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9 Tips for Managing Anxiety

Do you know the difference between stress and anxiety? They are both use the body’s ‘Fight or Flight’ response. But Stress is our body’s response to pressures from a situation or life event. Anxiety is a mental health response that can be triggered by stress.

Anxiety is a feeling of intense worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. It can make your heart pound, feel sweaty, panicky, shaky or be short of breath. You could have mild or severe panic attacks or a meltdowns. Suffers can overly worry about real or perceived situations. It can be overwhelming and interfere daily life.

For some people anxiety may be short term as a result of intense stress. For others it is a lifelong condition due to genetics, trauma or just brain chemistry.

But there are ways to keep anxiety at bay and manage it. Understand your anxiety. Try keeping a diary of what you are were doing and how you felt at different times to help identify what's triggers your anxiety. Also note what works to help your anxiety.

Allow Time to Worry and then Challenge it. Do not dismiss the worry at first. Allow time to consider your worry and then reframe your thoughts about it. Is it reasonable and realistic? How could you see it differently. This Nhs video explains more:

Deep breathing Deep diaphragmatic breathing is a powerful anxiety-reducing technique because it sends a message to your brain that you’re OK. That helps your mind and body relax and activates the body’s relaxation response. Here is a great nhs breathing video:

Shift your focus. Some people find relaxation and mindfulness exercises a helpful distraction. They reduce tension and focus our awareness on the present moment. Maybe find a meditation or yoga class?

Face the things you want to avoid That may sound stressful as it may seem easier to avoid situations, or rely on habits that make us feel safer... but these can keep anxiety going. Once you have braved doing something it will no longer be scary.

Exercise for at least 15 minutes daily. Exercise has great benefits for anxiety. It regulates breathing, removes stress from the body and balances the levels of several neurotransmitters that affect anxiety including serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine and endorphins.

•Reduce tension in your body. Do a body scan to release where you hold tension... jaw, neck, shoulders, thighs etc. We do not realise we are holding tension in our body sometimes. Stretching and yoga are great tools or maybe invest in a good massage?

•Take time away from phones, tablets, PC’s and any other screens. Constant screen use releases the hormone Dopamine... the same hormone released for any addiction like drugs and gambling. It increases your anxiety and stress levels and stops you engaging with the real life and people around you. Regular breaks through the day have proven great stress reducers. Distract yourself. Distraction is a great tool. When you feel worries or sensations building start busying yourself. Read a book, exercise, go for a walk in nature, watch a comedy, cook, colour/draw... try different things. Get out of your head.

Try Reflexology. As you have over 7000 nerve endings in your feet Reflexology taps into your relaxation parasympathetic nervous system. Creating a sense of calm and relaxation response in the body. It is an effect tool.

For a Reflexology or massage session in Bushey, Herts:


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