Tips On Coping With Anxiety
Most people feel anxious or scared sometimes, however particularly at the moment with COVID-19 creating a significant challenge for the world it is completely understandable if there is an increase in anxiety levels. Whilst anxiety can cause significant challenges, there are some techniques that you can use to cope.
We would say however, that if you are experiencing anxiety that is having a detrimental impact on your life the best thing to do is speak with your GP who may be able to provide you with additional support.
Causes Of Anxiety
There are a lot of different things that can cause anxiety and this is different for each person.
When you are feeling anxious, your body releases stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol which can be helpful in some situations, however, cause things such as an increased heart rate and swelling. This might also lead to a panic attack in some people.
Anxiety can be the main symptom of several health conditions and this is why it is important to speak with your GP if you are concerned.
If you can find out what is causing your anxiety, it is often easier to manage and some examples include:
Pressures from work
Pressures from family situations
Health problems including things such as bereavement
Challenging past experiences such as bullying, abuse or neglect
There are a lot of other things that can cause you to feel anxious and even things such as buying a house, having a baby or planning a wedding could lead to feelings of anxiety.
If you experience symptoms of anxiety, there are some things that you can do to help reduce symptoms and the NHS provides a summary of these, which we have outlined below.
Things To Do
Try talking about your feelings to a friend, family member, health professional or counsellor. You could also contact Samaritans, call: 116 123 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you need someone to talk to
Exercise – activities such as running, walking, swimming and yoga can help you relax
Find out how to get to sleep if you're struggling to sleep
Eat a healthy diet with regular meals to keep your energy levels stable
Consider peer support, where people use their experiences to help each other. Find out more about peer support on the Mind website
Listen to free mental wellbeing audio guides
Things To Avoid
Do not try to do everything at once – set small targets that you can easily achieve
Do not focus on the things you cannot change – focus your time and energy into helping yourself feel better
Do not avoid situations that make you anxious – try slowly building up time spent in worrying situations to gradually reduce anxiety
Try not to tell yourself that you're alone; most people experience anxiety or fear at some point in their life
Try not to use alcohol, cigarettes, gambling or drugs to relieve anxiety as these can all contribute to poor mental health