5 Things to Try if You Feel Anxious
Breathe. You can get through this.
First off, feeling anxious is something that everyone will experience at some point in their life and is way more common than you may think.
For some people it’ll be anxiety around things like exams, starting a new job or taking your driving test. For others it can be more of an ongoing issue that can affect you more deeply. It’s important to remember that whatever is going on behind the scenes, it’s just your body’s way of dealing with anything it feels is stressful.
Basically, what we’re saying is please don’t ever feel like you’re a weirdo for feeling anxious. It’s totally natural and the good thing is there are lots of resources out there that can help you. Youtube videos, podcasts, articles to read and heck, even loads of tik tocks about dealing with anxiety- understanding your anxiety is going to play a big part in how you deal with it.
However before you get your anxiety study cap on check out some easy tips we’ve picked up that you might find useful right now!
Remember, these are just suggestions so tailor them to your needs, talk through them with your family or friends and figure out what works for you!
Anxiety can be one real tough son of a gun, but you are 100% tougher!
Take Care of YOU
When we say take care of yourself, it might seem a bit boring or obvious but we mean things like eating good, getting a decent amount of quality rest and doing some daily exercise! Anxiety can have a really physical effect on your body, so make sure you’re taking care of your body as best you can. If you’re doing that then you’re giving yourself the best possible chance at getting through your anxious patches.
We hear a lot that sleep can be a struggle, so a little while ago we put together this cracking blog post on getting a good night’s sleep to help you out- give it a read! Decent sleep is going to help you feel rested and energised. Fuelling yourself with good food is going to keep you physically healthy (when we say good we mean fruit and vegetables and balanced meals- i WISH we meant crisps and pizza!)
And make sure you’re getting your heart rate up and releasing those endorphins through physical exercise! Basically, show yourself some care.
Connect With People
The old saying of a problem shared is a problem halved is pretty spot on! Every time there’s something on your mind that’s making you anxious, talk it through with someone you trust. Even if they don’t have all the answers, it can be helpful to just vent and get things off your chest. By telling someone about your worries you’re making them seem less scary, and talking them through can help you make sense of them. If you’re not sure what is setting you off, just having a chat and a laugh with a pal can make you feel lighter too.
If you can’t talk to anyone about what’s going on in your life, then there’s always helplines there for you, run by professionals who are trained to support you. If speaking on the phone seems a bit scary (we get you, we hate it too!) then there’s lots of helplines linked on our site. There’s some you can message or email instead! Phew!
Please know that if you’re really struggling with anxiety and it’s affecting your life in a big way, it might be a good shout to let a family member or friend know. Check in with your GP too.
Sometimes it’s hard to just start the conversation right?! We’ve linked a blog post here that we wrote with tips about telling someone that you self-harm but it’s also pretty relevant to telling someone you’re feeling anxious.
Become A Relaxation Master!
When you feel anxious your body and mind are in a tense and heightened state of panic. So trying to relax can be really difficult! The more you do to make yourself feel safe and calm, the more you’re going to help yourself. Think about what chills you out the most. This could be wrapping yourself in a blanket or some cosy clothing (check out our super soft fleece hoodies!), treating yourself to a bath with some candles, or having a cuddle on the sofa with your cat or dog! Maybe it’s doing some breathing exercises or some yoga/ meditation! It might even be just going to bed and keeping yourself safe.
Music is a good tool for helping you switch off- check out this super chilled playlist we put together a little while back! Or make a playlist of songs that help you relax!
Focus On The Good Stuff
Sometimes you just need to be distracted when you’re anxious, so we recommend you sit down and write a quick list of some good stuff you’ve got going on. This could be cool stuff you have to look forward to or a list of things you enjoy doing. It could even be your top 5 bands or books right now! Taking your mind off the negative feelings you’re dealing with can help you start looking for the positives and change your thinking.
Practice gratitude by thinking of three things that you’re grateful for. Have a chat with your funniest, most positive pal and let their energy rub off on you! Tell yourself something you’re proud of you for getting through each day. Even if it’s just “I’m proud that I made it through today!” Be mindful of what you are capable of and far you’ve come.
Just Breathe and Get Through This
Yeah yeah, you’re breathing all the time right?! But in those tense moments take a slow deep breath if you can and imagine your stress leaving your body. This is a good mini way to try and balance yourself in tough times. You could even get cosy and wrap yourself up in a blanket. Try doing some breathing techniques at the same time! Bonus anxiety busting vibes!
If you’re around something that stresses you out, move away from it if you can. If your instinct is telling you to leave then that’s OK. If you can, get somewhere where you can calm yourself down. Go outside if you can and pinpoint 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. This technique is called grounding 54321 and is a quick way to focus yourself and distract you from any spiralling thoughts.
There’s a bunch of apps linked here that we use and think are ace for helping with anxiety. And please do let us know any of your faves! We’re always looking for new ones to try out!
When I’m feeling anxious I always tell myself that this is the eye of the storm. Things WILL get better. I’ve got through worse before and these feelings will pass. I find it really comforting and it helps me know that there’s an end in sight. I just have to get through the next minute. And if i survive that maybe I’ll get through the next.
If you’d like to hear more from us about dealing with anxiety then check out this helpful little number about managing stress.
We acknowledge how tough dealing with anxious feelings can be and we hear you. We want you to know that you have more power over your thoughts than you think. Start small with some of these little suggestions and figure out what works for you. Then hopefully tackling the tough times will be a little more manageable, and you’ll feel a little better. 🙂
If you found this post helpful, check out some more of our Straight Up Advice.see more