaches you to deal with your current problems rather than looking at more deep-rooted causes by looking at the situation, thoughts, emotions, physical feelings and actions. Your GP should be able to refer you to a therapist who specialises in CBT or you can find one through the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies.
8. Learn the science behind your symptoms
It may be beneficial to some anxiety sufferers to really learn what causes the symptoms of anxiety. When your heart begins to pound or your mouth suddenly becomes very dry it can feel very scary, mainly because you aren’t sure what’s happening. Reading up on what causes these reactions in your body can sometimes help to rationalise what is happening and calm the symptoms. For example, when your heart begins to pump much more quickly or irregularly, this is because your body has perceived a threat and has released adrenaline, a hormone which causes an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and muscle strength. This is because your mind thinks you will either need to fight or run away. The adrenaline makes your heart rate speed up in order to pump the blood more quickly around your body and to your limbs so that they can move faster to increase your chance of survival. Learning symptoms such as this from science or mental health websites or books can often help you to think more rationally about your symptoms and regain control.
9. Confide in a friend
One of the feelings commonly associated with anxiety or depression is a feeling that you are worthless or a burden on the happier friends and family members, around you. What sufferers often forget is that friends and family often want to know about any problems you’re having and would much rather be able to support you then leave you suffering in silence.
10. Be kind to yourself
Take a bath. Have a chocolate bar. Light some candles and put Clueless on. Whatever it is that makes you feel better – do it. Just like a cold or the flu, anxiety is an illness and if you need the occasional day off of work to treat it then you need to listen to yourself on that. Facing your fears can be a great way to reduce anxiety but if at times this becomes too much and just the thought of it is making you ill, don’t be afraid to make alternative plans. Sometimes, staying in with a good friend or visiting a family member is much more beneficial than going to a loud, noisy bar where you’ll only increase your feelings of anxiety and feel worse.
For further help and advice on coping with anxiety, take a look at the NHS website below:
Image c/o : WeHeartIt
Beth is a Writer and Digital Marketer who founded The Full Agenda as a place to talk about the things that kept her and her friends up at night. Currently working as a Marketing consultant to various SMEs she is a big fan of the startup market and loves technology, apps and anything social media related. When not obsessively checking Google Analytics, she can be found reading, writing or relaxing with a glass of Prosecco.
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