ANXIETY

What is Anxiety? 

Everyone at some point in their life will get a feeling of anxiety it can be quite similar to the feeling of worry or fear. Sometimes it can cause physical symptoms like a faster heartbeat, sweating or sometimes our tummy can feel a bit funny.

Anxiety can be caused by a range of things, most people will experience it when there are big life events coming up like, tests or competitions but sometimes people experience it with smaller life events, sometimes something like going to school, or asking for something in a shop can make us feel anxious. It is important to be mindful of other people and remember that we all experience things differently.

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Here is a video to explain a peedie bit about anxiety.

 

TYPES OF ANXIETY

Everyone will experience different types of anxiety and for different reasons but it might be good to be able to identify the kind of anxiety that you are feeling;

 
 

GENERALISED ANXIETY DISORDER 

This often refers to people who feel anxious on most days, worrying about lots of different things around their daily life and are sometimes unable to stop worrying (remember we will all feel anxious sometimes, this does not mean you have Generalised anxiety, however, if you do feel like this for several months, consider talking to someone about it).

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*IMPORTANT MESSAGE*

If you are feeling any of these anxieties to the extreme and have been for a few months now, please talk to someone that you are comfortable with and someone you trust!  Remember a diagnosis can only be made by a health professional.

 

WHAT CAN WE DO? 

When we do feel anxious it is important to know what we can do to help ourselves, knowing this information might also help us to help others. Remember though, what works for one person might not work the same for another so here are a few strategies to try out (You can try one or as many as you like, some might work for you some might not - sometimes people find their own strategies that they use, do what is best for you).

HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

Starting with the common one, staying active, going for walks, eating well, sleeping well, spending time with people are all great ways to reduce anxiety. However, this won't always work, so if it doesn't try some of the others.

SLOW BREATHING 

When we get anxious our heart rate gets faster, this is our body sending us a signal. If you feel this happening try to slow down your breathing, the best way to do this is breath in and count to three as you are breathing in, then breath out and count to three as you do that, continue this until you feel your breathing and heartrate coming back down to a slower pace.

RELAX

Now, this might seem like a silly one but sometimes when we get anxious or feel worried our muscles in our body can tense up. Try closing your eyes and slowly tense up part of your body (like your hands) and then relax them again (you can try it with different parts/all muscle groups in your body). Your body will start to relax.

LIVE IN THE PRESENT 

Sometimes anxiety can have us worrying about the future and what is going to happen, some people might even get anxious about all the possibilities and start overthinking situations. If you feel this happening try to bring yourself back into the present moment and think about the facts instead of jumping to worst case scenario.

WORRY TIME

It may seem silly to plan time to worry, but it would also be silly to tell people not to worry, we all do it!! However, instead of letting the worry take over your day, set aside some time (morning, afternoon or evening) to write down your worries. Maybe then you could talk through them with someone and rationalise (this means to think about if they are logical or are we jumping to worst case scenario and letting our worries take over).

SMALL STEPS

Although sometimes it can be easy to avoid the things that make us anxious, in the long term this can actually increase our anxiety. Try doing something (even the smallest thing) that makes you anxious, not only will you feel super proud of yourself you will also start to realise that you will gain more confidence and even if your worst fear did happen, you would be able to cope with it.

 

BE KIND

Remember that anxiety is natural! Be kind to yourself and remember that it doesn't define who you are! But also remember to take care of yourself and don't underplay the way that you feel, seek help and support if you are having trouble!

 

"Be Kind whenever possible and it is always possible"

Dalai Lama

Image by Ryunosuke Kikuno
 
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DEPRESSION

Image by Matthew Henry

SELF-ESTEEM