Personal Growth, Student Life, Students, Wellbeing

11 simple ways to deal with feeling anxious

Anxiety

We all experience anxiety sometimes and it’s a completely human response, but when we seem to be spending more and more of our time feeling anxious, it can really have an impact on our lives.

Here are some helpful tips that I’ve collected that I use when I feel really anxious, I’ve also included some helpful resources and phone numbers at the end!


Please note that this information is strictly for informational purposes, I am not a mental health professional and cannot provide specific advice. These are just general tips that I have collected from a range of sources. Please speak to a professional if you are concerned about yourself or anyone else.


Symptoms of Anxiety

  • Feeling worried a lot of the time
  • Tiredness and difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Unable to relax
  • Needing regular reassurance from other people
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Pounding heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Breathing faster
  • Feeling faint

What to do when you’re feeling anxious

1. Bring yourself back to present

Anxiety is caused by worrying about the future, so a good thing to do is to bring yourself back to the moment you’re in. Take in your surroundings and reassure yourself that you are safe. A good way to bring yourself back to the present is using the 3-3-3 rule: name three things you see, three things you can hear and three parts of your body.

2. Recognise your emotions

Admit to yourself that you’re feeling anxious and allow yourself to feel the emotion before trying to reduce it.

3. Fact-check your worries

A lot of anxiety occurs when we think irrationally about what ‘could’ happen and imagining the worst possible scenarios. To stop yourself from doing this, ask yourself whether what you’re thinking is rational, or are you letting your thoughts get away from you.

4. Deep breathing

Focus your mind on your breathing, and try to take longer, deeper breaths, as sometimes when we’re anxious we start breathing quite quickly.

5. Go for a walk

Going for a walk is sooo good for your mental health and can really help with anxiety in two ways. Firstly, the light exercise helps use up excess adrenaline and secondly, the fresh air can really help boost your mood.

6. Laugh

Laughter can be such a good distraction from anxious thoughts, put on a funny tv show or funny Youtube video and laugh away.

7. Journal

Writing out your feelings and thoughts can help you really explore your feelings and get to the root cause of what’s causing the anxiety. It can also help to unload this from your mind, and if you feel like you don’t want to talk to someone about it in that moment, journaling can be a good way to do that. 

8. Rehydrate

Your body needs water for just about every physiological process, so it always helps to keep hydrated.

9. Eat something

Another cause of anxiety is low blood sugar, so sometimes you might just feel better if you eat something.

10. Listen to music

Music has great therapeutic benefits so put on your favourite playlist!

11. Talk to a mental health professional

If you feel like your anxiety is affecting your life and stopping you from doing things, then it might be time to talk to a professional.


Things that can help prevent anxiety

  • Have relaxing scents in your home 
  • Limit time on your phone/social media
  • Avoid things and people that you know are going to trigger your anxiety (if it’s not possible to completely avoid them) try to limit your exposure.
  • Eat well-balanced meals
  • Exercise regularly
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol intake 
  • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
  • Talk to people you trust about your worries

Helpful Resources

  • Anxiety UK
  • Mind
  • CALM 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm – midnight)
  • PAPYRUS 0800 068 4141 (9am – midnight)

If you liked this post, check out my post on how to prioritise your mental health!

References

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