Anxiety is something that everyone experiences, almost daily, it helps to drive us to get things done, avoid danger and bring awareness to own emotional reactions to situations.
While it’s severity can vary greatly, from a passing emotion around work stress through to debilitating panic impacting a person’s quality of life, the fact that it will be there in some form is something none of us can escape. It’s is, therefore, important that we all develop our own set of strategies to help us cope with anxiety to support and care for ourselves at times of stress.
A short-term fix to anything that is causing us anxiety is to choose to avoid it altogether i.e. taking a day off work as we are anxious about a presentation or in the case of social anxiety not accepting any party invites. While this may reduce our anxiety in the short-term it doesn’t help us in the long run, there will most likely be another presentation at work or you will become more and more socially isolated by avoiding the party invites.
You only limit what you can do and you never have the chance to test whether the situation you avoid is really that frightening. Without facing our fears, we can never realise that we can cope with it and it will pass, allowing us to enjoy a better quality of life.
So, what are some steps we can take in the everyday to support ourselves to cope when we are facing situations that cause us anxiety? Please see 6 tips below:
1) Positive Thinking
We know avoidance doesn’t solve the problem, so when we face our anxiety we need to have confidence in your ability to cope and to be kind to ourselves in the moments that we are struggling.
When you feel anxious, try to think of situations where you felt calm. Perhaps listening to music relaxes you, playing sport, or reading a book. It might be worth investing in some audio tapes that teach you specific relaxation techniques, particularly if you are having trouble sleeping. Meditation or yoga can also help enhance relaxation.
3) Watch what you eat and drink
Alcohol and caffeine can increase anxiety levels, so are best in moderation or avoided all together in cases on high anxiety. Try and eat a balanced low sugar diet.
4) Structuring the day
A good way to fight anxiety is to set yourself a list of achievable goals and challenges, broken down in to weekly and daily steps. Getting your family and friends involved should provide much needed support and encouragement.
Exercise is nature’s own anti-depressant – it supports the brain to release chemicals that will improve your mood and naturally produce a sense of wellbeing. Being fit can also help you feel more positive about yourself.
6) Talk to someone
Those closest to us can often offer the support we need and talking through our anxiety with them can be a great way to confront any problems we may be facing. If anxiety is starting to affect our daily lives then talking to your GP, a psychologist or counsellor can also be a way to help you better understand your anxiety, how it impacts on your life and how you may manage it more effectively.
Some level of anxiety is here to stay for all of us but we can work on developing a tool box of strategies to help us manage and cope with those emotions which in turn will start to reduce the impact they have on our quality of life and wellbeing.
For more information on different types of anxiety feel free to check out our FREE Tipsheet explaining the types of anxieties and how to best deal with them.
Click here to download
Alternatively if you would like to receive some counselling or would like to provide counselling for your employees then feel free to reach out to us on 1300 796 640 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org