With it being mental health awareness week, this blog contains advice that can hopefully help anyone who is struggling emotionally with stress and anxiety.
Although it is perfectly normal to experience stress and feelings of anxiety from time to time, for some people it can become overwhelming and make the normal daily tasks of day to day life difficult to deal with.
Some people have an identifiable cause for their anxiety such as a traumatic experience, major life changes or problems at home or work.
However some people do not know why they have anxiety, which in itself can cause distress. Small stressors can build up over a period of time, without you even realising and before you know it, you feel stressed and anxious much of the time.
When you are anxious, it very often goes global – meaning you see the negative in everything. It’s like you are wearing grey tinted glasses when you look upon the world.
Here are some ways to help you overcome stress and anxiety:
It’s really important to talk to someone about how you are feeling. To get things out of your head and verbalised can be very helpful in reducing anxiety and worry. If you don’t feel you can talk to friends or family, please do consider the free helplines that are available. There is nothing to be embarrassed about making use of these wonderful services and no one will know anyway as they are totally confidential. You having nothing to lose by using them so please, please do so.
Writing down how you feel is another good way of getting those feelings and thoughts out of your head. Consider keeping a diary or journal where you can safely and confidentially express those anxious thoughts and emotions. If you were to give each day a rating out of 10 as how stressed or anxious you have felt, as you start to feel better, it will give you written evidence of how far you have come too which is a great thing for when we have the odd low day, as we all do.
However busy you are, you function far more efficiently and effectively when you are taking some time each day to look after your emotional needs. It’s very difficult to see life in perspective and logically as being stressed and anxious switches off the logical part of your brain. Important things for you to consider are:
When we are highly stressed, we often tend to lose our appetite. The fight or flight state tends to shut down digestion, after all, when we evolved thousands of years ago, there was no time to think about eating when faced with an angry sabre toothed tiger. However it is important to give your body the healthy fuel it needs to function effectively. By eating small, healthy meals, you are sending your body the message that everything is okay and to calm down.
Stress and anxiety trigger the flight or flight response which prepares our body to exercise – to either fight the threat or run away. Gentle exercise can help disperse the stress hormones in your system. Walking, yoga, whatever it is that is accessible to you – try and incorporate it into your daily routine. Even if you have a physical job and think you get enough exercise there, try and incorporate something outside of work if you can.
What do you enjoy doing or did you used to enjoy doing for fun. What have you always wanted to learn or do, but just not got around to it yet? Doing an activity that stimulates your creative mind that you enjoy, is a very good way of lowering stress and anxiety.
There’s a really easy breathing technique that will help you to calm down quickly and easily. If you were to practice it for just five minutes a day for a week, you will notice how effective it is.
Basically you just breathe in for the count of 7, then out for the count of 11. You don’t have to count – just ensure your exhale is longer than your inhale.
By extending your out-breath for a few minutes, you will feel calmer. Whenever you feel tense, focus on breathing out. The good thing is, no one else need know you are doing it so you apply this whatever situation you are in.
For more details on this easy, effective way to calm down quickly, see HERE
By using self hypnosis audios or mediation apps or recordings on a regular basis, you can find yourself feeling much calmer and clearer mentally. It doesn’t need to take long in your daily routine – some of the apps available take only 10 minutes out of your day but you will reap so many benefits from doing this.
Regular self-hypnosis or meditation really helps to give your mind some space to de-stress and consequently daily life becomes much easier to deal with and you feel so much calmer generally.
There are many options available online. Apps I use and sometimes recommend to clients are, Calm and Headspace.
I also have some hypnosis audios available for download HERE.
If you can commit to trying this for a week, I am sure you will be very pleased with the results on your stress levels.
If you would like to have a chat to discuss how hypnotherapy may be able to help you overcome stress and anxiety and feel calmer, please do be in touch. Hypnotherapy is particularly effective for these issues.