8 ways to help your anxiety!
1. Ask for help
Asking for help is probably the most obvious yet hardest step. Sometimes seeking help can make us feel weak or embarrassed, but I promise you that it is the complete oppsosite.
Asking for help is a sign of strength. It's okay not to be okay and you are not alone in your thoughts or feelings. If you feel you need help and are looking for support you can read my blog post on Mental Health Support Links >>HERE<<
2. Take a deep breath.
It's simple, but effective. Try it now, take a deep breath in through your nose for 3 counts, as you inhale you should feel your stomach rise up. Now hold it for a second and then slowly exhale through your mouth for 3 counts - your stomach should fall back down this time.
Continue this cycle until you feel more relaxed and calm. This kind of breathing technique is sometimes called "diaphragmatic breathing" and it can really help with the fight of flight feelings we feel when we are highly anxious and in panic mode.
3. Take a bubble bath.
Some studies have shown that taking a hot bath can reduce anxiety by up to 40% - this is because heat helps the body to relax, which in turn makes people less prone to thinking negatively!
4. Unplug from social media.
Can you remember a world before mobile phones? I can, I am *just* old enough to remember being a kid without internet, and let me tell you, sometimes I crave that world again because it seemed like a much simpler time.
Unplugging from social media can be a great tool to reduce anxiety as it can massively improve your self-esteem, quiet your mind and help you sleep better.
When you think about it, just sitting in silence without your technology, listening to the world around you - it sounds idyllic doesn't it? Peaceful even. Even for 10 minutes.
The data from a 2013 survery at the Pew reasearch centre, showed that 44% of people sleep with their phones right next to them, with most people reaching over in the night when they stir to check their phone for the time/notifications, resulting in poor nights sleep!
5. Go outside
Getting yourself into green space is a proven way to benefit your mental and physical wellbeing. It can improve your mood, reduce stress and anger and make you feel more relaxed!
Being outside in natural light can also be really helpful if you suffer with seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
6. Try something creative.
Creativity is a great way to enage in imaginative focus, turning your negative thinking into something more positive. - This is how Okay Doodle came to life, I tapped into doodling how I feel when I had CBT therapy and I turned my negative thinking into more focused and creative thinking.
7. Write down how you feel.
Another way to manage your stress and anxiety is to try journaling. It doesn't need to be intense, you may choose to write one word a day about how you feel or it could be a whole page, but writing down how you feel can relieve stress by helping your mind work through anxious feelings.
8. Find a distraction.
Having a distraction technique can help you focus on something else when you feel anxious or stressed. It is a very useful and healthy way of coping with stressful situations. We highlighted a lot of distractions in the points above!
Some other distractions you can try are:
Counting things around you, Imagining a place in your mind where you feel safe, Meditation, Yoga, Watching some TV.
For a 5-4-3-2-1 grounding worksheet why not check out my Patreon page!
I hope these techniques for anxiety help were helpful to you!
Sending you love and strength