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Updated: Jan 29

In today's fast-paced and increasingly uncertain world, it's no surprise that anxiety has become a prevalent issue for many of us. The constant stream of information, societal pressures, and daily challenges we face can easily overwhelm us.

I have suffered anxiety over the last few years, which has also caused me to suffer dysphonia, where feeling anxiety causes my vocal cords to stretch, leading me to have no voice. I have had to learn to manage my anxiety and I list below some effective strategies I have used to deal with it.

Mindfulness and Meditation

One of the most powerful tools to combat anxiety is mindfulness. This practice involves

paying deliberate attention to the present moment without judgement

By incorporating mindfulness and meditation into your routine, you can reduce anxiety, improve self-awareness, and cultivate a sense of calm.

Simple mindfulness exercises, such as deep breathing or guided meditations, can be easily integrated into your day and found online for free.

I use a body scan technique that you can read more about in my previous blog post, Body Scan Meditation – How to and Why.

Limiting Information Overload

In an age of 24/7 news cycles and social media, it's essential to manage the information you consume. Constant exposure to negative or distressing news has been proven to heighten anxiety levels. Consider setting specific times for checking news updates and limiting screen time to create a healthier balance.

I found this one of the most powerful things I could do to help with my anxiety. As an avid news reader, cutting myself off from my daily fix of, most often, hugely depressing news, made a massive difference to my anxiety levels.

I found this one of the most powerful things I could do to help with my anxiety. As an avid news reader, cutting myself off from my daily fix of, most often, hugely depressing news, made a massive difference to my anxiety levels.

My husband subscribed me to the newspaper The Happy News, that I get in the post and I love it. It’s full of positive stories that celebrate all this is good in the world.

Physical Activity

Regular exercise is a natural stress reliever. Physical activity releases endorphins, which are known as "feel-good" hormones. Engaging in activities like walking, jogging, yoga, or even dancing can help you manage anxiety and promote overall wellbeing.

I got myself a rebounder and bounce away to music I love, or watching a tv show. Exercise really helps with balancing my emotions, along with walking in nature.

This I find hugely helps reduce my anxiety, especially if I make a point of trying to really use my senses and focus on all that is around me, not what’s going on in my head!

Healthy Eating

Your diet plays a significant role in your mental health. A balanced diet rich in whole foods, fruits, and vegetables can positively affect your mood and energy levels.

Avoid excessive caffeine and sugar, which can contribute to anxiety and mood swings. I was amazed when I did the Keto diet for six months how much it positively affected my anxiety, vastly reducing it.

However, I didn’t enjoy eating so much meat so gave it up but learned a valuable lesson about how sugar affects our mood. It’s also important when making big dietary changes for you to seek the advice of your GP or qualified nutritionist.

Sleep Hygiene

Quality sleep is vital for managing anxiety. Create a consistent sleep schedule, and establish a calming bedtime routine to ensure a peaceful night's rest.

A well-rested mind is better equipped to handle stress and anxiety. I found making sure I didn’t access my phone too close to bedtime really helped along with reading before bed.

Also, If I wake in the night feeling anxious and overthinking, I make sure I have my headphones nearby to listen to a good audiobook to help me stop spiralling and, before I know it, I’ve drifted back off to sleep.

Social Support

Don't underestimate the power of social connections. Talking to friends, family, or a therapist about your feelings can provide valuable emotional support.

Sharing your worries and experiences with trusted individuals can be incredibly therapeutic. My doctor referred me to Time to Talk is an NHS service offering free, confidential talking therapy to adults registered with a GP in West Sussex.

You can self-refer to Time to Talk and there are similar organisations throughout the country. Just ask your GP.

Setting Realistic Goals

Perfectionism and the constant pursuit of unattainable goals can exacerbate anxiety. Learn to set realistic expectations for yourself, breaking down larger tasks into more manageable steps. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they may seem.

Time Management

Efficient time management can help reduce stress. Create to-do lists, prioritise tasks, and avoid procrastination. Finding a balance between work, relaxation, and personal time is essential.

However, I appreciate this is not always easy and something I wrestle with myself. There are also lots of apps on the market that can help you with this.

Professional Help

If anxiety becomes overwhelming or disrupts your daily life, seeking professional help is a valuable option. A therapist or counsellor can provide strategies and support tailored to your specific needs.

Or there are some great resources on the internet and social media like the Youtube channels Therapy in a Nutshell and Dr Julie Smith who wrote the best-selling book Why has Nobody Told me This Before?

Get Creative

Finding a creative activity you enjoy can be life changing when it comes to dealing with anxiety. It’s hard to worry and stress when you are fully focused on painting, sewing, writing, drawing, cooking.

Don’t do these things to create something beautiful, for that will probably only make your anxiety worse. Do them as an act of self-love and know it’s the doing that makes the difference, not only to your anxiety but to your level of expertise.

Again, YouTube is full of lots of free classes teaching you how to master a myriad of creative activities from knitting to oil painting.

Anxiety is a natural response to the demanding world we live in, but it doesn't have to control your life. By incorporating these strategies into your daily routine, you can better manage anxiety and regain a sense of balance in your life.

Remember that it's essential to be patient with yourself and seek help when needed. With the right tools and support, you can navigate the challenges of our stressful world and lead a healthier, more fulfilling life. If you want to talk more about this issue, why not book a session with me?

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