“Oh I’m so anxious” we hear this all the time. What can we do when we are feeling anxious? When is anxiety serious enough to seek counselling support?
Why do we have anxiety?
Are anxiety or panic symptoms dangerous?
How to cope with anxiety?
- Positive Thinking. Look for opportunity instead of the negative even when something “bad” happens.
- Task oriented. Focus on getting tasks done or completed. It help you feel good about your efforts and accomplishments.
- Accept yourself. Don't be self-critical. If there is something you want to change, then change it. For things that you cannot or doesn’t want to change, be glad that they make you who you are uniquely.
- Be flexible. Not everything is black and white. Be open to the grey (or pink or purple) area of things. This require you to let go of trying to control the outcome or people.
- Develop realistic goals. Evaluate what it will take to reach a goal and determine whether it is possible.
- Develop a positive view of life. What is a positive view of yourself, the world, and the situation?
- Nurture your spirituality. Connecting with a higher power mitigates your lack of control feelings. If you have some religious affiliation, reconnect with that and the community. Even if you do not believe in traditional religious institution, do you believe there are something bigger than you?
- Distract yourself from stressors. Sometimes you have to put everything aside to relax and have fun.
- Deep breathing, relaxation, meditation, or visualisation. Use an app if you do not know how to or join a class.
- Finding humour in things. Life is a lot easier if you can laugh things off or see the funny side of things.
- Spending time with people you enjoy. Surrounding yourself with people who love you and you love help you feel supported. If you have challenges finding someone, there is always the listening ears of professional counsellor, therapist, and psychologist.
- Keeping a journal for venting, and at the end of every entry closing with something positive.
- Take time to regularly do activities that you enjoy. Taking a break from whatever stressors help you to recharge and regain energy to tackle the problems again. You think better with a clear head.
- Utilize your support system. This could be friends, family, individual therapy, group therapy, or community support groups.
- Practice being assertive. You will feel better for taking care of yourself
- Good communication. Often problem can be solved by talking things out.
- Take short breaks throughout the day. Take 5 to 10 minute breaks throughout the day to relax and remove yourself from stressors and demands.
- Regular exercise. Walking is excellent for decreasing body tension and alleviating stress.
- Get adequate rest and sleep. If you don't get enough sleep, you can't cope well.
- Practice good nutrition. Eat regularly and have healthy meals.
- Massage. A good way to relieve muscle tension relax.
- Choose to be in environments that feel good to you. Remove yourself from toxic environment (even temporarily).
- Work on your financial security. Even if you are not there yet, having a plan helps.
- Practice good time management. Get some coaching from a counsellor or psychologist to learn some time management and organization skills if you struggle to do that yourself.
- Do things that demonstrate respect, care, and nurturing of the self. That means take good care of you.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
- Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn't possible, be proud of however close you get.
- Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?
- Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify?
- Stay in the present. Anxiety is a future-oriented state of mind. So instead of worrying about what’s going to happen, reel yourself back to the present,
- Follow the 3-3-3 rule. Look around you and name three things you see. Then, name three sounds you hear. Finally, move three parts of your body.
- Stay away from sugar. Eating too much sugar can worsen anxious feelings.
- Stop smoking. Research has shown that the earlier you start smoking in life, the higher your risk of developing an anxiety disorder later.
- Aromatherapy. Some essential oils used to relieve anxiety are: bergamot, lavender, clary sage, grapefruit, ylang ylang.
- Listening to Marconi Union's "Weightless" for a 65% reduction in overall anxiety.