Good news on anxiety - tips to help

Good news on anxiety - tips to help
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By Happiness Correspondent

If you suffer from anxiety, you know how crippling and overwhelming it can feel when anxious thoughts and physical symptoms start building up.

The good news is there are techniques you can use to help get anxious feelings under control before they spiral out of control.

Try these strategies next time you start feeling anxious:

Breathing Exercises
Slow, controlled breathing is one of the quickest ways to calm anxiety. Breathe in through your nose for 3 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, then slowly exhale out through your mouth for 5 seconds. Repeat until you start to feel relief. Also try Box Breathing.

Grounding with the 5 Senses
Another grounding technique is to List things you notice with each of your 5 senses:
5 things you see
4 things you hear
3 things you feel
2 things you smell
1 Slow deep breathing in and out.

Positive Self-Talk
Tell yourself affirmations like "I am safe," "I am in control," and "This is just anxiety, it will pass." Repeating these calmly can interrupt anxious thought patterns.

Dietary Changes
What you put in your body can contribute to anxiety. Reduce processed foods, sugar, alcohol, and sources of caffeine like coffee, tea, soda and chocolate. Stay hydrated and focus on whole, nutritious foods.

Better Sleep
Lack of quality sleep makes anxiety worse. Go to bed and wake up at consistent times, limit screen time before bed, and ensure your bedroom is cool, dark and comfortable.

Be Kind to Yourself
Anxiety can make you overly self-critical and judgmental of others. Notice when you're being hard on yourself and reframe thoughts in a more positive, understanding way.

When Anxiety is Severe
For severe or persistent anxiety, don't hesitate to seek professional help. Talk to a doctor or therapist, or contact an anxiety organization:

  • In the UK: Mind and Samaritans (call 116 123)
  • In the US: Anxiety and Depression Association of America
  • In Australia: SANE Australia

The good news is that with the right tools and support, you can regain control over anxiety instead of letting it control you.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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