Anxiety is now so common that it’s become somewhat of a buzz word in the media and online, but there’s so much more to do it than just feeling a little worried from time to time.
As you’ll undoubtedly have read elsewhere, 2020 is an ‘unprecedented time’ and so the impact of current affairs, and all the events of the world that we can’t control are causing untold levels of mental health issues.
But… what really constitutes anxiety and how can you help beat it? Let’s investigate…
What Actually IS Anxiety?
Anxiety is a feeling of constant worry and nervousness. It often causes the person suffering with it to over-analyse and consider scenarios, and potential outcomes of these scenarios that haven’t yet happened.
It can result in the feeling of butterflies in your stomach, nausea, feeling a tightness in your chest or insomnia. There is a constant need to be reassured by others, and it stops you moving forward and doing the things you want to do, because you’re too worried and scared of what might happen.
Continued anxiety that doesn’t ease can be a symptom of several mental health illnesses including GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder), panic disorder, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and some severe phobias.
How Common Is Anxiety?
Everyone will feel some form of anxiety at some point in their lives, and it’s completely normal to worry during times of stress or uncertainty… this year so far is a pretty good example of just that!
Anxiety is the most common mental health ailment in the UK, so if you’re suffering from a bout of it, you’re in good company.
In a society like ours, where we’re constantly exposed to sad and bad news, and a media that we rely on so heavily, it’s no surprise that our brains accept a lot of the scary messages it receives, and why we don’t always cope brilliantly with such stress.
If you feel as though anxiety is affecting your everyday life on a long-term basis, it may be worth trying out some of the following tips, and if you’re still struggling you may want to seek some professional help.
There’s no shame in asking for a spot of help when you need it. And be reminded that anxiety is highly treatable – there’s lots of things you do to try and help yourself feel better!
Top Tips For Overcoming Your Anxiety
- Take Time Out
Anxiety is heightened by physical stress, and although you may not be running marathons or operating heavy machinery constantly, your everyday physical activity may just be too much for you right now.
Rest, get as much sleep as you feel you need (it might be considerably more during a bout of anxiety than usual), and take some time away from your usual routines where you can. Even grabbing a cup of tea or coffee and standing to take some deep breaths when you need to is better than nothing.
- Re-evaluate Your Thinking
Anxiety alters your thoughts – in a bad way. Work back through your thought processes and question the way they’re working.
Are you imagining things playing out that haven’t happened yet? Are you making assumptions that are unfair or too presumptuous? Are you plotting out the worst case scenario without thinking about the best, or the realistic, or the acceptable?
Jot down some notes if it helps. Re-framing your thoughts can help ease your anxiety.
- Get Up And At ‘Em!
You already know it, but I’m going to tell you again: exercise boosts endorphins and will help improve your mood. If you’re not able to exercise, at least get some fresh air and get outdoors for a bit each day – it’ll give your physical and mental health a push in the right direction.
- Face Your Fears
It’s not easy to do, but you mustn’t avoid the things your anxiety is telling you to. Face your fears, build your confidence and stay open and honest. Tell people how you feel, ask people for support and don’t let your negative thoughts stop you achieving all you want to.
- Celebrate The Little Wins
Overcoming anxiety is a marathon, not a sprint, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate until you achieve your goal. Small steps and little wins help you build your self-worth and regain healthy thought processes; so acknowledge and embrace every step of the journey ahead.
You will learn thorough the taking action and reflect back on your experiences, which is a surefire way to build self-confidence and overcome your doubts.
Overcoming your fears and riding anxiety can feel like a tough mountain to climb…but be reminded to not let your fear of what could happen, make nothing happen.