It is normal to feel anxious, worried or fearful in certain situations that are about to happen or which we think could happen in the future. However, when we experience frequent anxiety it can have a negative impact on our wellbeing. We may not realise it, but anxiety can have both physical and mental symptoms.
- Racing thoughts
- Feeling irritable
- Feelings of dread, ‘impending doom’ or panic
- Wanting to escape from situation
- Struggling to concentrate
- Racing heartbeat
- Dry mouth
- Nausea, stomach aches, sickness
- Flushing hypersensitivity
Diagnoses are more complex than just listing symptoms, so it is a good idea not to self-diagnose and seek professional advice if you are struggling.
How can I reduce anxious feelings?
- As well as seeking professional help, there are some things you can do which have been shown to help reduce anxious feelings.
- Exercise and a good diet are proven to improve our mood and increase feel good hormones. Carve out time in your diary and challenge yourself to stick to this for a week and note how this impacts your mood.
- Keeping a routine with a to do list can keep your mind occupied on productive things and leave you less time to overthink.
- Keeping a mood diary is a great way of identifying triggers to our anxiety and also getting to know ourselves more. Being aware of how we feel and when we may feel anxious will allow us to put coping strategies in place.
- Complementary therapies such as yoga, mindfulness and meditation. As anxiety can be both mental and physical, adding a body-based practice is a great way to relax your body and improve your wellbeing. Mindfulness can help with anxiety as it brings our awareness to the body and focusses our thoughts on how we feel, rather than what we think. Everyone will have their own preferred ways of relaxing, so find which one works best for you and make time in your week to put these in place.
If I notice what triggers me to feel anxious such as certain people or settings, I can be more aware of the thoughts that come up for me and why it makes me feel anxious. I can then choose a more helpful way to respond to these situations in the moment.
External resources for more information
Anxiety UK: www.anxietyuk.org.uk