Reducing Anxiety Preventing Panic
Anxiety involves feelings of fear, can occur to a greater or lesser degree and can manifest in a variety of ways ranging from something very specific as in a phobia, or as a constant underlying sense of dread as in Generalised Anxiety Disorder. The fear often results from an inability to face the unknown, involves our relationship with the future and our need to prevent bad things from happening.
Anxiety is a normal human part of human life and can’t be eradicated. But too much of it can get in the way of living a full life and can impact on jobs, relationships and our desire to do the things we enjoy. It can also affect our physical health through our nervous system resulting in palpitations, nausea, dizziness and gastric symptoms such as constipation and diarrhoea.
What is really going on?
It is important to differentiate between realistic worry or concern and anxiety which can impede daily living. But whilst anxiety exists on a scale, at the root of it all, is fear. Worrying and ruminating occur as a means of our brain trying to ‘solve’ the fear, and results in us avoiding what we don’t want to face. By being in our head, we don’t have to feel difficult emotions and physical feelings. We can also set up other strategies as a means of controlling our fear, resulting in behaviours such a altering our eating habits or not going out.
Often, the anxiety is linked to past experiences and in the present can manifest as a result of a trigger.
Here are some helpful hints for managing worry and anxiety:
Don’t give yourself a bad time
Ban ‘must’, ‘should’, ‘ought to’ and ‘have to’ from your vocabulary
Nobody’s perfect, but be good enough
Accept your mistakes and learn from them
Say, tomorrow it will feel better
Ask yourself what is the worst that can happen?
Don’t worry about what might happen, live in the moment
- Don’t agonise over decisions, often any decision is the right one
Spend half an hour every day relaxing
- Don’t worry about what others might think.
We are our often own worst enemy
Here are a few tips we have found helpful.
Are you too busy, give yourself a break
Learn to delegate
Negotiate realistic deadlines
Don’t take on too much. Plan and prioritise
Don’t be scared to say no
Don’t put things off, make a start
Don’t keep checking, have confidence
- Don’t take work home with you.
If you feel that your worry is restricting the way you live your life, you can access different support to help you.
CBT is great for dealing with unhelpful habits and very specific aspects such as phobias, whilst talking to a humanist counsellor will help you to understand any issues surrounding the anxiety.