Health

Anxiety help: Six effective self-management strategies you can try today to ease symptoms

Signs of anxiety include a racing heart, obsessive thinking, and avoidance of triggering situations. If this condition is interfering with your life, reclaim your power by following these helpful tips.

Beyond Blue – a mental health organisation – clarify that anxiety "is more than just feeling stressed or worried".

It's when anxious feelings happen out of the blue, or make it hard to cope with daly life, that an anxiety condition may exist.

Physical sensations felt with anxiety include hot and cold flushes, tightening of the chest, feeling tense, wound up and edgy.

Psychological factors may be excessive fear or catastrophising – thinking the worst is going to happen.

Effective self-management tools help you to "learn how to control your anxiety, so it doesn't control you".

These tips by Beyond Blue are recommended for those suffering from mild anxiety, with each strategy suiting individuals differently.

To elaborate on this idea, "what works is different for everyone; it can take time to find the strategies that work best for you".

Take a deep breath in... and out

During anxious moments, breathing becomes faster and shallow. The next time you experience this, deliberately try to slow down your breathing.

This can be achieved by counting to three as you breathe in slowly, then count to three as you breathe out slowly.

Progressive muscle relaxation

To help ease feelings of muscle tension that can accompany anxiety, try progressive muscle relaxation.

To do this, find a quiet location, close your eyes and slowly tense and then relax each of your muscle groups, from your toes to your head. Hold the tension for three seconds then release quickly.

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Become zen

Practising daily meditation will enable you to focus on the present moment more easily.

Anxiety has the tendency to allow thoughts to run away with you, thinking of all sorts of imagined scenarios that could be stressful.

In order to counteract excess worrying and catastrophising, bring your attention to your breath and the present moment.

Live a good life

Keeping physically active, eating a well-balanced nutritious diet, going out into nature and spending time with uplifting friends and family can reduce anxiety.


Be brave

Behavioural signs of anxiety might include avoiding certain places to provide relief.

Although this may provide short-term relief, it has the ability to make you more anxious in the long term.

Beyond Blue suggest "approaching something that makes you anxious - even in a small way".

"The way through anxiety is by learning that what you fear isn't likely to happen – and if it does, you'll be able to cope with it," assured the mental health organisation.


Challenge yourself

Anxiety can arise from the way you speak to yourself, as "how you think affects how you feel".

"Anxiety can make you overestimate the danger in a situation and underestimate your ability to handle it," explained Beyond Blue.

To counteract this, look at the facts for and against your thought being true.

Try to think of different interpretations to a situation that's making you anxious.

For more information on how you can help to ease feelings of anxiety, visit Beyond Blue.



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