Worrying so much about Monday morning that Sunday evening is even worse. Avoiding social occasions because meeting new people makes us feel nervous and sick. Lying awake at night unable to sleep because thoughts and fears are racing around our head.
Experiences like this may indicate we are suffering from anxiety.
Anyone can experience anxiety, it's true. However, it's important to recognise when these feelings are taking over and negatively affecting our lives. Are they holding us back in work? Are they stopping us from forming new relationships? Are they preventing us from living our life to the full?
Fortunately, there are some simple yet effective strategies that anyone can use to help cope with anxiety.
1.Exercise. Research shows that regular moderate exercise not only benefits our physical health but has a positive effect on our psychological well-being. Exercise releases mood boosting endorphins. It also uses pent-up energy which can often contribute to anxiety.
2. Keep busy. It's often helpful to keep active and engaged throughout the day. Making a plan for the day can give some structure and allow for prioritising what is most important. If we allow ourselves to become absorbed in what we are doing, we are less likely to become preoccupied worrying about external issues or future events.
3. Focus on feelings. When feeling anxious, notice if this is affecting a particular area of the body, for example is our stomach hurting, is our throat feeling tight? Breath into this area and allow the feeling. Allowing ourselves to connect with the anxiety held in our body can help to process the feeling and can often provide a release.
4. Write it down. Consider keeping a journal. This can be a simple and private way of expressing your worries and fears. Writing before bedtime allows us to reflect on what has happened that day and express our concerns for the next. This can be a helpful way of clearing our minds before sleep and may allow us to have a more restful night.
5. Reach out. Remember everyone needs support sometimes. Talking about how we are feeling can be an important way of coping. Think of friends or family members who can be trusted and reach out for support.
These are some useful tips and I know from experience that when practiced consistently, they can really help. It's sad to think that many people suffer alone and in silence for a long time.
Remember, it is possible to overcome anxiety.
I am always happy to talk about how life can be better.
Make a change today.
Have a great week, Jane
Newbridge, Co. Kildare
Portlaoise, Co Laois 085 2016904 firstname.lastname@example.org www.janejustincounselling.ie