5 Tips for Anxiety

by - 16:00

As many may know, I suffer with anxiety, and throughout my time I've come to learn a few things that help a little bit. Well, they help me anyways, but what I'm hoping is that someone out there, going through the same thing that I am, can take comfort in knowing that there are small ways to help yourself. These tips are hardly going to cure you for good, but they will definitely help you to slowly manage your anxiety in a way that suits you. 

Tip 1. Breathe
This may seem like a pretty obvious thing "Yeah everyone needs to breathe, stupid!", but sometimes it isn't that simple. A lot of people with anxiety, including me, have a fluctuating breathing pattern and we can often be caught of guard by our own breathing. It's important that when in an anxious state, you must focus on your breathing; once your breathing starts to slow down and starts to regulate, then you're heart won't be beating as fast and you'll feel better. This may be one of the most crucial pieces of advice that I can give to you. If you're finding it difficult to breathe, then stop whatever it is that you're doing, take a moment, and focus solely on your breathing. 

Tip 2. Get some good Zzzz
I've always found that not getting enough sleep increases my anxiety a huge amount, and it gets even worse when I get into a bad sleeping pattern. I'm ashamed to admit that I've had some pretty shocking sleeping patterns in my time, I would go to sleep in the early hours of the morning (anywhere between 5am and 10am) and then I'd wake up in the late afternoon (between 2pm and 5pm). Shocking, I know. And it definitely doesn't help my anxiety at all. Sleep is extremely important, so make sure that when it comes to it, get enough of it and get it at the right time. 

Tip 3. Cut out alcohol and caffeine
It's true that alcohol is a depressant, and while a small glass of wine every now and then may help to calm you down a little, in the long term, it could actually increase your anxiety. Many people with anxiety use alcohol to help control it, but not many people know that it can make it worse. I'm not going to go fully into it, but if you're interested in knowing more about the effects of alcohol on mental health I've found a very useful website, here. Similarly, caffeine is a stimulant and can also cause your anxiety to increase. I would suggest closely monitoring your caffeine intake, or simply cutting it out all together. If you love a good cup of tea/coffee every now and then and want to cut out caffeine, then I suggest buying decaffeinated products. If you would like to know more about caffeine and its effects, then I've found three very useful links, 1, 2, 3.

Tip 4. Grounding
I can't fully remember how I learnt this little trick, but I think it was on one of my internet researches. Grounding is a self-help technique that can be very useful. It's may seem like such a simple thing to do, but it can really help and make you feel less anxious, more self-aware and more attached to where you are. Grounding is simply noticing, asking yourself questions about your surroundings, reading signs, touching things, listening, this is all grounding. Simple right? Of course I can't explain it all fully to you in one paragraph, but I have found some useful links which may help explain it in more detail, 1, 2.  

Tip 5. Being in the know
I genuinely believe that nothing will help you more than research. The more you know about your own illness, the better you'll be able to tackle and control it. There is much information out there and all you have to do is a simple search to find it. Of course you can't know everything in one sitting, it will definitely take you a while, if not, your whole life to discover everything there is to know, but it's worth starting now. And I don't just mean you, the people around you need to know just as much about your mental health as you do. The more they know, the more they'll understand you, and the more they'll know how to help you. Simply just ask them to do a little google search and educate themselves. Nothing bad ever came of being in the know, only good. 

So those are my five tips for anxiety, of course I have many more tips and there's also so much more on the internet, but I feel like those are the most useful. I really hoped this helped at least one person.

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Caitlin x

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