Simple steps to help with anxiety

While we all suffer from anxiety at moments in our lives, when it becomes excessive it can have a severe impact on our home and work life. Often we will have excessive and unrealistic concerns about the future or strong unwanted feelings. Yet there are some simple steps that we can take that can make a difference and can help reduce our anxiety.

  • Often anxiety gives a feeling of a lack of control in your life. It can be helpful to try to focus on what you can change and accept what you can’t. Consider a barbecue. You can choose when you hold it, who you invite or what food you serve – you cannot choose the weather. It can help to reduce anxious feelings by focusing on the things you control, not the things you do not.
  • Take some exercise and some time for yourself. It has been shown by several studies that exercise (even regular walking) can give us a boost that can help to improve our mood and help to relax our mind and focus away from problems. It is important to take a break from the anxiety by doing something that gives you a positive boost; that could be reading, a hobby, or going for a coffee with a friend.
  • Learn to challenge anxious thoughts. Try to test your thought against the facts; is there a different thought that better fits the facts? Are you thinking in a black or white way or making sweeping generalisations? “I won’t be able to cope”. By challenging these thoughts and noticing that the underlying assumption is wrong it is possible to choose a different response.
  • It’s common to want to hide away when you suffer from anxiety. Yet, staying connected to those whom you trust can be a good way to get help and relief from your feelings. In connecting to others there is an opportunity to talk about your feelings. By building a network of friends you can improve resiliency to anxious moments.

Some people find it helpful to enter therapy to get help with their anxiety. This can offer a safe space where you can explore the triggers and some of the ways in which you might tackle the anxiety.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Glasgow, G46
Written by Graeme Orr, MBACP(Accred) Counsellor
Glasgow, G46

Graeme is a counsellor and author, living and working on the south side of Glasgow. In his practice, he sees a number of clients with emotional, anxiety and self-esteem that have relevance to us all. His articles are based on that experience and are offered as an opportunity to identify with, or to challenge you to make changes in your life.

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