How to deal with Anxiety - Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week , with a focus on anxiety. It's a common mental health challenge affecting many individuals. A recent survey found that a quarter of adults felt intense anxiety that prevented them from pursuing their desired activities. Additionally, 6 out of 10 adults experienced this sensation at least sometimes. Fortunately, there are effective ways to manage anxiety. Here are some tips if you're struggling.

How to manage Anxiety

- Deep breathing exercises: Practice deep breathing techniques, such as diaphragmatic breathing or 4-7-8 breathing, to help calm your body and mind during moments of anxiety.

- Regular exercise: Engage in regular physical activity as it releases endorphins, reduces stress hormones, and improves overall mood. Find activities you enjoy, such as walking, yoga, or dancing.

- Maintain a balanced diet: Eat nutritious meals and avoid excessive caffeine, sugary foods, and processed snacks, as they can contribute to anxiety symptoms. Incorporate whole foods, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins into your diet.

- Get enough sleep: Prioritise a consistent sleep schedule and create a relaxing bedtime routine. Lack of sleep can worsen anxiety symptoms, so aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.

- Practice mindfulness and meditation: Incorporate mindfulness techniques or meditation into your daily routine. These practices can help you stay present, reduce rumination, and cultivate a sense of calm.

- Challenge negative thoughts: Identify and challenge negative thoughts that contribute to anxiety. Replace them with more positive and realistic statements. Consider seeking therapy or counseling to learn effective cognitive-behavioral techniques.

- Establish a support system: Reach out to trusted friends, family, or support groups who can provide understanding and encouragement. Sharing your feelings and experiences with others can alleviate anxiety and provide valuable support.

- Take breaks and engage in self-care: Incorporate regular breaks and self-care activities into your routine. Engage in hobbies, read a book, take a bath, listen to music, or spend time in nature. These activities can help you relax and recharge.

- Limit exposure to triggers: Identify and limit exposure to situations, people, or environments that trigger your anxiety. If certain activities or settings consistently cause distress, it's important to set boundaries and prioritize your well-being.

- Seek professional help if needed: If anxiety significantly impacts your daily life and you're finding it difficult to cope, consider seeking professional help. A therapist or counselor can provide guidance, support, and effective strategies for managing anxiety.

Useful Resources

Remember, everyone's experience with anxiety is unique, so it's important to find coping strategies that work best for you. Here are some useful resources for anxiety and general mental health advice.

Befrienders Worldwide - - Worldwide directory of emotional support helplines.

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) - 0800 58 58 58 / - Provides listening services, information and support for anyone who needs to talk, including a web chat.

Community Advice and Listening Line (C.A.L.L.)  - 0800 132 737 (helpline) / 81066 (text HELP plus your message) / - Provides information and support for people experiencing a mental health problem in Wales.

Helplines - Membership body for helplines in the UK. Includes a searchable directory of services.

Hub of - UK-wide mental health service database. Lets you search for local, national, peer, community, charity, private and NHS mental health support. You can filter results to find specific kinds of support.

Mind Recovery - Publishes information on recovery colleges, including a searchable list of providers.

The Mix - 0808 808 4994 / 85258 (crisis messenger service, text THEMIX) / - Support and advice for under 25s, including a helpline, crisis messenger service and webchat.

National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK - 0800 689 5652 / - Helpline offering a supportive listening service to anyone with thoughts of suicide. Open from 6pm to midnight every day. If you are unable to connect to the main number above you can call 0800 689 0880.

NHS 111 (England & Wales) 11118001 111 (text relay)NHS 111 BSL service / / - Non-emergency medical help and advice for people in England.

Nightline - Lists contact information for helplines and listening services in universities and colleges across the UK.

Relay - Provides a talk/type relay service for anyone who has difficulty hearing or being understood when speaking over the phone. The cost of making phone calls through this service depends on your telephone service provider.

Rethink Mental Illness -  0808 801 0525 / - Provides support and information for anyone affected by mental health problems, including local support groups.

Samaritans - 116 123 (freephone) / / Freepost SAMARITANS LETTERS / - Samaritans are open 24/7 for anyone who needs to talk. You can visit some Samaritans branches in person. Samaritans also have a Welsh Language Line on 0808 164 0123 (7pm–11pm every day).

Switchboard - 0800 0119 100 / / - Listening services, information and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

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