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Feeling a bit anxious & overwhelmed at the moment? Then perhaps try one of these...

It's a very strange time at the moment and I know alot of people are feeing a bit anxious, which is not at all surprising. I have done a bit of reading on anxiety, panic disorder & depression over the years as a few people close to me suffer from it. I have had short bouts of it over the years too, including during exam times (a long time ago now!) & more recently as a Mum when the kids have been very ill, so I know how devastatingly awful and debilitating it can be. Here is a summary of my findings... little tips that might help you, a friend or a loved one feel a bit less stressed. 
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// USE LOGIC to make worries less powerful (how likely is it really that the worry will happen? Most often than not, very unlikely)
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// DON'T GIVE WORRIES AIR TIME: don't think about the worries all day every day... the more you think about them, the more they will grow.
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// TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR WORRIES, remember you are in control of them, not the other way around. 
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 // RESET YOUR PHYSICAL SYSTEM through an activity such as colouring or exercise like running up and down the stairs, or riding a bike around the garden
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// RELAXATION: think about your breathing, think about your body and how your muscles are feeling. Think of something nice that makes you feel happy
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//  INTRODUCE AN ANXIETY SCALE via which you can asses your anxiety level (eg 1 being relaxed, and 10 being extremely scared). Think of what your anxiety level is, then try to work down the scale to a lower number. T hinking about a number employs a different part of the brain, which will immediately reduce anxiety.
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// PHYSICAL COMFORT: hug a family member or friend, it will release relaxation hormones such as serotonin
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// TALK TO SOMEONE: a problem shared is a problem halved
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// GO FOR A WALK and listen to the birds and notice the trees etc
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// LOOK UP AT THE STARS: it can help put your worries into perspective realising how enormous the universe is.
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//  HAVE A COLD SHOWER or plunge your face into cold water as it causes the heart rate to slow.
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// REMEMBER IT WILL PASS: if you are having a panic attack or a very anxious day, it will pass and it's not life threatening and tomorrow will be better
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// GET PHYSICAL: rigorous exercise is one of the most widely recognised anxiety reduction techniques. The key is to work the body very hard in rhythmic activity such as running or jumping jacks. Try high impact exercise that involves brain power too, like obstacle courses or challenging yoga poses.
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//  TRY THE BOUNCE: this is standing and bouncing gently up and down on the balls of your feet, letting your heels rise and fall, never quite touching the ground. Add a little shake of your hands
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// YOGA & PILATES: numerous of their poses promote relaxation. Try standing with arms by side, back straight, look ahead and close yes and imagine the crown of your head lifting upward, as your feet remain firmly planed. Just a few deep breaths in this posture can provide a strong sense of feeling grounded.
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// GUIDED VISUALISATION: this involves painting a relaxing picture with words while you vividly imagine being in that safe place
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// MINDFULNESS, in particular focusing on breathing and the in and out flow or breath, the sensations at the tips of your nostrils, the movement of your belly etc. Try dragon breath, which is breathing a big breath in through your nose and opening your mouth as wide as possible and exhaling like you are blowing fire
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// TRY TO BE HERE IN THE NOW - which is just noticing and accepting what your senses are experiencing, RIGHT NOW. eg notice your feet on the floor, or your bottom on your chair 
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// MARTIAL ARTS such as taekwondo or judo are great for reducing anxiety
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// MASSAGE, REFLEXOLOGY are great for helping with anxiety 
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// ACUPUNCTURE, now clinically proven to help with depression & anxiety
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// JOIN A TEAM and play a sport 
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//TAKE UP A HOBBY such as hiking, swimming, knitting or photography
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// FIND YOUR IKIGAI: find what makes you tick and get out of bed in the morning! 
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// TAKE UP GARDENING and watch your plants flourish & grow
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// EAT HEALTHILY: absorbing the right nutrients will help your body combat anxiety.
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// DRINK KEFIR: I like the chuckling goat pure unpasteurised kefir. Having the right bacteria in our gut has been scientifically proven to help with anxiety and stress 
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// MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE OPTIMUM LEVEL OF MICRONUTRIENTS IN YOUR BODY: in particular vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium, zinc and iron. You will need to have a blood test to check. If any of these are out then that could be contributing to your low mood
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// GET YOUR KEY HORMONE LEVELS CHECKED: again you will need to have a blood test. In particular check your thyroid, oestrogen and cortisol levels.
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//  HAVE A CHANGE OF SCENERY, it helps to see the problem or worry more clearly and put it into perspective
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// PUT A HAND ON YOUR SOLAR PLEXUS, which is the centre of the chest. Warmth in this area is a signal to the body to relax
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// STIMULATE YOUR OTHER SENSES eg a lovely smell, beautiful picture, delicious food, nice music etc to take the focus away from feeling anxious
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// WATCH a movie... it’s good escapism!
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// LISTEN TO YOUR FAVOURITE SONGS: these really works for me! Pump up the volume and get lots in the music... try really up lifting tracks (I like Drink to that by Rihanna!) or chill out music for relaxation
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// READ A BOOK: will help you take your mind off your worries for a bit
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// COLOUR: surround yourself with it... wear a colourful top or do some painting
or colouring!
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// PHOTOGRAPHY: take photos
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// COOK
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// CREATE something: anything, just make something from scratch! Whether its friendship bracelet to a clay pot!
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.// AVOID AVOIDANCE IF POSSIBLE, you need to face your fears, though just gently...
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// AVOID crutches such as alcohol, cigarettes or energy drinks if possible
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// Try to get as much sleep as possible
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Obviously I am not a qualified doctor so if none of these help then you may need CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) which is supposed to be brilliant & extremely effective... or to see a doctor to talk about further tests and medication.
Apparently 80% of people with anxiety & panic disorder can employ methods to get rid of it... so if it’s ruining your life then seek help.
Xx

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