Most people at some point will have an anxiety issue, whether it is mild or severe. This can be debilitating and an awful experience to get through. Since the beginning of Covid anxiety issues have been reported more and more. Below we give you some tips on how to overcome anxiety issues.
Controlling your breathing is one of the hardest things to do while you are in the middle of a panic attack, but the vicious circle means you feel as if you can’t breathe so you breathe harder and quicker causing you to panic more. This can be very hard to control when everything inside you is convinced you aren’t getting enough air in. Try this technique if you are struggling with slowing your breathing rate:
- Breathe in slowly and gently through your nose for about 5 to 7 seconds.
- Hold for about three or four seconds.
- Breathe out slowly and gently through pursed lips like you’re whistling for about 7 to 9 seconds.
Repeat this as many times as needed.
Talk About It
“A problem shared is a problem halved” really is the truth. Talking to someone you trust will be a massive weight off your shoulders. Not only that, it will take your mind off your anxiety for the duration of the call. If you don’t feel like you can open up to family or friends visit your doctor who will put you in touch with someone who will listen, be sure to be open and honest and tell them all the struggles you are facing, bottling it up won’t do you any good. Here are some contacts you can call if you feel your anxiety is taking over and you don’t have anyone available to chat to: UK, US.
When you are having a severe anxiety episode knowing grounding techniques can be all you need to help you. My favorite technique is the 54321 senses, this is how you do this simple self-help exercise:
Find 5 things you can see: people, cars, animals
Find 4 things you can feel: clothes, the breeze, rain
Find 3 things you can hear: traffic, babies, birds
Find 2 things you can smell: bakery, grass, perfume
Find 1 thing you can taste: gum, candy, mints
Using this technique will really bring you back down to earth and put you back in touch with yourself, take your time in doing this and really relish in your senses. Other grounding techniques can be found here.
This is a really good one to bring you back to reality, asking yourself questions can put things into perspective and make you realize there really isn’t any need to worry. The best questions for this are:
- Is there a reason something is wrong?
- What evidence is there that something is wrong?
- Am I blowing this out of proportion?
- Is this a fact or fiction?
- Will this matter in the future?
- Can I look at this situation positively?
You can add your own questions too, think about these while you are feeling relaxed and happy then ask yourself these when you are feeling anxious.
Exercise is good for the body and the mind. The more you sit around not doing anything, the more time you have to sit and think and make up scenarios in your head which could make you anxious. To rid yourself of intrusive thoughts, do some exercise, this doesn’t mean you have to join a gym or practice for a marathon, a simple walk in the fresh air, a little bit of yoga or even taking the dog for a walk all count towards exercise. Try and make sure whatever exercise you are doing you do it outside, getting just 20 minutes of sun each day will boost your mood and give you well needed vitamin D.
Anxiety is nothing to be ashamed about and can happen to anyone at anytime, there doesn’t need to be a reason and even the happiest most confident people can feel anxious at times. If you feel your anxiety is taking over your life please consult your doctor.