We can all feel anxious at times, particularly when it seems like a lot rests on the outcome of an exam, job interview, or through things that are going on in our personal life. However the feelings we experience are completely normal as it is our body’s coping mechanism known as ‘fight or flight’. If the uneasy feelings are prolonged, then it must be addressed.
What am I feeling?
Anxiety is experienced differently for different individuals. However, there are some recurring feelings that are commonly shared. These can be:
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Breathing fast
- Feeling Sick
- Feeling Dizzy
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Lost Concentration
- Panic Attacks
What can I do?
Breathing can be a good place to start. By spending time to slow down your breathing can calm down a situation and reduce your anxiety levels. By relaxing your shoulders and breathing in through your nose for four seconds and out through your mouth for four seconds can help tremendously.
If your anxiety continues to build, do talk to someone. This can help out your feelings and reactions in context. Likewise, knowing that friends, family, colleagues care about you can also help you manage your anxiety. Additionally, they can offer some advice about how to deal with the situation.
It can be helpful to try to identify the source of your anxiety. It may be that what you think is causing these feelings is actually due to something completely different. Why not keep a diary? Note down when your anxiety strikes, what it is that is causing it, how you are affected and how you attempt to deal with it.
Mindfulness can also be beneficial as it can show how your anxiety fits in to the wider picture of your life. Often anxiety amplifies the significance of the issue when in reality it can be a small, insignificant part of your life. Yoga, meditation, Tai Chi and massages can be incredibly beneficial due to the meditative and relaxation parts of the classes.
How you cope with anxious situations can actually exacerbate your feelings, especially as a lot of coping mechanisms are actually stimulants. Many of us turn to alcohol, caffeine and smoke to reduce the anxious feelings. Whilst we think this can be helping us, it can make us more tense and anxious about the already anxious situations. So by looking at diet and exercise, the right chemicals can be released into the body and relax us and reduce the stress experienced.
If you are still experience anxiety, there are some more options to explore. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help talk through the nature of your anxiety.
Occasionally prescriptions are given by doctors to manage your anxiety but talking therapies, such as counselling involving CBT are explored first.
Remember, always talk to your doctor if you are experience anxiety as they can identify how best to manage it for you.