Understanding Anxiety and Practical Steps for Positive Change

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How have you been feeling lately? Have YOU noticed any changes in your mood or anxiety levels?

Anxiety can come in many forms and it’s not always as easy to spot the signs. It can manifest in unusual ways, like feeling tense, worried, or avoiding certain situations. Just because you have some of these feelings doesn’t always mean you have an anxiety disorder. But if they stick around and make it hard for you to do everyday things, it might be a good idea to talk to someone who can help.

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In this article, I wanted to help you understand some of the key signs of anxiety and nine steps to help you, especially if everything has become too much.

Lean into those thoughts, feeling and emotions. These feelings and thoughts are only temporary, leaninng into those thoughts, feelings and emotions can help you understand them better.

Anxiety appeared for me in the form of checking the fridge door was closed, the oven was switched off, the taps in the bathroom are all off multiple times before leaving the house to face the day. It even appeared when getting into bed for sleep, checking all these things are switched off all over again. It’s a horrible experience and it controlled my headspace. Here are some common signs of anxiety that you may be experiencing to know if it’s a problem for you.

Physical signs:

  • Fast heartbeat (palpitations).
  • Feeling like your chest is tight or painful.
  • Difficulty breathing or feeling short of breath.
  • Feeling dizzy or like you might faint.
  • Sweating a lot or getting chills.
  • Shaking or trembling Feeling tense with stiff muscles.
  • Having an upset stomach, feeling nauseous, or having diarrhoea.
  • Experiencing headaches or migraines.

Emotional signs:

  • Feeling worried or scared.
  • Thinking a lot about problems or things that bother you.
  • Feeling annoyed or upset easily.
  • Feeling restless or unable to sit still.
  • Having trouble focusing or feeling like your mind is empty.
  • Feeling tense or on edge.
  • Worrying about losing control or feeling like something bad will happen.

Behavioural signs:

  • Avoiding things that make you anxious.
  • Having trouble sleeping or staying asleep.
  • Seeking a lot of reassurance from others.
  • Putting off tasks or avoiding them.
  • Biting your nails, fidgeting, or walking back and forth.
  • Doing things over and over, like checking the house doors are locked multiple times.
  • Using alcohol or drugs too much to deal with stress.

Thinking signs:

  • Imagining the worst things that could happen.
  • Worrying too much about what’s coming.
  • Finding it hard to make up your mind.
  • Being mean to yourself in your thoughts or not believing in yourself.
  • Having thoughts that go fast and jump around.
  • Having trouble paying attention or staying focused.

It’s key to know that some elements of anxiety are described at different levels. These can look very much like the below:

Mild Anxiety: Sometimes, feeling a bit anxious can keep you alert or help you avoid risky situations. It’s usually not too bothersome and might just make you feel a little jittery or uncomfortable for a short while.

Moderate Anxiety: Moderate anxiety might make it harder to handle your daily tasks, but it usually doesn’t disrupt your whole life. You might feel more worried, have trouble concentrating, or find it tough to relax.

Severe Anxiety: When anxiety becomes severe, it can make everything more challenging. It might make it tough to work, go to school, or spend time with friends. You might even experience panic attacks, which can make you feel like you’re losing control or might pass out.

Panic Attacks: Panic attacks are intense bursts of fear. They can happen suddenly and make your heart race, cause sweating, or make you feel dizzy. It feels like everything is spinning out of control, even though it usually only lasts for a few minutes.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): GAD means you’re super worried about lots of things, like work, health, or money. It doesn’t go away quickly and can make it hard to do everyday things because you’re always feeling stressed. You may have already seen your doctor or GP for a diagnosis.

As a hypnotherapist, the benefits of hypnotherapy will aid in relaxation, addressing the root causes, change your thought patterns and build confidence and self-esteem. The process will also allow for stress reduction and change any behavioural patterns for a better you. I know there are many services out there to help you and it’s often overwhelming for choice on therapy. I offer a service with empathy, compassion, and an theraputic experience that’s unique to YOU. I’m here to celebrate your wins in real time and keep an open channel between sessions, however that may look. By text, phone, or email.

How can I reduce my anxiety? How do I manage my anxiety? How do I deal with my anxiety? are questions you may ask yourself.

Below are nine of my top tips that I followed in my journey with anxiety, they may help you before needing any one to one therapy. Anxiety never fully goes away, however we can manage it for the better.

Breathing exercises: Deep breathing slows down your heart rate and loosens up your muscles, which can ease feelings of tension and stress.

Relax your body: Deep breathing also tells your brain it’s okay to relax, which lowers the production of stress hormones and helps you feel calmer.

Clearing your mind: When you focus on your breath, it helps distract you from anxious thoughts and brings your attention to the present moment.

Improving clarity: More oxygen to your brain from deep breathing can help you think more clearly and handle anxious feelings better.

Better sleep: Doing breathing exercises before bed can help calm your mind and make it easier to fall asleep, which can lower overall anxiety levels. I still follow breathing techniques to this day when feeling anxious, trust me it helps.

Write things down: Keeping a journal where you write down your feelings can help you understand what’s making you anxious. Then write a list of what you are grateful for and read this back to yourself when you feel anxious. When you write about how you feel and what’s happening to you, it gives you a way to let out emotions that are hard to talk about. This can help you understand your feelings better and make them feel less strong, which can make you feel better overall. Then try sharing your journal with a trusted other, if you feel comfortable.

Take breaks from the news: Hearing about bad things happening in the world can make you more anxious. Try not to listen too much, I don’t really engage too much in the news these days. The news often talks about bad things happening, which can make us feel scared and worried. When we take a break from the news, we don’t hear as much about these upsetting stories, and it gives our minds a chance to feel better and relax. Hearing too much news all the time can be too much and make you feel overloaded with information. When you take a break, you get to choose how much news you hear and what kind, which can make you feel less stressed and anxious.

Try out a different daily routine: Going out shopping for food is necessary, sometimes the convenience of a delivery is ideal for some of us in our busy lives, however try going out to different supermarkets for a dissimilar experience. Repeatedly doing the same things every day can get boring. But mixing up your routine adds spice to life, making daily activities more fun and interesting. Repetitive routines can sometimes trigger anxiety. Switching up your daily schedule can break these patterns and bring in fresh, new experiences.

Move your body: Exercise like walking or dancing helps you feel better by releasing happy chemicals in your brain. When you move your body, it makes your brain release endorphins. Endorphins are like natural pain relievers and mood boosters. This can make you feel good and less anxious.

Watch exercise videos online: There are lots of different videos online for exercising, like yoga, Pilates, or dancing. Pick one that you like and can do easily, and follow along with the instructor to work out your whole body.

Make a space for exercising at home: Choose a spot in your home just for exercising, like a room you’re not using or a corner of your living room. Having a special place for it can help you stay motivated to exercise regularly. I try to do 20 to 30 push ups every morning before getting in the shower.

Do exercises without any equipment: You don’t need fancy stuff to get a good workout at home. Simple exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups can make your muscles stronger and help you feel better.

Take short breaks to move around: Fit some movement into your day by taking quick breaks to stand up, stretch, or do a few exercises. Use a timer to remind yourself to move every hour.

Use stuff around the house for exercises: Get creative and use things you have at home to make your workouts more challenging. For example, you can use cans of soup as weights or a chair for exercises like dips or step-ups.

Dance to your favorite music: Put on some music and dance around your house. It’s fun and good for your heart, and it can lift your mood and give you energy.

Use stairs for exercise: If you have stairs in your home, use them to get a good cardio workout. Walk or run up and down the stairs a few times to get your heart pumping.

Do gardening: If you have a garden, use it to get some exercise. Mowing the lawn can be a great way to move your body and enjoy being outside.

Find fun things to do: Doing things you enjoy, like reading or listening to music, can take your mind off worries and help you relax. Doing fun things makes you feel happy, excited, and satisfied. These good feelings help balance out the bad ones linked to anxiety, making you feel better and more cheerful.

Walking therapy: Being outside in nature during therapy helps us feel calm and connected. The sights, sounds, and smells of nature can make it easier for you to relax and share their thoughts. Go for a walk with someone you trust and talk about your thoughts and feelings. Walking with a friend lets you spend time together and support each other, which can make you feel less lonely and isolated. Having someone to chat with and share things with can give you comfort and make you feel better.

Positive self-talk: When you feel down, try to think positive thoughts instead. Remind yourself of things you’re good at and times when you did well. This can help you feel better about yourself and more confident. Listening to a positive health conservation on a Podcast helps me learn and grow, my favourite now is “Diary of A CEO”.  I’ve made this a daily routine on my lunch breaks and when in the shower. You’ll be amazed at what you can learn and try in your own life. There is my Podcast too “A Path to Self-Healing”, the link is below.

https://www.chrisleathercoaching.com/podcasts/

Animal companionship: Hanging out with animals, like playing with your pet or helping at an animal shelter, can bring comfort, friendship, and relaxation, which can help ease anxiety. I’m not saying get a pet for this reason alone, however if you have friends that have pets, it’s a great time to go see them. My Mum has a dog “Rosie”, she brings me so much joy. Spending time with pets can also make your body release oxytocin, a hormone that makes you feel close and relaxed. Petting, hugging, or playing with a pet can help lower stress hormones like cortisol and make you feel calm and happy. I’m sure some of you have experienced the pleasure this brings.

For anyone experiencing anxiety, I admire your courage, you can get through this. Please never give up!

If you need help, you don’t have to suffer alone. If you have any questions or would like support in therapy, I can help you, please get in touch and click on the link below.

Contact Chris

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