Do you need some ideas on how to manage anxiety?
We often talk about being anxious about something, and it is true that we face a lot of stress and worry in our lives. However, anxiety can become more than an occasional, manageable part of life for some people.
Here are some ways to tell if your anxiety may be a problem, as well as some ideas on how to manage anxiety.
What is Anxiety?
If you are anxious for a specific reason, this can make perfect sense. The anxiety is there to help you to an extent. Anxiety is a state of awareness that something may be threatening you, and so the body gets ready for ‘fight or flight’ in order to keep you safe.
You may feel your heart pounding, sound rushing in your ears, your face becoming flushed as blood runs through your body, or your muscles becoming tense. If you are anxious about a job interview or an important exam, the body becomes extra alert to let you know that you need to prepare.
Anxiety becomes a problem when it has little or no reasonable cause, or it happens constantly. The physical feelings of anxiety come on and the sufferer can feel an ongoing sense of worry, fear, and dread, when they don’t know why.
This kind of anxiety can interfere with everyday life, causing people to avoid certain situations, interacting with people, and even leaving the house. People with chronic anxiety often use alcohol or drugs to calm their fears and quieten their constant worrying minds.
Does any of this sound familiar? If so, you may need some ideas on how to manage anxiety.
Around 18% of adults suffer from some kind of anxiety disorder, although only around a third of them will seek treatment to help. Often people living with anxiety will develop depression as well.
Simple Ways to Help Manage Anxiety
Chatting to a counsellor about your anxiety is one of the very best ways to help manage it. You may have underlying reasons for your anxiety which need to be addressed to help you face the anxiety itself.
Anxiety can come on when we aren’t looking after ourselves, so maintaining a general level of good health will always help. Get eight hours of sleep every night, exercise for 30 minutes, five times a week and get some fresh air and sunshine every day. Reduce sugar, alcohol, and caffeine and try to eat lots of fruit and vegetables, whole grains and healthy sources of fat.
Some supplements may help including wild fish oil, magnesium and vitamin B complex – all of which have been shown to reduce anxiety and improve mood.
Relaxation techniques and alternative therapies are incredibly helpful for many people, including meditation, yoga, acupuncture and tai chi.
Mindfulness is an easy practice that you can add to every day which helps you to focus your mind and not get caught up in the physical and emotional stresses of anxiety. There are some excellent apps for daily mindfulness that make it simple to introduce into your daily routine, such as Smiling Mind, Aura or Calm.
You can also try something like journalling or mindful colouring to help focus your mind.