Anxiety is something that many people experience – in fact, in 2013 there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety in the UK. We all feel anxious from time to time, perhaps before an exam or a flight. However, if you feel worried and anxious more constantly and it is affecting your daily life, you may be experiencing anxiety.
So how can you manage it? Here are our top tips…
- Focus on your breathing
When you’re feeling anxious, you may start to take quick shallow breaths which can lead to hyperventilating. To combat this, and help ease feelings of anxiety it’s good to focus on taking slow and deep breaths. Breath in for four seconds, hold for a couple of seconds, and then breath out for a count of four. This also helps to slow your heart rate down.
- Eat healthy foods
A good diet can really help you to manage anxiety, so make sure you’re eating balanced meals and avoiding lots of junk food. Some foods have been shown to help with anxiety such as Dark Chocolate, Brazil Nuts, Pumpkin Seeds and Turmeric!
- Minimise alcohol and caffeine
These two things can aggravate anxiety and even trigger anxiety attacks, so it’s best to avoid them or at least minimise your consumption.
- Try and understand your anxiety
Do you know what triggers your anxiety? If you don’t, it can be helpful to keep a diary of things that happened/people around you/places of when you felt anxious so that you can try and find a pattern. Knowing what makes you anxious can be really helping for managing it.
- Move your body every day
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to manage anxiety, and boost your overall mood. Even if you can’t head to the gym every day, a 20 minute walk around the block is better than nothing. Plus, fresh air and nature is also great for anxiety so if you can exercise in your local park, that’s even better!
- Reach out
It’s important not to isolate yourself when you’re feeling anxious. Reach out to your family and friends and explain to them how you’re feeling.
If you’re struggling, it’s also important to reach out to a professional who will help you to manage your anxiety effectively.