All About: Anxiety

Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life, e.g. when attending a job interview, their first driving test or sitting an important exam. Yet anxiety as a mental illness can be more difficult to control. There are different types of anxiety disorders, such as health anxiety, social anxiety and generalised anxiety disorder. People with anxiety tend to worry more often and this can affect their daily lives. I hope to explain more about the symptoms of anxiety, when you may want to receive help and some coping methods that I have found to be useful in reducing anxious thoughts.

The symptoms of anxiety often include: - Difficulty concentrating - Anxious thoughts, e.g. ‘what if it goes wrong?’ - Irritability - Excessive sweating - Restlessness - Social withdrawal - Heart palpitations - Shortness of breath - Dry mouth - Trembling/shaking - Feeling sick or experiencing ‘butterflies’ - Difficulty sleeping - Anxiety or panic attacks

When you may want see your GP:

If anxiety is affecting your daily life, then you may want to consider seeing your GP as they can help you with this. They may be able to provide support through psychological therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and/or medication.

Coping techniques that I have found useful in managing my anxiety:

Self-CBT: Whenever I experience anxious thoughts, I often turn to a form of self-CBT. This involves turning negative thinking into more positive thinking, for example, instead of thinking 'What if it goes wrong?’ you may think 'What if it goes right?'. This helps to turn the negative thinking around and to focus on the positives.

Planning: Another method that I use (although it can take a while!) is to plan a response to each of my anxious thoughts. For example, if I was going to a job interview, I would form a table of my automatic negative thoughts, such as ‘What if I miss my bus?’, ‘What if I get lost?’ and ‘What if I embarrass myself?’, and then I would write out a quick response next to them, e.g. ‘If I miss my bus, I will call a taxi’.

Anxiety as a friend: I used to use this method a lot; it involves thinking of anxiety as your friend or a young child. This is done by thinking to yourself 'Calm down anxiety, it'll be okay' as though you were supporting a friend instead of yourself, this helps some people because it helps to separate you from the anxiety.

Deep breathing: To combat the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as heart palpitations and rapid breathing, I turn to deep breathing to calm my heart rate and to become more relaxed. I usually breathe through my nose and out of my mouth, counting from one to five for each inhale and exhale, for a few minutes until I feel calmer.

I hope you found this useful, feel free to comment down below if any of my coping methods helped you or if you would like to add some of your own. If you would like additional information and support, I would recommend visiting the AnxietyUK website as they provide lots of advice to help you cope with anxiety.

Take care, Sophie x

As always, please bear in mind that I am not a mental health professional or any other type of professional, this is a hobby for me and is for informational purposes only and shouldn’t be seen as any kind of advice. I am not liable for any consequences as a result of this information and if readers rely on any of the information on my blog, it is at their own risk. I cannot confirm that all information is correct, accurate or reliable. The information is true to the best of my knowledge, yet there may be omissions, errors or mistakes. This information isn’t intended as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have, or believe to have, a mental illness, please contact a mental health professional.

Note: This picture belongs to Wix.

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