Managing Anxiety – What Works For Me.


Anxiety is incredibly difficult to live with. Imagine permanently walking along a tightrope, waiting to wobble, trying not to fall. That’s what having anxiety feels like. All day. Every day.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety in the UK in 2013. That number is staggering, but also not surprising. I myself suffer with quite severe anxiety, but most of the time I can manage it. In this post I share my strategies in the hope of helping others.

The effectiveness of coping methods will vary from person to person. What some may find helpful, may make others feel worse. It’s important to remember this when your trying to control your anxiety, and it’s also worth remembering that gaining control of something that can be uncontrollable is hard.

  • Music – I find music effective when I am anxious but also angry. Nirvana usually works for me. Headphones in, cleaning spray in hand, 9 times out of 10 I’m feeling a little better after a loud sing-a-long.
  • Breathing – Slow, deep breaths allow you to regain focus.
  • Time out – Admittedly, as a parent I can find it difficult to take time out without the sound of ‘mummy!’ ringing in my ears, but even 5 minutes shut in the bathroom helps me to gather my thoughts.
  • Do not strive for perfection – Until just recently, I felt the need to always be as perfect as I could be, not in my appearance or personality, but in my home and in my position as a mother. As soon as I told myself to let go of the perfectionist standards, my anxiety reduced.
  • Self care – A trip to the hairdressers, a long hot bath, a coffee with friends. Whatever it is that you do for you, do it. Do it as much as you can. You’ll feel better for it.
  • Eat – A hungry mind can be an angry mind. Without fuel you cannot focus, without focus you cannot control your thoughts.
  • Figure out your triggers – The simplest of things can be a trigger for anxiety, one of my triggers is loud noise. Try and pay attention to your surroundings when your feeling anxious, write down even the smallest details if you can. Try and find a pattern.
  • Distraction – My phone is my crutch, if I’m feeling anxious I tend to hide behind it. Browsing social media or playing games distracts my mind, stops me from over-thinking and provides me with a little time out. You could carry a notepad and write or draw, or play on your phone like me. Focusing on something is always better than thinking about everything.
  • Exercise – I do a lot of walking, often with headphones in. Exercise causes the body to release endorphin’s act as analgesics, which means they eradicate the perception of pain. Endorphin’s trigger a positive feeling in the body.

But most of all, once you’ve figured out how to manage your anxiety, accept what will be. Learn to live alongside anxiety. Without acceptance there can be no tolerance.

You can find help and guidance regarding mental health on the Mind website.

 

Petite Pudding

5 Comments

  1. Rebecca (Glutarama) 25th January 2017 / 6:17 pm

    This is so familiar to me. I tend to be very jumpy too, I swear one of these days I’ll actually have a heart attack…it could be something really silly like a knock at the door or the washing cycle end ringing. Keeping hydrated also helps as it aids with the release of serotonin from the brain. I’ve just brought my radio down from the attic (it was shoved up their during our extension) I had it on whilst I typed all day and it raised my mood so much. Thank you for your post, it makes me feel less alone. x

  2. shaney 29th January 2017 / 8:47 pm

    I’m glad you’ve figured out how to manage your anxiety. My sister suffers from anxiety and is yet to figure out how to handle it. I will show her this post, it might help her! #eatsleepblogrt

  3. Catie: An Imperfect Mum 30th January 2017 / 10:49 am

    Great post! 🌟 I really liked the advice to try and figure out your triggers and I know that I used to suffer from the need to attain perfection (hence my blog name) it’s taken me a very long time to embrace my imperfections and I still find this difficult at work. Your last line is brilliant – learn to live alongside it! Very well said. Thank you for linking up to #EatSleepBlogRT 🌟

  4. Laura 30th January 2017 / 10:57 am

    I’ve been suffering with anxiety since childhood and I enjoy posts like this as it makes me feel less alone. I also hide behind my phone when I feel anxious, scrolling through facebook and playing games in an effort to distract my racing mind!
    There are some good tips here 🙂

  5. Fridgesays 30th January 2017 / 7:48 pm

    #eatsleepblogrt I adore this, simple ideas that work. Do you have any of these that you do daily to prevent or reduce the onset of anxiety?

A comment is always appreciated!