6 top tips for dealing with anxiety that actually work
Tips for dealing with anxiety, tips for dealing with anxiety attacks and the most common anxiety symptoms and causes of anxiety, debunked.
Perhaps one of the most heartwarming things to know about anxiety is that this is a completely normal physiological human response. To that end, almost all of us have experienced feelings of anxiety at some point, but only 5% of people in the UK have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, also known as GAD. The main difference between anxious feelings and GAD as a medical condition is that GAD is a long-term problem, says the NHS. People with GAD feel anxious “most of the time and often have trouble remembering the last time they relaxed”.
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However, both can be seriously debilitating, and knowing what causes you anxiety and how to deal with it can be a game-changer in either case. On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, Lucy spicer, a psychologist with 10 years of experience in the NHS and the private sector explains the causes of anxiety, symptoms of anxiety, tips for managing anxiety and tips for dealing with anxiety attacks. And breathe.
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1. The pandemic
Remember when commuting was probably the most stressful thing in our lives? Add to that a pandemic, Brexit, and more recently the Oil Gate, and it’s no surprise that the ONS reports that nearly 50% of people were reporting high levels of anxiety at the start of the pandemic, compared to 30% during the same months in 2019.
Lucy tells HELLO! it boils down to “lack of control” and “uncertainty”, to which anxiety is the body’s natural response.
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“Some people have a genetic predisposition to experience more intense anxiety,” says Lucy. “However, situations such as pressures at work, relationship difficulties, worries about health and meeting deadlines can mean that we can experience different levels of anxiety throughout our lives.”
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3. Personality type
Put pressure on yourself to do better? Compare yourself to others? “You might feel heightened anxiety if this is you,” says Lucy. “Anxiety comes from worrying about how others think about you.”
Symptoms of anxiety
Lucy tells us that anxiety symptoms fall into three categories: physical, cognitive (brain function – how we think), and behavior. It’s also essential to note that you may experience some or all of these, while noting that anxiety symptoms can be a sign of other conditions as well, so be sure to see a GP for individual diagnoses. .
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Symptoms of physical anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Beating heart
- Shortness of breath
- Lack of concentration
- Sleep disturbed
- Dizziness / lightheadedness
- Butterflies in the stomach
- Want to go to the bathroom
Symptoms of cognitive anxiety
- Think about the worst
- Imagine future scenarios in a negative way
- Thinking that something bad is about to happen
- Lots of upsetting thoughts
- Busy mind, having trouble shutting down
- Consumed by negative thoughts
- Assuming you know what others are thinking
- Negative bias – always see the evil
- Be your worst critic
Symptoms of behavioral anxiety
- Cancellation of packages
- Do not respond to family and friends
- Afraid to spend time alone
- Repeatedly asking others for reassurance
- Avoid worrying situations
Tips for Managing Anxiety
The advantages of exercise are endless, and trust us when we say it’s one of the most effective ways to soothe anxious feelings “by releasing endorphins,” says Lucy. Going to hell in an intense HIIT class that you dread and despise from start to finish won’t do you any good – find a way to move your body that makes you feel good. Lucy says everything from a walk to dancing on your favorite playlist should work wonders.
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2. Be reassured
Strange as it may sound, the way you talk to each other makes a huge difference. Lucy says it’s about reassuring you of your abilities. Here are some helpful affirmations: “I can overcome this, I have already done it”, “I am strong”, “I am resistant”, “It will not last”, “I breathe relaxation and exhale tension”.
3. Seek help
A shared problem is a problem halved, and that couldn’t ring more true than with anxiety. “Communicate with your friends, family or mental health professionals,” says Lucy. Not only will this be a burden on your shoulders, but it will help fight the stigma that lingers around mental health and encourage others to speak out about their own issues as well. You will be surprised at how many people are like you.
Meditation can help eliminate anxious thoughts
Lucy says, “Rather than clinging to your anxious thoughts and thinking about them over and over again, you can learn to observe your thoughts and disengage from how they make you feel. We have about 70,000 thoughts a day that are constantly being replaced, so if you notice anxious thoughts instead of clinging to them, visualize it passing like a cloud in the sky. ”There are many apps to help you practice. , as Free space and Calm.
Tips for dealing with anxiety attacks
According to Esprit United Kingdom, an anxiety attack is a “type of fear response. It is an exaggeration of the body’s normal reaction to danger, stress or excitement.” Since this is an acute anxiety reaction i.e. they come on quickly and are short-lived, they require different types of intervention for the anxiety symptoms that are constant or long. duration.
Controlling your breathing can calm anxiety attacks
“The fastest way to allay physical feelings of anxiety is to use your breath,” says Lucy. “Rational breathing has been shown to calm your sympathetic nervous system (the part of your body that creates anxious feelings). When you practice, start breathing from the stomach to the rib cage to the chest, it will look like Rational breathing occurs when you breathe in through your nose for a count of 5, hold your breath for 5, exhale for 5 beats, and hold for 5 before repeating 10 times. “
6. Grounding strategies
People who suffer from anxiety are often forward-looking, but “living in the moment”, for lack of a better term, can be the key to giving your brain a break. “Method 5,4,3,2,1 is the preferred method of customers for nailing this product,” says Lucy. “This is where you use all of your senses, tuning into your surroundings and noticing 5 things you can see, 4 you can hear, 3 you can smell, 2 smell, one thing you can taste. “
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