Self Help Techniques to Manage AnxietyArfaq Hussain
Anxiety: a debilitating disorder, but what can help?
Many people suffer from anxiety, but how can you control or combat it? It is slightly more common in women than in men, but it can affect anyone of any age and from any background.
For severe anxiety, it is recommended that you contact your doctor to talk through how you are feeling. They may be able to refer you on to services such as talking therapies of cognitive behavioural therapy, that have been shown to help reduce severe anxiety. Additionally, if your anxiety is having a severe and prolonged impact on your day to day life, they may recommend trying medication to help you to bring your symptoms under control.
For mild to moderate anxiety, self-help techniques can help you to bring your stress levels under control and reduce or eliminate your anxiety altogether. Remember, you are not alone in suffering anxiety. With the fast pace of life in which we live, working long hours and with people living further away from support networks such as close family, anxiety is an increasing problem that is affecting more and more problems.
Below are some self-help techniques that can help you manage your anxiety:
Eat Well Balanced Meals
Skipping meals or consuming excess convenience or fast foods can leave you feeling lethargic, sluggish and leads to increased obesity. Eating three balanced meals a day, that include at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables can not only help keep your weight under control, it can also boost your energy levels and replenish or maintain essential vitamins and minerals. If your body feels better, your mind will feel better.
Take Time Out
Few people take time out to concentrate on themselves. Time constraints such as long working hours or childcare responsibilities leave people with little time to concentrate on themselves. You do not need much time in order to take time out.
Just 10 minutes a day can lead to a considerable reduction in anxiety and boosts wellbeing. Mindfulness, yoga, listening to music, reading a book, or just relaxing in the bath can give you the time you need to just clear your mind, release all of your stress, and feel more able to cope with day to day life.
Learning relaxation techniques using books or the internet can teach you how to make the most of your time out. Take deep breaths and allow your mind to clear. Exercise has been shown to be an excellent stress-buster, as well as improving your physical health.
Limit Alcohol and Caffeine
Both alcohol and caffeine can exacerbate anxiety, and even lead to panic attacks. When people feel stressed, particularly after a long day at work, it is not uncommon for them to reach for a bottle of wine. Likewise, they may use coffee throughout the day to cope with sluggishness.
Alternatives include chilled water, natural fruit juice (in moderation), or tea. Tea’s including chamomile and green tea have been reported to help reduce anxiety and aid sleep.
The above techniques may help your mental health if you’ve been feeling anxious, having negative thoughts, or suffering from stress and anxiety in general.
Please remember that if you’ve been having long term issues, you need to see your GP to see if you can be diagnosed with anxiety disorders as there are support groups you can be referred to for greater help. You should also seek your GP’s advice if you’ve been having anxiety and panic attacks.