We've talked a lot about anxiety in the last few BLOGs. This month I thought I'd share a few handy tips on how to deal with anxiety.....
How can you help yourself?
Talk to someone you trust
It is important that you understand how breathing affects our feelings. There are lots of free resources available to help you learn how. so we have also attached a handout explaining just that. Try to practice the technique next time you feel anxious
Go out for a walk, or do something you love (dance, sing, play your Xbox or PlayStation)
Go to the gym or do some physical exercise
Try a complementary therapy
Find a local support group
You can also choose to change your thought process and confront your anxiety so that you can be in control of it. This will have long term benefits overall.
Have you been using the Thought Record Sheet (another free resource)? As with everything it takes practice and if you are unable to think about a more helpful and realistic thought ask someone you trust what they would think.
You can also test yourself further. You can make a plan to gradually do the things you normally avoid. For instance if you normally avoid going out to big social events, then start with a smaller events where you feel more comfortable, with few close friends. It will feel uncomfortable at first and you will learn that you can enjoy these events, and that the anxious feeling does go away. Keep practicing; practice makes perfect!
You can use breathing techniques or self-talk (challenging your unhelpful thoughts and repeating more realistic thoughts) to get you through these times.
If you normally depend on 'safety behaviours' to help you cope, then list them in order of importance, then start by dropping or not doing the least important, and gradually work your way up over time.
More tips on what to do when you feel anxious
STOPP! Pause, take a breath, don't react automatically
What am I reacting to?
Is what I am reacting to fact or fiction?
What is it that I think is going to happen here?
What's the worst (and best) that could happen? What's most likely to happen?
Am I getting things out of proportion?
How important is this really? How important will it be in one week, one month or 6 months’ time?
Am I overestimating the danger?
Am I underestimating my ability to cope?
Am I mind-reading what others might be thinking?
Do I believe I can predict the future?
Is there another way of looking at this? Is this fact or opinion?
What advice would I give someone else in this situation?
Am I putting more pressure on myself?
Just because I feel bad, doesn't mean things really are bad.
What do I want or need from this person or situation? What do they want or need from me? Is there a compromise?
What would be the consequences of responding the way I usually do?
Is there another way of dealing with this? What would be the most helpful and effective action to take? (for me, for the situation, for others)
Hope the tips help. With Love xxxx