NHS Mid and South Essex have written this informative article about Mental Health Matters: Worry and Anxiety.
We all experience worry and anxiety from time to time. Life sometimes throws up unexpected challenges which may make you worry such as health, money or family problems and we all react differently to these situations.
Feelings of anxiety and worry can become overwhelming, or out of proportion and can affect your daily life, causing distress and holding you back from doing the things you want to do.
The good news is there are lots of things you can try to help you cope. Watch the video below of Anjali Bali, a Mental Health Professional from Essex, talking about her top tips for coping with worry and anxiety.
- Understand your anxiety – try keeping a diary of what you’re doing and how you feel at different times to help discover what is affecting you and what you need to act on.
- Challenge your anxious thoughts – the way we think affects how we feel. Tackling unhelpful thoughts is one of the best things we can do to feel less anxious.
- If you always approach things in a negative way, ask yourself why. Could you think about things more positively?
- Make time for worries. If your worry feels overwhelming and takes over your day, setting specific “worry time” to go through your concerns each day can help you to focus on other things.
- Shift your focus. Some people find relaxation, mindfulness or breathing exercises helpful. They reduce tension and focus our awareness on the present moment.
- Face the things you want to avoid. It’s easy to avoid situations, or rely on habits that make us feel safer, but these things can keep our anxiety going. Facing worrying situations and slowly building up your confidence will help to reduce the feeling of anxiety, and you will see these situations as OK.
- Get to grips with the problem. When you’re feeling stressed or anxious, it can help to use a problem-solving technique to find some solutions. This can make the challenges you’re facing feel more manageable.
These tips should help you cope with anxiety better, but if you have been experiencing anxiety for some time and it’s affecting your daily life or causing you distress, you should consider seeking further support.
Primary Care Networks are groups of GP practices working closely together with other healthcare staff and organisations to provide more joined up care to local communities. You can also access many online NHS self-help tools including Every Mind Matters.