Coping with Anxiety
Common symptoms of anxiety:
- Feeling fearful
- Feeling panicky
- Feeling sick
- Butterflies in stomach
- Feeling tired
- Faster heartbeat
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Trouble with going to sleep or waking up in the middle of the night
- Bad dreams
- Feeling hot or not being able to get warm
- Feeling as if your body is shaking internally
- Sweaty palms
- Lack of appetite or taste
- Headaches, eye strain etc
- Memory and concentration issues
What can I do to cope?
- Take time out. It doesn’t feel possible to think when you are full of fear and anxiety. The physical symptoms you are feeling are due to the fact that adrenalin is being pumped through your system. So, distract yourself and take time out to physically calm down such as a warm drink, a bath or a walk.
- Imagine what the worst case scenario might be. It really can help, and the chances are you and the world will survive. Don’t fight it – stay with it – feel the panic – don’t distract yourself – breathe slowly and deeply – try not to take more than 12 breaths a minute. It might take awhile, even up to an hour, but helping the mind cope with the panic helps take the fear of fear away.
- Don’t avoid fears. Avoiding only makes them scarier. Whatever your fear, if you face it, it should start to fade.
- Embrace the fear. Each time you face them makes it easier to cope the next time.
- Fears are more often worse than reality. Even if incidents have happened previously it does not mean that they will happen again.
- Perfection doesn’t exist. Black and white thinking or to think things have to be perfect only sets us up to be anxious.
- Close your eyes and imagine a place where you feel safe and calm.
- If you can get a good sleep, eat well and healthily and take some physical exercise.
- When you face any anxiety remember to reward yourself.
- Share your fears. Talking about your fears with others can really help. Talk to a partner, family, a friend or seek help by contacting a counsellor or psychotherapist who are professionally trained to help you through your issues.