4 Strategies to Help Beat Anxiety
Millions of people in the UK suffer from mental health problems every year, with anxiety being one of the most common. Here are a few coping strategies that could help.With the charity Mind’s statistics showing almost a quarter of people in the UK experience mental health problems each year, it’s an issue that affects us all either directly or indirectly. Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems and can have a huge impact on the lives of people who suffer from it and those close to them. As it’s Time to Change’s Time to Talk Day on 7th February, we’re taking a look at 4 coping strategies to help beat anxiety.
- Practice breathing techniques – when we start to feel panicky and anxious our breathing rate naturally increases. Taking shorter, shallower breaths disrupts the normal levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our system, which reduces blood flow to the brain. Hyperventilation can be really frightening, with many people reporting that they feel like they’re going to die. Getting control of your breathing is key to reducing anxiety or avoiding an anxiety attack. It can be easier said than done in the throes of panic, but regularly practising proper breathing techniques could help you cope when you feel anxiety creeping up on you. Slow, deep breathing will help reduce your heart rate, regulate your breathing and calm you down. A good place to start is to follow the .
- Think positive – the way you think has a massive impact on how you deal with situations. Negative thinking is self-fulfilling and much more likely to produce a negative outcome. Avoiding places that make you anxious, not accepting your anxiety or telling yourself you can’t cope will make you less able to deal with the issue.Be nice to yourself! Make the voice in your head positive. And when you experience an attack, try and reassure yourself that you’re OK and the bad feeling will pass. Accepting you have a problem with anxiety and being proactive in seeking help is an important part of having a positive mindset. A great place to start looking for help is mental health charity websites like , and
- Don’t isolate yourself – it can be easy to retreat from company when you’re feeling anxious but it’s important not to become isolated. On your own, you’ve got less support and more time to over-think the issue. Spending time with friends and family who are supportive and fun to be around can help lessen your general anxiety.Socialising and doing activities with others can not only help take your mind off the problem but it gives you a great opportunity to talk to others about how you’re feeling.There’s a lot of truth in the saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. Anxiety is very common, so you’ll more than likely find someone else who can relate to how you feel and share their own strategies for coping.
- Get active and get outdoors – it seems to be the cure-all for everything but being active in a way that you enjoy really can give your mental health a boost. Combining a bit of exercise with connecting with nature will bring even more benefits. Being in a natural environment has been shown to be effective in helping to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Although living in a city like London can make it harder to get out into the wilderness, our parks and green spaces are still really good places to take a walk or just sit and relax.