SELF HELP TIPS FOR MANAGING ANXIETY
Here are some ideas for helping you manage symptoms of anxiety. Feel free to add to the list, or let us know what works for you...
Mindfulness – Grounding exercises: noticing your environment, bodily sensations, and breath
Progressive Muscle Relaxation – Creating a Tension and Release effect with all the muscles in the body
Opposite Actions – By listening to calming music, taking a walk, talking, enjoying sunshine
Safe Place Mental Imagery – Visualising a place where you can go in your mind to feel safe
Calming Affirmations – To help recognise that the moment of panic will pass
Exercise – A valuable way to exhaust excess adrenalin built up in the body
[Moderator's note: this thread is for sharing what has worked for you to manage your anxiety. If you need support to manage your anxiety and would like to discuss this with the community, please start a new thread.
Stop worry by questioning the worried thought:
- What’s the evidence that the thought is true? That it’s not true?
- Is there a more positive, realistic way of looking at the situation?
- What’s the probability that what I’m scared of will actually happen?
- If the probability is low, what are some more likely outcomes?
- Is the thought helpful? How will worrying about it help me and how will it hurt me?
- What would I say to a friend who had this worry?
Hi BenD and Blackbox,
Thanks so much for adding to the list. These are some great ideas. Oh, and I'm a bit of a fan of Dr Suess:)
BenD - if you have some more little quotes, you may even like to add to the "Inspirational Quotes" thread. We can take so much from just a few simple words. I like to start my day off with an inspiring quote each morning:)
I quite agree with the points you have raised and find walking particularly useful and - for me anyway - having a distraction (such as reading novels). Whilst in the midst of a period of high anxiety I'm not sure I'm capable of reasoning my way out of it so distraction, either physical or mental has been my best path.
For me all these are short term measures to lessen the impact of symptoms at the time and do not take the place of long term meds/treatment but supplement them.
When you're going through those days (and sometimes weeks) of consistent anxiety, save the "big" life decisions for days & weeks when the anxiety has settled. While you are going through it, make it a focus to just function hour by hour as much as possible. One of the hardest things about living with this monster, is knowing that the "real world" doesn't stop & wait until it's over: work, kids, bills, phonecalls etc are all still demanding you to be the "real" you, so one of my key coping mechanisms is to do the above (focusing on hour by hour) as well as keeping myself away from as many potential stressful situations as possible. Even if those "stressful" situations wouldn't seem stressful to anyone else, they are to you - Learn to respect what your mind is telling you, and not feel guilty for how you think it should be xox ...... And I agree with the "distraction" advice too, mine is doing anything creative with my hands, whilst watching favourite dvd's 🙂
When I start to get overwhelmed in a social environment I like to go somewhere alone for a little while and just focus on a single thing around me. Like, if I'm at a party and can't handle all the people I'll go around the side of the house and put my focus on a plant in the garden, or an animal, or anything - study it in minute detail instead of obsessing over my anxious thoughts. It helps to calm the storm in my head and I can go back to being around people after 15 minutes or so.
When I can't get away to be by myself I do something else. It might not be that healthy as it's kind of obsessive (sometimes I don't even realise I'm doing it) but when my mind starts to get frantic I'll touch my thumbs to my fingertips in a progressive pattern. It gives my body an outlet for the anxiety and is pretty unobtrusive. Keep my hands busy and my mind will hold off the panic attack for a little while. It's a good indicator of when I need to get away, and the only person who has noticed it's significance is my husband... so if he sees me doing it, he knows to come and rescue me, or give me space - whatever is needed in that time.