• Rebecca Robinson

ANXIETY: HOW TO CARE FOR & CALM YOURSELF WHEN YOU’RE FEELING TENSE


If you are suffering with anxiety, you are not alone. According to the charity Anxiety UK, there are 3 million people in the UK living with an anxiety disorder. Statistics show that more than 1 in 10 people are likely to have a ‘disabling anxiety disorder’ at some point. And globally, 40% of disability is due to anxiety and depression. Do these statistics surprise you?

What these statistics reveal is that many others around the world feel the same way as you do right now.

So we are going to look at some simple ‘tweaks’ we can try that may help us to be proactive in managing our anxiety.

But above all, remember: however anxious or bad you are feeling right now, it is just a moment, and it will pass.

As A. A. Milne wrote, ‘You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.’ You will get through this moment.

GENTLE SUGGESTIONS TO INCREASE CALMNESS

SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE

. Do consider going to see your G.P to discuss whether ‘talking therapies’ such as C.B.T or medication might be right for you. They have helped many people, and they might help you too. For more info, see: NHS - Info on Anxiety and MIND - Info on Anxiety.

NURTURE OUR MIND, BODY & SOUL: PRACTICAL THINGS TO DO

· Learn some relaxation techniques, such as breath work and meditation. I like the following videos from the The Honest Guys.

· Do 20 mins exercise to boost endorphin-release, which is tension-busting and induces happiness. If you exercise outdoors, so much the better. Getting daily sunlight increases our Vitamin D levels. This makes us feel more content. If we walk in a green space or forest, this further boosts our relaxation and wellbeing. For more on the wellness lift of a woodland walk, read my piece on Shinrin-Yoku or ‘forest bathing’ for Creative Countryside Journal here.

· Sometimes, free time equates to: time on your hands, yourself on your mind. So structure your free time. Do something that benefits you: work, learn a new skill, volunteer, or actively relax. Whatever you choose to do, make a loose plan of what you will do with your precious ‘you’ time. Don’t waste it by allowing yourself too much time where you do nothing but dwell on feeling anxious.

· Schedule some ‘worry time’ instead of allowing yourself to worry throughout the day. You could keep a small notebook and pen with you and write in it every time a worry pops into your head. Jot down the situation, and your feelings, thoughts and behaviours. But only worry about it in your allotted 30 mins daily ‘worry time’ slot. When you look over your anxieties later, focus on the thoughts section. Consider the evidence that supports these thoughts, then the evidence that challenges them. Try to come up with a more rounded perspective of the situation that triggered the anxiety. Rate the emotion you felt at the time, and now re-rate it from your more balanced viewpoint.

· Use distraction techniques when you begin to feel on edge, such as ‘Counting in Colour’. This is where, as you count, you imagine that you are writing numbers on a whiteboard in a coloured pen. Or try to memorise something. Whether Bible verses, poetry or even maths equations. Whatever works for you. Distracting your mind and thinking about something with effort can disrupt your anxiety.

. Listen to music or an audio book that will relax you. There are plenty of guided meditations online, as well as relaxing music. Try listening to music with 432 Hz frequency, which some say is the frequency of nature and the universe. Whatever you believe, it can be very calming to listen to.

. Clean and organise your home. Sometimes the simple act of creating order out of chaos helps us to relax and feel more in control. Having a tidy environment in which to live can be so restful for our soul.

· Get crafting, such as crocheting, creating vision boards or creative writing.

. You could even journal. Journaling also serves as a way for us to understand and uncover the ‘why’ of our own feelings. Sometimes we do not even know why we feel the way we do until we begin to write. It can help to clarify our anxieties, shining a light on them. Seeing something that existed only in your imagination come to life can be so good for our wellbeing. It can reveal to us the creative power of our thoughts.

· Consider getting a pet. Stroking an animal, and caring for something separate from ourselves, changes our focus. It releases tension we hold on to. Even gardening and watering our plants can take us out of ourselves. Sometimes, a tiny shift in perspective is all that’s needed to help a little.

· Smell lavender oil or vanilla as they have an olfactory effect on us, relaxing our minds and bodies. Some even say they can help to reduce our blood pressure.

· Have an Epsom salt bath. The magnesium sulphate can lower blood pressure, melting away stress and anxieties. It feels good to take time out to pamper ourselves.

NURTURE OUR BODY: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

· Look at your diet. Reduce your intake of caffeine, alcohol, sugar, processed food, saturated fats and fried foods. Start to nurture and take care of yourself better, from the inside out.

· Don’t skip meals as this can cause blood sugar levels to dip, making us feel anxious and jittery.

. Always carry a healthy snack with you, such as oatcakes. This avoids us getting hungry as we're out and about and stops us reaching for unhealthy junk food.

· Avoid getting dehydrated.

. Reduce or cut out caffeine, which is in some soft drinks, chocolate, coffee and tea. I gave up coffee for Lent a few years ago and swapped it for chamomile tea. I felt better, calmer and more relaxed than ever. I would never go back to drinking coffee now. For all you coffee lovers who wouldn’t want to give it up, try switching to decaf instead.

· Drink 3 x cups of chamomile tea daily. It contains apigenin and luteolin which studies have shown helps us relax.

· Eat berries, wholegrains and oats. They contain magnesium and tryptophan, which the body turns into our happy chemical - serotonin. It also reduces blood sugar spikes. Also boost your B Vitamins (especially B12) with eggs, milk and meat. Zinc is another relaxing element of our diet.

· Take omega 3 fatty acids, found in tuna, salmon, walnuts and flaxseeds. They help lower our stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol.

· Up your l-lysine intake. This can boost our inner calmness and is found in meat, fish and beans.

The most important thing is to treat yourself with gentleness, kindness and respect. Nurture yourself as if you were a child. Talk to yourself encouragingly and gently, as if you were your best friend. Know that there is nothing weak about feeling anxious. You are infinitely brave and strong. It takes courage to be able to face anxieties and carry on. Remind yourself that your anxiety is temporary and it will pass. You have made it through before, and you will make it through again. Take things one step at a time, and know that you are not defined by your anxiety. As Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” You will get there.

#trees #woodland #greenspaces #naturewriter #forests #youcandoit #parks #movement #balance #goldilocks #lagom #HIIT #healthwellness #workouts #exercise #headspace #metta #affirmations #depression #joy #calm #meditate #mindbody #lifecoach #goalsetting #smartgoals #selfhelp #creativity #decide #decisions #writerliverpool #wellbeingwriterliverpool #acceptanceselfhel #imagination #happy #writerliverpool #superhero #wonderwoman #hero #acceptance #brave #labels #WRITER #forestbathing #PULMONARYFIBROSIS #BURDENS #COPING #fear #LOVE #creativecountryside #PATIENCE #COMPASSIONA #LIFE #FATIGUE #CARERS #CRYING #TEARS #words #POSITIVITY #SADNESS #MOURNING #GRIEF #LOSS #CARE #lifecoach #keepfit #mindfulness #cbt #talkingtherapies #fitnesswriter #meditation #EXHAUSTION #selfcare #fertility #women #visualisations #affitmations #anxiety #seasons #healing #greenspace #fitness #bookworm #reader #guidedmeditation #read #books #bibliotherapy #TIREDNESS #language #quotes #diary #thankyou #FEAR #motion #HEALTH #wellbeingwriter #getfit #bootcamp #journal #healthwriter #lifecoach #health #energy #strength #cycles #wellbeing #values #shinrinyoku #positivity #giving #kindness #selfrespect #respect #boundaries #wellness #candles #strong #visionboard #sayingno #holistic #knitwear #writerliverpool #blanket #writerslife #decisionmaking #assertiveness #cbtcounselling #digitaldetox #reading #friends #COURAGE #empowerment #winter #bravery #DEATH #hygge #spring #stress #happiness #MEDICAL #goals #faith #FUNERALS #walking #lessons #writer #outdoors #selfcare #girlpower #personaldevelopment #selfimprovement #limits #change #fire #hiking #resolutions #burnout #motivation #life #hotchocolate #senses #superheroes #caring #gratitude #newyearsresolutions #cosiness #wellbeingwriter #happynewyear #thankfulness #warmth #thanks #newbeginnings #lifecoachlife #nurture #playing #selfhelp #comfort #arththerapy #pamper #newyear #heal #family #beginnings #positive #truth #warmfood #panicattacks #stresstension

© 2023 by EDUARD MILLER. Proudly created with Wix.com

This site was designed with the
.com
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now