Learning to manage your anxiety levels
In my last blog, I explained a little bit about anxiety; looking out for the signs, and what happens to your body when anxiety is present. So, this month I wanted to talk a little bit about how to manage anxiety when you are suffering from it.
Remember in my last blog when I talked about looking out for the signs, so whether you feel a racing heartbeat or you experience sweaty hands and feet, this month I want to focus on giving you tips on how to manage these sensations. Although these are our body’s natural responses to stress, they still don’t feel good!
If you haven’t recognised your triggers yet, it may be an idea to keep a diary to help identify them. Everyone’s triggers are different and identifying them is one of the most important starting points to help cope and manage the anxiety. Identifying your personal triggers can take some time but it certainly is an important step. You may be able to identify your triggers by yourself or you may require the help of a therapist/counsellor.
Quick ways to help cope with anxiety
There are some quick natural remedies to help you take control of your anxiety:
Writing down anything that makes you feel anxious can help get your thoughts out of your head and can also help you to see it clearer when it is written on paper, making it easier to break down and work through. I like to call this exercise ‘thought dumping’ as you are literally dumping your thoughts out of your head onto the paper.
Can you start reframing some of the automatic negative thoughts into more positive thoughts; thoughts that are kinder to you? Do you overthink, catastrophise, or have a black and white way of thinking? Can you reframe these to more realistic thoughts that are kinder to you and include any shades of grey within the black and white thinking that makes the thought more realistic? Learning different ways of thinking can help relieve anxiety; you may be able to do this alone or you may need to help of a therapist.
Try breathing in through the nose for a slow count of 4, hold the breath for 2 seconds then slowly breath out through the mouth for a slow count of 4. This will help slow down your fast-beating heart rate to help you feel calmer. Repeat this for about 5 minutes.
Take time to focus on your body and remain in the ‘here and now’; this may help relieve some of the anxiety as you are focusing on your body rather than your mind and thoughts. When meditation is done regularly you can help train your brain to be more accepting of your thoughts and in return be able to let them go.
What is your self-care like? Regular exercise, eating balanced meals, getting enough sleep, and staying in contact with people who are important to you all help keep that anxiety at bay.