Managing Anxiety 3 QuickTips
Managing Anxiety 3 Quick Tips – this blog will look at what anxiety is and 3 tips you can use quickly to help you manage how you feel and ground yourself.
What is Anxiety?
The NHS website defines anxiety as “a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.” Symptoms of anxiety may include feeling restless or worried, having trouble concentrating, feeling dizzy, heart palpitations, not sleeping.
We will experience anxiety in our lives, when we have to go for a job interview or for a medical test, or when we have to make a phone call we don’t want to. Feeling anxious is normal and a part of life. However, sometimes our worries can take a constant presence in our life and we can find ourselves worrying about everything and anything! We can find ourselves ruminating about the thing we are worrying about and unable to turn the page and move on. This can be very restricting on our life and how much we enjoy things.
How can you manage your anxiety?
There are numerous lifestyle changes that you can make to help you manage your anxiety including:
- Exercising regularly – for ideas about how to start an exercise practice please check out this blog
- Stopping Smoking
- Cutting down on the amount of alcohol you drink
- Cutting down on the amount of caffeine you drink
You might also want to try online courses or tools. The NHS has a library of resources that you can access here.
However, if you are in need of some quick interventions to stop your anxiety spiralling maybe try out one of these below. They act to ground you, short circuit the anxiety and stop it getting bigger.
- Mindfulness Exercise – when you are feeling like you are in an anxiety whirlpool try this out…. Become aware of your surroundings and the following things.
- 5 Things you can see. (your hands / the sky / flowers / the window / the lightshade)
- 4 Things you can physically feel (the floor beneath your feet / the chair beneath your hands / the feel of your jeans)
- 3 Things you can hear (cars outside / birds singing / a phone ringing)
- 2 Things you can smell (someone cooking dinner / perfume)
- 1 Thing you can taste (the mint or your gum / coffee /fresh air)
There are lots of other mindfulness exercises you can do such as
- Count all the blue things you can see
- Count all the circular things you can see
- Take 10 deep breaths2. Do the dishes – or in fact any cleaning or cluttering, whilst this might seem a strange suggestion, doing something manual, something with your hands is helpful. It encourages you to be mindful and in the present and you ar “taking control of something that you can, but you’re also making your environment more soothing,”
The Good Housekeeping Magazine explores the psychological reasons behind why cleaning can be good to help us deal with anxiety. So if anxiety is overtaking you clean your cutlery draw, make the bed, clean out the car, or do the dishes. If you don’t feel like it perhaps just do it for 2 minutes and see how you feel.
- Have an activity ready that will take your full attention. This could include:
- Watch a funny video
- Go for a walk
- Make an origami bird – you don’t have to make an origami bird, it could be that you do something that you are not used to do that will require your attention
- Do a jigsaw / online or in real life
- Listen to music you love
Or you could try listening to Marconi Union – Weightless this piece of music has been be specifically enginered by sound therapists to sooth your nervous system, slow your heart rate and blood ressure and lower levels of cortisol. The research was done by Mindlab and this pdf explains their findings
Its carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines help slow a listener’s heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Alternatively think about an activity that would work for you that you can have at the ready when you need it. When we are anxious it’s hard to think straight to preparing and practicing can help us respond when we are under stress.
However, sometimes doing things on your own can be hard. If you think that Birmingham Counselling and Psychotherapy could help you with your anxiety or any issue you are struggling with please don’t hesitate to contact me. Please Call me on 07843 813537. Please leave a message if I can’t answer your call and I’ll call you back as soon as possible. If you have any other questions or enquiries please call or send me a message by completing the online enquiry form. Due to COVID I am currently working exclusively online or on the telephone.