Check out our in-house Counselor and guest blogger, Leanne Duthie's 40 Top Tips to Beat Anxiety. From taking a break from social media, having a clear out to exploring breathing exercises. These tips can really help to get you through times when you may need a little support.
Anxiety. What actually is it? Anxiety is actually a feeling of worry or fear that can often come with feeling stressed, or it can even be something you feel leading up to big events like a job interview or exam. There can be mild to severe forms of anxiety which sometimes can have quite serious side effects like panic attacks and depression.
The truth is, anxiety can occur in anyone and it's not something to be embarrassed about. It's something that you can manage with the right help and support. These are 40 of my Top Tips to Beat Anxiety.
Do be aware that not all of these tips may work for you, we are all different and it's a good idea to try what works for you. You may find breathing exercises work for you best or physical related thinking like tidying your room may help more.
1. Take a slow breath. Continue slow breathing for 3 minutes.
2. Drop your shoulders and do a gentle neck roll.
3. State the emotions you’re feeling as words, e.g., “I feel angry and worried right now.” (Aloud, but to yourself.)
4. Massage your hand, which will activate oxytocin.
5. Put something that’s out of place in its place. (Physical order often helps us feel a sense of mental order.)
6. Take a day trip somewhere with natural beauty.
7. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Then, ask yourself, “How would I cope if that happened?”
8. Take a break from actively working on solving a problem and allow your mind to keep processing the problem in the background.
9. Forgive YOURSELF for not foreseeing a problem that occurred.
10. Take a break from social media.
11. Think about something you have been putting off and avoiding – ask yourself why and do it!
12. Get rid of something in your bedroom that you don’t use or want any longer.
13. Tidy your room – have a clear out.
14. Try a guided mindfulness exercise (you can find many on YouTube.)
15. Find comfort in your pet.
16. If a mistake you have made is bothering you, make an action plan for how you won’t repeat this in the future. Write three brief bullet points!
17. Ask yourself - am I jumping to conclusions?
18. Try a guided mindfulness meditation exercise (use google – there are plenty on you tube you could try.)
19. Cuddle a pet.
20. If you make a mistake and it's bothering you, make a plan of action for how you won’t repeat this in the future. Write three brief bullet points.
21. Are you overthinking? For example if you think someone is annoyed with you – how do you know for sure that this is the case?
22. Am I catastrophizing? Thinking that something would be a disaster when it might just be unpleasant but not necessarily catastrophic?
23. Forgive yourself for not handling a situation in an ideal way, including interpersonal situations. What’s the best thing you can do to move forward in a positive way now?
24. If someone else’s behaviour has triggered anxiety for you try to accept that you may never know the complete reason and background behind the person’s behaviour (mindreading).
25. Recognize if your anxiety is being caused by someone suggesting a change or change of plans. Understand if you tend to react to changes or unexpected events as if they are threats.
26. Accept that there is a gap between your real self and your ideal self. (This is the case for pretty much everybody)
27. Question your social comparisons. For example, is comparing yourself only to the most successful person you know very fair or representative?
28. Think about what’s going right in your life. Thinking about the positive doesn’t always work when you’re anxious, but it can help if anxiety has caused your thinking to become lopsided or is obscuring the big picture.
29. Get a second opinion from someone you trust. Aim to get their real opinion rather than just reassurance seeking.
30. Allow yourself to do things you enjoy or that don’t stress you out, while you’re waiting for your anxious feelings to naturally calm down.
31. Scratch something off your to-do list for the day, either by getting it done or just deciding not to do that task today.
32. Try gentle distraction; find something you want to pay attention to. The key to successful use of distraction when you’re anxious is to be patient with yourself if you find you’re still experiencing intrusive thoughts.
33. Ask a friend or colleague to tell you about something they’ve felt nervous about in the past, and to tell you what happened.
34. Go for a run.
35. Find something on YouTube that makes you laugh out loud.
36. Lightly run one or two fingers over your lips. This will stimulate the parasympathetic fibers in your lips, which will help you feel calmer.
37. Look back on the anxiety-provoking situation you’re in from a time point in the future, e.g., six months from now. Does the problem seem smaller when you view it from further away?
38. Imagine how you’d cope if your “worst nightmare” happened, e.g., your partner left you, you got fired, or you developed a health problem. What practical steps would you take? What social support would you use? Mentally confronting your worst fear can be very useful for reducing anxiety.
39. If you’re imagining a negative outcome to something you’re considering doing, also try imaging a positive outcome.
40. Jot down three things you worried about in the past that did occur but weren’t nearly as hard as you had imagined originally.
I hope you find these tips useful, remember if you are a learner or an apprentice with PM Training you can speak to me every Monday from 2pm-3pm on Live Chat through our website. Or if you want more help check out out our Mental Health Support page here.