Mental Health Awareness Week – Coping with Anxiety

Anxiety is something we can all experience from time-to time and there are lots of reasons why we get this feeling. It can be connected to a job, school, a relationship, social situations, how we feel about ourselves, or a change in our life.

If we don’t know how to cope with our feelings of anxiety, they can get out of control and stop us from doing the things we need or want to do. The more often and the longer we feel anxious, the more it can become a problem.

Dealing with anxiety can be hard. But there are some things we can do to manage these tough feelings.

1. Focus on your breathing

One way of dealing with anxious thoughts is to focus on breathing and feeling your body through those breaths. It can help to control the thought and stop your mind from wandering. One method is the ‘4 square breathing’ technique: breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 4, breathe out for the count of 4, and hold for the count of 4. The idea is to picture a square in your mind, giving you something to focus on and distract yourself from the anxious thought.

2. Get moving

Studies have shown that exercise can help manage anxiety, and it doesn’t have to be vigorous exercise. Anything from walking and yoga to swimming and fitness classes can give you enough to focus on to control anxiety.

3. Keep a diary

It is incredibly important not to ignore worries. Recording your feelings can help pinpoint exactly what is trigging anxiety, which can help you feel better prepared for future situations. Some people find it helps to give yourself a certain time of day to be your ‘worry time’. It could be half an hour first thing in the morning for to sit with your worries and write them down in your diary. When that’s out of the way, you can move on with the rest of your day. This can help you take control and stop anxiety getting in the way of what you want to do.

4. Connect with people and talk about how you feel

Anxiety can cause feelings of loneliness, so it is important to surround yourself with friends and family. It is also important to share your feelings with someone you trust, bottling up feelings of anxiety can be more damaging to you.

5. Healthy diet

Many people find that when suffering from anxiety, they reach for ‘comfort foods’. Comfort foods can be anything from sweet and sugary snacks, junk food, or even alcohol. It is important not to rely on these foods to control anxiety, as they can cause more harm later down the line. Eating healthily helps to regulate your blood sugar and gives us the energy to live well. Often, people who feel healthy in their body, will also feel healthy in their mind.


Posted in: Advice, General, Health and Wellbeing, Wellbeing Wednesday