MAKING 'THE BIG STEP' A SMALLER STEP

ANXIETY

Strategy 1

visualisation

Visualisation is a powerful technique that can hep you unwind and relieve stress and anxiety. Visualisation involves using mental imagery to achieve a more relaxed state of mind. Similar to daydreaming, visualisation is accomplished through the use of your imagination. 

There is several reasons why visualisation can help you cope with anxiety, panic disorder and panic attacks. Consider how your thoughts wander when you feel panic or anxiety. When experiencing a panic attack, your mind may focus on the worry, the worse thing that can happen. Visualisation works to expand your ability to rest and relax by focusing your mind on more calming and serene images. 

STRATEGY 2

plan worry time

Have a special time scheduled to worry. If anything else appears outside that special time, write it down in a small notepad or on your phone. Save this worry for later and then you will be relieved and able to go about your day and keep your focus.


STEP 1- Schedule a dedicated time for deliberate worry


Choosing the same time every day signals to your brain that this is the time and space to worry, not as you’re trying to go to bed or in the middle of the night.


STEP 2- List your worries when they come to you during the day


In a pocket-sized notebook or phone, list all the worries and concerns that come to you during the day. Your brain will learn there’s a time and place for worrying.


STEP 3- Relax


Find a quiet place (perhaps your bedroom). Give yourself 15-20 minutes dedicated to your worries. Separate actual problems and hypothetical worries. Eliminate hypothetical worries- like did your friend misinterpret what you said earlier, and concentrate on actual problems, urgent problems, and things that you have direct control over.




Strategy 3

When you are calm, your body is in what is known as “rest and digest” mode. Your breathing is normal, your muscles are relaxed, and your heart rate is normal. It’s how you would be when you’re watching tv and relaxing.

When you experience a stressful event (like being chased by a dinosaur), your body automatically goes into what is known as “flight, fight or freeze” mode. Your heart rate increases, your stomach stops digestion, and your breathing becomes more shallow. 

The goal of calming exercises is to get yourself from “flight, fight or freeze” mode back to “rest and digest” mode. Deep breathing helps get more oxygen into your bloodstream. It has a physical effect on your body to help you calm down and lower stress and anxiety.

 

Click on the YouTube video and give it a go.

 

STRATEGY 4

PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELATION

Muscle relaxation helps you feel calm and physically relaxed. When you’re feeling Calm and relaxed it can help reduce anxiety, can help you make better decisions and is good for your overall wellbeing. Muscle relaxation can also help reduce or manage stress.

You need 15-20 minutes, and a calm. quiet space where you won’t be interrupted.

As you’re doing the exercises in the video, make sure to look after your body- don’t tense a body part if you might hurt yourself. 

This muscle relaxation technique can be great if you’re not sleeping well. In this case, do it just before you go to bed. You might feel very tired afterwards. 

Bed time can be the worse time for me and my worries and anxiety, and this technique definitely helps me get a better nights sleep.

Strategy 5

Exercise- Add regular physical activities to your life. It’s one of the best things you can do to reduce anxiety symptoms. Exercise boosts mood, improves sleep, reduces tension, and calms stress. It also provides a time of mindless distraction away from your worries and fears.

Eat-and drink-well- No one food or drink will make anxiety disappear. But your mood and energy will be best supported by a balanced diet, steady meal-and-snack times, and awareness of any food sensitivities. 

Get ample sleep- When you are anxious, your body will naturally require more sleep and rest. But anxiety and sleep may stop this from happening. Anxiety can keep you up all night and steal precious hours of rest. Sleep deprivation can contribute to worsening the symptoms of anxiety. If you have trouble sleeping, do what you can to improve your sleep habits- sometimes called “sleep hygiene”. Set up and stick to a relaxing bedtime routine, and make sure your bedroom as sleep-friendly as possible. Avoid anything too stimulating right before bed, like television, computers and sugary foods.

MAKING 'THE BIG STEP' A SMALLER STEP

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