Saturday, 12 May 2018

My top tips for anxiety

Now this is a post I have always wanted to do as it is very important to me. I'm no psychologist, however after suffering with anxiety for 6 years you tend to learn what works and what doesn't. I wont only be talking about how to live with anxiety and how to prevent having panic attacks or be less anxious, but I will be giving some advice on what to do when having a panic attack. 

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I will start off by saying ways you can change your lifestyle to help with anxiety, these are things that I have tried and found extremely helpful. These are my 5 tips on how you can change your lifestyle to help with anxiety. 

1. Change your diet 

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I'm a big believer in how your diet can influence more than just your weight. Changing your diet can influence your mood as well and in this case... anxiety. For example beef and foods high in vitamin B can ease anxiety, now I love steak to the point where I have it once a week. Another food you can include or increase in your diet are omega 3 rich foods such as salmon. Omega 3 has many benefits to your body and one of them can be that it can help with anxiety. Even though foods can help with stress and anxiety some foods can make it worse. Coffee and caffeinated drinks can lead to increasing anxiety and stress so it is best to limit or if you can avoid these foods completely from your diet. It would also be best to limit the amount of sweets and chocolate you intake, I'm sure you have heard of the sugar high and then that crash that comes after, this won't help your anxiety. The last food that is best to avoid and I definitely personally avoid this one, is alcohol. You don't have to cut it out completely and you can still enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. However, alcohol is a depressant and therefore will definitely not help with anxiety as it will just decrease your mood even further. 

2. Get a better nights sleep.

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Sleep can do many things for your health mentally and psychically. Sometimes, with anxiety getting a good nights sleep is hard to do but really try to get those Zzzz's. Sleep gives your brain and body time to heal and also is crucial for maintaining healthy emotional and social functioning. 

3. Exercise 

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Doing regular exercise can work as well as medication for some people to reduce anxiety symptoms. The effects can be long lasting, one vigorous exercise session can help reduce symptoms for hours, and if continued it may significantly reduce them over time. Also, if you joined a team sport being sociable will be great for your anxiety as well.

4. Mindfulness and relaxation 

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This one has been proven to decrease stress and lower anxiety as well as increasing self compassion compared with yoga alone. I like to mindfulness 3 times a week to wind down in the evenings. I feel it is very important to spare 10 minutes of your time a few time a week.

5. C.B.T or counselling.

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Sometimes you need a bit of extra help which is sometimes hard to admit to yourself. However, sometimes it is needed and it really does work. I learned so many things from counselling that have helped me so much over the years and I really recommend giving it a go. 

The next 3 tips are ones to help you when you are feeling extremely anxious or having a panic attack. Now I know when your having a panic attack you actually do feel like you are dying, so hopefully these next tips will help to calm you down. 

1. Look up at the sky

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This might sound like something so ridiculously simple, however it does actually work. When you feel yourself getting anxious or if you are having a panic attack try going outside and looking up at the sky. I think the reason it works for me is because when I start to feel anxious or have a panic attack I feel chlaustrophobic or like I cant breathe properly. Therefore, when I look up at the sky weather it be raining or there are blue skies I don't feel like I cant breathe or am trapped.

2. 5 senses trick

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Another one is the 5 senses trick, to help when your feeling anxious or having a panic attack. The way it works is to distract yourself whilst feeling anxious, you need to acknowledge your surroundings and determine what you can notice with all of your senses. You would focus on what you can taste, smell, hear, see and touch. So next time you are feeling anxious try and take in your surroundings and see if it helps.

3. The bubble technique

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I found this one the most helpful when I am feeling anxious. The way this one works is you use visualisation to imagine that your in a bubble and that any negativity or anxious feelings are bounced off of your bubble. It helps to visualise your bubble being a happy colour. I normally go with a nice baby blue or a happy yellow. Just try to really focus on this and I found it really helped me feel less anxious and more calm.

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There you have it, these are all my tips from what I have learned from having anxiety. So next time your feeling anxious or start having a panic attack these are some things you can try and use. I hope they work as well for you as they did for me. Sometimes with anxiety you can feel trapped and with practice and self help you will feel... FREE!! 

Lots of love 

the happy goldfish

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