When you feel anxious, firstly name the emotion and feelings you are experiencing. You may want to say this out loud to yourself or write it down in a journal or on paper. This is the first step towards lessening the power of your emotions and feelings. You could also express your thoughts creatively through activities such as painting, song writing, drawing making music or writing poetry. Writing and art are healthy outlets to release your emotions and reflecting on the finished result can help you to make sense of your feelings.

2. Talk to someone you trust

Anxiety can be very overwhelming; talking to someone you trust about how you feel could be helpful. Connecting with others is one of the NHS’ 5 Steps to Wellbeing; having someone listening to you can make a positive difference. You could speak to a relative, friend, neighbour or colleague. Perhaps you aren’t able to open up to someone close to you; that’s ok, there are helplines that you can call confidentially and free of charge. Anxiety UK is a national registered charity and they offer support, advice and information on all anxiety, stress and anxiety-based depression conditions. Find out how to get in touch with them here.

 

3. Look after your physical health by exercising

Whether it’s a walk in the park, a bike ride in the countryside, a spin class at the gym, a run around the estate or sit ups at home, when you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in your body. Exercise not only has benefits for your mental health, but it also reduces the risk of other illnesses including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart and lung disease.

4. Pay attention to your breathing

Focusing on your breathing can help to trick your brain into relaxing when you’re feeling anxious.

  • Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds
  • Hold that breath for 7 seconds
  • Exhale for 8 seconds
  • Repeat

Download Breathe – an app to help you learn and practice the 4-7-8 breathing method.

5. Ground yourself in the here and now

Anxiety can make our minds wander towards distressing situations. Try to notice what is around you in the present moment when you feel like you are getting lost in your head. Name: 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste.

 

Read more about anxiety and how you can help yourself here.

For more about the support we offer, click here.

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