February 15, 2023

Dealing with stress and anxiety

Learning what the first signs of anxiety and stress are for you can be invaluable in learning how to deal with stress and anxiety.

Written by

Nicole Biggs

Anxiety can become a destructive cycle of thoughts, emotions, behaviour and physical reactions. Anxiety can cause us to:

  1. Isolate ourselves and avoid contact with others;
  2. Avoid situations that may cause anxiety;
  3. Get caught up as our thoughts race and become increasingly more upsetting;
  4. Sweat, tremble and breathe irregularly;
  5. Feel tired and irritable;
  6. Develop stomach issues, like a churning stomach, need to visit the toilet and loss of appetite;

These can lead to chronic issues if we do not deal with our anxiety like high blood pressure, IBS, and inability to go outside.

Whilst we have no control over the automatic fight or flight response, we can learn to recognise the signs as soon as the response is fired. By doing this we have the power to stop the response before it leads to a full anxiety attack.

We need to:

1, Reassure ourselves that we are safe and that there is no danger, 

2, Slow down our breathing and heart rate by taking deep breaths; 

3. Relax our muscles; 

4. Calm our mind, and then

5. Stop the anxious thoughts by thinking about something else, distracting ourselves,  and getting on with our daily routine. 

I know however, that this is when people who suffer from anxiety will say, ‘that is easier said than done’. I used to suffer from anxiety and so I know how hard this can be to do sometimes. I therefore want to share some of things that have helped me and my clients:

  • Stop the ‘what if’ thinking. If you have no control over the situation, then stop worrying;
  • Take any actions over which you do have control;
  • Reassure yourself with positive self-talk;
  • Keep your thoughts on the present and stop worrying about the past or the future, try mindfulness;
  • Have plenty of rest and relaxation;
  • Breathe deeply, or try meditation;
  • Keep a diary to discover and explore anxiety for you;
  • Identify your triggers, and any behviours or thoughts that maintain your anxiety;
  • Watch out for any avoidance or safety behaviours;
  • Talk about your anxiety with others, you will be surprised how many people do have anxiety;
  • Get help before anxiety starts to harm your mental health, job or family life.

Take a look at my mental health blogs for more ideas to help with anxiety.

For more information, or just a chat, please contact me on 07742 209312 or nicole@greenoaktherapies.co.uk

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