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FIVE MORE TIPS FOR MANAGING YOUR ANXIETY



Four years ago the world changed. We were told to stay at home and not see people from outside of our household, we became reliant on technology to connect with the outside world. Many of us experienced losses and/or anxiety about our health and our safety.  

In the UK it is three years since these restrictions ended, but did the pandemic have a lasting impact on you, do you still carry anxiety from this period in our recent history?

For younger adults anxiety may be a reasonable response to the environment they are growing up in and the uncertainty they face about their future, including how quickly our freedoms can be taken away, nonetheless, there are things that everyone can do to help manage anxiety:


6) CONNECT WITH OTHERS IN PERSON AS MUCH AS IS POSSIBLE:

Screen time has had some serious consequences for younger people in particular, and while it has brought many improvements to our lives, if you are someone who struggles with anxiety it would make sense to cut down or restrict your screen time.  Social Isolation has been described as ‘the mother of all anxiety’ Now that you have the choice to do the things you were able to do pre-2020, are you taking the opportunity to do them? Many affordable and even free activities can be undertaken. Taking that first step can be tough, but if you are feeling lonely, anxious, or isolated there are support groups that can help. Is there an old friend you would like to reconnect with, maybe to go for a coffee or a walk? Start simple and even the smallest of actions will help to alleviate some anxiety. Many qualified counsellors & therapists work in person, some may even offer concessionary rates for students or those on a reduced income. Counselling is a great way to deal with anxiety and any other issues you may have, it’s a fantastic way of taking care of yourself and helping you to grow in confidence.

 

7) PRACTICE DEEP BREATHING:

The 4-7-8 breathing technique involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. This breathing pattern aims to reduce anxiety or help people get to sleep. It is a form of pranayama, which is the practice of breath regulation.

Why not pause reading this and try it now?


8) CUT DOWN / CUT OUT CAFFEINE:  Drinking a lot of caffeine can make you feel anxious.

If you consume a lot you might find that you are feeling restless or nervous, or have insomnia, headaches, or sweating.  Are you able to cut it down?  Maybe you can start by changing from coffee to tea, which also contains caffeine only not as much. Exercise or physical activity is a good alternative to help stimulate you, rather than picking up that next cup of coffee, could you maybe go for a walk instead?  You may want to gradually reduce or limit caffeine consumption (instead of going cold turkey) to help avoid caffeine withdrawal symptoms.

 

 9) LIMIT WATCHING THE NEWS / WEATHER:  The news tends to focus more on the bad in the world than the good. Newspapers & channels want people to read & watch and use sensationalism to get us hooked. If you are an anxious person and have noticed that local, national, or global events can exacerbate your anxiety then it might be sensible to limit your amount of exposure to the news. Maybe allow yourself five or ten minutes a day? Maybe cut it out completely? Perhaps you could leave the room or change the channel to watch something relaxing or uplifting if you feel your anxiety taking hold of you.


Climate change is real, and I'm hyper-aware of the impact humans are having on our earth. However, i can only control my own behaviour. I've learned that it helps to consciously think about my actions and how they impact the environment, and take actions for the greater good. Rather than constantly worrying I’ve discovered that taking positive actions, however small, will help to reduce my eco-anxiety.  Getting out in nature and planting a tree is a good one too!


I get anxious about getting hot and sweaty in an enclosed space if I can’t cool down. I know & accept this about myself and a lot of my routines are created to help me stay cool.  I also made a decision this summer to stop checking the weather! I will look on my phone app because it shows only today and the next couple of days. I know it's not helpful for my anxiety to know the forward forecast and i’ve had two helpful realisations: 1) It is a forecast and can change anyway 2) I know that when we have another heatwave I'll be able to deal with it when it happens, and it makes me feel worse to know about it in advance because I start obsessing which of course exacerbates my anxiety. In hot weather I can become anxious about it being more difficult to sleep or work. I'm fortunate that i have access to good cooling devices, and there are other affordable ways to cool down such as cooling pillow pads, facial sprays, and fans, also keeping blinds & curtains shut during the daytime to keep the sun out.

 

10) E.F.T. TAPPING:  Emotional Freedom Technique ‘Tapping’ is a simple self-help tool and a sophisticated therapy technique that can work wonders to lower your anxiety levels. It only takes a few minutes to learn, you can take it with you everywhere and there are ways of practicing it inconspicuously if you are feeling anxious with other people around you.

Check out these two videos by EFT master Judy Byrne:


Tapping away your anxiety (6 minutes) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqWjRqLmDvU


Introduction to EFT (10 minutes) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekLCV-A3Aks


I hope this blog has been helpful and informative.

Please feel free to comment.


If you're interested in arranging an initial call with me to discuss some counselling to work on your anxiety, sleep, or any other issue then please fill in the form just above on my website

Or please email me at info@rfciw.com


Thank you

With best wishes, Robert Ferguson (MBACP) Humanistic Counsellor

 

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