• Clare O'Brien


Quick tips for handling anxiety
Quick tips for handling anxiety

Anxiety is normal. We all experience it at some point in our lives.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, feeling nervous an unease, a feeling of fear of what is to come. These feelings can range from mild to severe.

Anxiety can affect us in three different ways:

· Physical body changes

· The way we think

· The way we behave

Physical Body Changes

This can often be the first sign that we are feeling anxious. They include:

· Palpitations

· Dry mouth

· Butterflies in the stomach

· Breathlessness

· Headaches

· Dizziness

· Visual disturbance e.g. blurring

· Pins and needles

· Shaking

· An urge to go to the toilet

The way we think

· We think people are looking at us

· We worry we may lose control

· We think we are having a heart attack

· We are convinced we are physically ill or losing our mind

· We think we will make a fool or ourselves

· We think we have to escape to a safe place

The way we behave

This all depends on the source of the anxiety:

· We may cross the road to avoid people

· Stop answering the telephone and/or front door

· Stop opening the mail

· Make excuses to avoid going places or doing things

· Stop going shopping, or to college, or work

· Avoid going out alone, by always making sure someone is with us

· We may use “props” such as a drink of alcohol, cigarettes, or take tablets before doing something we find anxiety provoking

· We may find it difficult to sleep

Tips to help with anxiety

· Remember anxiety is normal

· Do not add frightening thoughts, tell yourself you will be okay and this will pass

· Stop what you’re doing, if possible sit down

· Learn some breathing techniques, these will help calm you

· Distract yourself, maybe describe your surroundings

· Plan what you are going to do next in the situation you are in

· Moves slowly, do not panic. If you rush around the house, office, supermarket etc. this will add to the sense of fear

· When you feel anxious try to continue with your original plan

· In the long-term consider your lifestyle including eating, sleeping and exercise

· Consider mindfulness and meditation. Youtube is a great resource for this

· Make time for fun

· If the symptoms persist visit your GP

Remember you’re not alone. Talking to someone can help, this doesn’t have to be a professional family and friends can be a great place to start.

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