New blog – It’s been a while since my last post due to coping with things like having my identity stolen which took ages! However, I’m back! Having had to cope with such a turbulent experience made me think that it may be useful to share with Money Mental readers some of my tips for coping with anxiety. This can be in any situation you find yourself in, from an upcoming driving test, to an imminent job interview to suffering with daily panic attacks (like I do!). So without further ado here’s my top tips! I’m saying to use these for anything that’s coming up that you’re feeling anxious or nervous about but actually they’re good tips for life in general!
- Take time to yourself. Focus on something that helps you to relax. What helps you can vary from person to person but all of the following have been shown to help: Practicing yoga, listening to music, meditation, having a massage (really works for me), or learning relaxation/breathing techniques (you can do this via an app like headspace). Stepping back from the problem or the event that’s making you feel anxious can help clear your head and help make you feel like you’re coping again.
- Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Skipping meals can lead to your energy levels falling which can, in turn, increase the stress and anxiety on your body. Also keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand to eat if you feel yourself flagging.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks. I’ve often found myself having panic attacks and not realising why until I’ve thought about quite how many cups of coffee I’ve had that day! It’s amazing how much better I am at coping when I have LESS not more caffiene in my system!
- Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest. Often we find that we get less sleep at times of high stress which can help exacerbate the situation. Read my tips on getting enough sleep by clicking here.
- Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health. If you’re skeptical about the good that exercise can do then have a read about the benefits of exercise here. You might find it changes your life!
- Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly. When we’re feeling anxious we often start to hyperventilate which can lead to panic attacks. If you feel you’re not coping then just try focusing on breathing in and out slowly and methodically.
- Count to 10 slowly. Repeat, and count to 20 if necessary. This can help distract you from what you’re worried about.
- Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn’t possible, be proud of however close you get. I struggle with this one myself but it’s important to remember that it’s ok to follow. I used to have a manager who used to say that 99% of success is failure and it’s something that really resonated with me.
- Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think? A
- Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way. With that in mind I will be bringing back the money mental joke of the day on my youtube channel to help with this! If you want to subscribe then you can find the channel here.
- Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. This can take a lot of effort but the best way I find to do this is that when someone pays you a compliment (and they will) just accept it without questioning it. If someone asks how you are don’t answer with something like ‘I’m fine or I’m ok or not too bad’. Say you’re ‘brilliant’ or ‘amazing’ instead! You’ll be surprsied at the positive responses you get from others.
- Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress. I volunteer most Sundays at Brymbo heritage centre doing things like landscape gardening (which I never thought I would do) and can highly recommend volunteering. Incidentally, if you’re based in the Wrexham area why not come and join me at Brymbo heritage centre? You can find out more by clicking here.
- Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a pattern. It took me a long time to identify my triggers but being more conscious of them can help me realise and plan for situations that will make me anxious.
- Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you. Talk to a physician or therapist for professional help. I see a therapist every week and my doctor every four weeks (at the request of my doctor) and it helps to have that support around me.
- Spend time with your friends and family. When we’re feeling anxious there’s a tendency to withdraw and isolate ourselves. But if you do the opposite and spend more time with other people you’ll find that your anxiety diminishes a lot quicker than it will do if you’re at home worrying about things.
So there you have it. A quick return to blogging for Money Mental but hopefully these tips on coping with anxiety will prove useful, not just for those who have been diagnosed with anxiety like myself but also for those who haven’t but are finding themselves increasingly worried about something.
If you have any tips that you’d like to share from your experiences please do comment below. And don’t forget to follow money mental on Twitter by looking for the twitter handle @moneymentaluk
P.S. I will return to blogging about money topics soon as well!
Thanks for reading.