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Tips to stop feeling anxious

Stop feeling anxious. Woman with one hand on the forehead and the other in front of her giving indication to stop.

What’s the Idea?

A basic overview of techniques and tips to stop feeling anxious on a daily basis, with links to external resources.

What’s the story

Anxiety’ is a condition where a person is nervous, worried or uneasy about something with an uncertain outcome.

Living with anxiety can be very troubling, and the enforced self-isolation brought on by the spread of coronavirus is likely to bring on/increase the symptoms for many. For this reason, I’m hoping that some of the techniques and advice I share below can help others who suffer during these difficult times.

I have been on the Anxiety/OCD spectrum since I was a child. As a teenager, I suffered anorexia, and also have the rarer/less well-known condition, ‘Dermatillomania’. In my mid-20s, I finally got professional help from two amazing psychologists, and have self-managed my conditions ever since.

People should do this because…?

Practising self-management techniques for anxiety daily can help reduce the need for medication/seeing doctors or psychologists in person.

Consequently, it can hugely assist the impact on our health workers during these difficult times (coronavirus). However, it is important to note that in severe, debilitating cases, you should always seek professional advice/help.

How do you do it?

There are many ways you can self-help to cope with this problem and be able to stop feeling anxious. Here are some examples:

1)Try a book or online course – The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) only recommends treatments based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

2) Exercise regularly – this helps to combat stress, release tension and encourages the brain to release serotonin which can improve your mood.  You should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week.

3) Learn to relax – you may find relaxation and breathing exercises helpful, or you may prefer activities such as yoga or pilates to help you unwind.

4) Avoid caffeine – this can make you more anxious than normal, as it disrupts your sleep and speeds up your heartbeat.

5) Avoid smoking and drinking – these have been shown to make anxiety worse. To reduce harm to health, men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week. If you drink as much as 14 units a week, spread your drinking over three days or more. Fourteen units is equivalent to 6 pints of average strength beer or 10 small glasses of low strength wine.

6) Contact support groups – these can give you advice on how to manage your anxiety. They are a good way to connect with others going through similar experiences as well. These groups have often arranged face to face meetings. Nevertheless, during this period of self-isolation/lock-down due to coronavirus, it’s good to know that many also provide support and guidance over the phone or in writing.  Links are provided in the web-link section below.


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