DEIDRE SAYS: Anxiety affects 1 in 6 people in England in any given week with many questioning how to cope with this overwhelming fear and worry.
While it’s becoming less of a taboo topic, people are still afraid to ask for help when it comes to mental health. But the good news is there is plenty of good support available now.
Anxiety is intense feelings of unease, worry and fear, and is the body’s natural response to danger.
While this is all perfectly normal, it becomes an issue when these feelings become all-encompassing and influence how you live your life - are you avoiding people, places or plans?
The causes of anxiety vary person-to-person, however common triggers include health concerns, money worries, childhood trauma and change.
So what can you do to manage your anxiety?
- Open up
When feeling anxious, you might have the urge to isolate, but talking to someone you trust about how you’re feeling and what’s caused it can be a relief.
A trusted friend or family member is always a good place to start. If that’s tricky, the Dear Deidre team can help.
Our team of experienced counsellors are on hand to offer personalised advice via email [email protected] or Facebook - and no issue is too big, too small or too embarrassing.
However, if you or your loved one needs to speak to someone urgently, contact the Samaritans (116 123) - it is free to chat with them at any time, and the number won’t show on your phone bill.
For more advice from Dear Deidre
No issue is too small, too large or too embarrassing. Read our personal replies here.
- Work out what’s worrying you
While you may have regular triggers for your anxiety, sometimes it’s harder to work out the cause.
Dedicate a notebook to write down how you are feeling - this can help join the dots between how you’re feeling and why.
- Let’s get physical
Getting enough rest is essential when it comes to managing anxiety - researchers at the University of California found that a lack of sleep can contribute to excessive worrying.
And the same goes for exercise - moving your body can help to relieve stress.
The sudden onset of anxiety symptoms, both physical and psychological, can lead to feeling out of control - sometimes resulting in a panic attack.
Breathing exercises may help you feel as though you’re taking this back. Avoid deep breathing into a bag as many recommend as this can be dangerous.
More information is available in our Living With Anxiety support pack.
Whatever your worry, you’re not alone. The Dear Deidre team of counsellors will be able to recommend your best next steps to help get your life back on track.
For a support pack and personalised advice, email us at [email protected] or message us on Facebook.