Coping with Anxiety: Finding Peace in a Hectic World

Coping with Anxiety: Finding Peace in a Hectic World

Do you ever find yourself lying awake at night, worrying about the day ahead? Perhaps that tricky conversation you had with your boss or partner is keeping your brain busy making you feel upset and anxious? Or maybe there are times when everything just feels overwhelming and you feel your heart racing, your palms sweating and the frustration, anger, anxiety, and tension getting worse.

If you can relate to anything we’ve just mentioned above, you are likely to be suffering from anxiety. According to Mental Health UK, around 8 million people in the UK experience varying degrees of anxiety.

So, what exactly is anxiety? How do you know if you’re suffering from it? And most importantly, what can you do to cope with your anxiety?

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry or fear when we feel under threat or afraid about things that are happening or could happen in the future. This includes our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations.

It’s normal to feel anxious at times, especially if you’re under severe stress, experiencing significant life changes or experiencing something traumatic. Although it may not feel like it when you’re suffering from a panic attack or awake late at night, ruminating, this stress response is a basic human coping mechanism designed to keep us alive. For example, let’s pretend you’re a Prehistoric human walking on Africa’s plains when a hungry lion suddenly appears. When this happens, your body is going to launch its ‘flight or fight’ response, pumping blood to your heart and limbs so you can escape, your breathing becomes more rapid, your pupils dilate, and your liver makes glucose more readily available to give you the extra energy you need to run for your life. This is a normal reaction to stress or worry and simply how we are built as humans.

Anxiety is your perception of threat and this can also trigger the same response. To your body, it doesn’t matter if there’s really a lion lurking on the plains – if you believe there is, your body will react.

Life is naturally full of ups and downs so it’s normal to feel worried or even anxious from time to time. However, if it feels intense, lasts for a long time, feels out of proportion to the situation and starts affecting your everyday life (for example, causing you to avoid situations that make you feel anxious), consider seeing a professional for help. It’s also worth trying some of the coping tools we will share with you later in this article to see if they can help.

What’s the best way to deal with our anxiety?

The good news is there are many things you can do to feel better and cope with your anxiety. Here are our tried and tested tips.

1. Talk to someone
By far, one of the best ways to cope with stress or anxiety is to share it with someone you trust. Consider whether you could talk about it with your partner, best friend, or other support circle to get it off your chest. If not or you’re struggling, seek professional help. As they say, “A problem shared is a problem halved”.

2. Keep a diary
It’s also worth keeping a diary or journal where you can write down your feelings, process them in private and get insight into how you are feeling. Often this is enough to help you make changes if you believe it could help.

3. Live a healthy lifestyle
Prioritising self-care and wellness can also make a huge difference to your mental health. You might feel like curling up in front of your favourite Netflix series with a huge tub of ice cream, but that could stress your body and make you feel worse. Instead, stick to a healthy balanced diet, minimise processed foods and sugar, reduce your alcohol consumption and prioritise sleep and relaxation. Yes, it sounds like a cliche, but you’ll be surprised by how different you feel.

4. Try breathing exercises or mindfulness
It’s also a good idea to have some coping mechanisms in place for those times you feel most stressed or are suffering from a panic attack. Breathing exercises and meditation can be the most useful of these because they help calm that stress response and help you feel better. Why not download a meditation and breathing app and see whether you can start a daily 10-minute practice?

5. Practice self-care
When we are busy or anxious, we often neglect ourselves because of the pressures on us or because we simply don’t have the time. But if you do this, you’re likely to feel even worse. Instead, start prioritising self-care and ensure you’re doing at least one small thing every day to bring joy into your life. This should be something for you only and something you WANT to do, not feel like you HAVE to do. This can include meeting up with friends for a coffee, dancing to your favourite music in the kitchen before picking your kids up from school or even indulging in a home spa.

6. Aromatherapy 
Incorporate essential oils into your daily routine with home fragrance and skincare. Aromatherapy blends such as Lavender, Lime, Verbena and Bergamot are well known for their calming properties – easing anxiety and reducing feelings of stress.

Coping with Anxiety: Finding Peace in a Hectic World

Do you ever find yourself lying awake at night, worrying about the day ahead? Perhaps that tricky conversation you had with your boss or partner is keeping your brain busy making you feel upset and anxious? Or maybe there are times when everything just feels overwhelming and you feel your heart racing, your palms sweating and the frustration, anger, anxiety, and tension getting worse.

If you can relate to anything we’ve just mentioned above, you are likely to be suffering from anxiety. According to Mental Health UK, around 8 million people in the UK experience varying degrees of anxiety.

So, what exactly is anxiety? How do you know if you’re suffering from it? And most importantly, what can you do to cope with your anxiety?

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry or fear when we feel under threat or afraid about things that are happening or could happen in the future. This includes our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations.

It’s normal to feel anxious at times, especially if you’re under severe stress, experiencing significant life changes or experiencing something traumatic. Although it may not feel like it when you’re suffering from a panic attack or awake late at night, ruminating, this stress response is a basic human coping mechanism designed to keep us alive. For example, let’s pretend you’re a Prehistoric human walking on Africa’s plains when a hungry lion suddenly appears. When this happens, your body is going to launch its ‘flight or fight’ response, pumping blood to your heart and limbs so you can escape, your breathing becomes more rapid, your pupils dilate, and your liver makes glucose more readily available to give you the extra energy you need to run for your life. This is a normal reaction to stress or worry and simply how we are built as humans.

Anxiety is your perception of threat and this can also trigger the same response. To your body, it doesn’t matter if there’s really a lion lurking on the plains – if you believe there is, your body will react.

Life is naturally full of ups and downs so it’s normal to feel worried or even anxious from time to time. However, if it feels intense, lasts for a long time, feels out of proportion to the situation and starts affecting your everyday life (for example, causing you to avoid situations that make you feel anxious), consider seeing a professional for help.

It’s also worth trying some of the coping tools we will share with you later in this article to see if they can help.

What’s the best way to deal with our anxiety?

The good news is there are many things you can do to feel better and cope with your anxiety. Here are our tried and tested tips.

1. Talk to someone
By far, one of the best ways to cope with stress or anxiety is to share it with someone you trust. Consider whether you could talk about it with your partner, best friend, or other support circle to get it off your chest. If not or you’re struggling, seek professional help. As they say, “A problem shared is a problem halved”.

2. Keep a diary
It’s also worth keeping a diary or journal where you can write down your feelings, process them in private and get insight into how you are feeling. Often this is enough to help you make changes if you believe it could help.

3. Live a healthy lifestyle
Prioritising self-care and wellness can also make a huge difference to your mental health. You might feel like curling up in front of your favourite Netflix series with a huge tub of ice cream, but that could stress your body and make you feel worse. Instead, stick to a healthy balanced diet, minimise processed foods and sugar, reduce your alcohol consumption and prioritise sleep and relaxation. Yes, it sounds like a cliche, but you’ll be surprised by how different you feel.

4. Try breathing exercises or mindfulness
It’s also a good idea to have some coping mechanisms in place for those times you feel most stressed or are suffering from a panic attack. Breathing exercises and meditation can be the most useful of these because they help calm that stress response and help you feel better. Why not download a meditation and breathing app and see whether you can start a daily 10-minute practice?

5. Practice self-care
When we are busy or anxious, we often neglect ourselves because of the pressures on us or because we simply don’t have the time. But if you do this, you’re likely to feel even worse. Instead, start prioritising self-care and ensure you’re doing at least one small thing every day to bring joy into your life. This should be something for you only and something you WANT to do, not feel like you HAVE to do. This can include meeting up with friends for a coffee, dancing to your favourite music in the kitchen before picking your kids up from school or even indulging in a home spa.

6. Aromatherapy 
Incorporate essential oils into your daily routine with home fragrance and skincare. Aromatherapy blends such as Lavender, Lime, Verbena and Bergamot are well known for their calming properties – easing anxiety and reducing feelings of stress.

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