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Top tips for beating anxiety

(11 Posts)
Stefka Mon 21-Sep-09 21:01:45

I struggle with this on and off and I would really like to find a way to deal with it. I go through stages with it and am starting to get some bad episodes. So far things that have helped me are to make sure I eat and sleep well and to get regular exercise. I also use distraction (like mucking about on line!) and make sure I stay on top of my work etc. Sometimes I feel frustrated though because even though I know in my head that my level of anxiety is a)out of proportion to what is actually happening in my life and b) not actually helping anyway I don't seem able to switch it off.

If you have managed to beat anxiety I would love to hear what worked for you.

2to3 Mon 21-Sep-09 22:09:10

I get this too from time to time, and it's hard to beat completely but there are definitely ways of getting it under control.

A friend who is a clinical psychologists tells her patients to postpone worrying about whatever is stressing them out to a specific time later in the day, i.e. 5pm or whatever. Chances are you will have forgotten all about whatever it was by the time 5pm arrives.

Another technique is breathing deeply through your mouth and out of your nose repeatedly for as long as it takes, lying on your back (although it works sitting on the tube too!).

I found self-hypnosis useful - there are set techniques for how to do it and you might find something useful if you google it. The one I learned basically involves following a set number of steps in your mind to an imaginary place where you feel completely safe and cut off from everything that's worrying you.

I'd also recommend this book - it is a much-used manual that takes you through different steps to resolve emotional problems using cognitive behavioural therapy.

2to3 Mon 21-Sep-09 22:12:15

Sorry - forgot to say the most important thing, which is that I learned the above in therapy. You can get it free on the NHS so if you feel it is getting worse, please talk to your GP and ask for a referral to a psychologist. Short-term therapy can be really helpful, as it helps you to find new ways of dealing with old issues and to cope with your feelings. If your GP isn't sympathetic, see a different one until you get some help. Good luck - you are not alone!

2to3 Tue 22-Sep-09 09:00:59

And that should be breathe in through nose and out through mouth - sorry!

Laugs Tue 22-Sep-09 09:22:31

Never had any professional help, but things that have helped me with panic attacks/ feelings of rising anxiety:

Keep my mind occupied and active. I'm more likely to panic in front of the TV, where I can disappear into my own thought patterns, than reading a good book, where my thoughts are on the story.

Get out of the house and go for a walk if panic starts rising. Burn off the adrenaline.

Keep an eye on blood sugar levels. Dips and surges seem to make things worse.

Don't drink too much. If I do have a big night out, I prepare myself for the fact that I might have a panic attack the next day and treat it as part of the hangover.

Talk to someone about what I'm feeling anxious about. I've found talking through the onset of a panic attack can stave it off. Just saying 'I'm scared I'm going to die' and them asking why and me realising there is no reason and I am not.

Laugs Tue 22-Sep-09 09:25:42

Sorry should have said, I wouldn't say I have 'beaten' anxiety. I imagine I'll always be prone to it, but I definitely feel more in control now than I used to. I have never felt like I've needed therapy, so perhaps it is not as bad as others'.

Stefka Tue 22-Sep-09 19:46:50

Thank you - I will try and get my hands on that book. My worst time is when I go to bed. I just can't sleep for the anxiety, it's horrible. The breathing helped last night though.

Laugs Tue 22-Sep-09 20:17:51

Have you ever tried a hypnosis cd? I have one that helps me when I feel like that in bed.

Can you exercise a few hours before bed too, to try and get rid of the pent up energy?

adelicatequestion Tue 22-Sep-09 22:28:35

I can reduce my anxiety with breathing that I was taught which involves breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.

The important bit (especially in the middle of a panic attack) is to breathe out for a couple of counts longer than you breathe in.

Hope this helps someone. Practice it when you are not in the throws of anxiety/panic and it will be easier when you are.

Laugs Wed 23-Sep-09 11:21:52

Actually, I started a yoga class at the weekend, and that seems to be the essence of breathing in yoga too: really concentrate on the out breath, make it long and drawn out. Breathe out through the mouth. Let the in breath take care of itself, breathing softly and gently through mouth or nose, whichever is more natural. 'Trust your body to inhale on its own' the teacher said. Maybe yoga would help you?

Stefka Wed 23-Sep-09 20:41:36

I would really like to try yoga actually - I think it would be good for me.

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