Self-help strategies to manage anxiety

Anxiety may come up when we’re in certain situations or be more prevalent in some areas of our lives, for example, work or in our relationships. Perhaps it shows itself more when we’re going through a stressful time or it may be caused by us having to perform in some way, like public speaking, job interviews or exams. Social or health anxiety is also common and can really be debilitating. 


Understanding anxiety

What are the symptoms of anxiety?

Anxiety can affect people’s lives in so many ways from keeping them stuck and avoiding certain situations like travel, social occasions or professional opportunities, for example. It can keep us in procrastination, worry and stress and even cause physical symptoms like nausea, tummy problems, IBS, insomnia, pain in the neck and shoulders or panic attacks.

What can cause anxiety? 

In my work, I utilise rapid transformational therapy to get to the root of why the anxiety is here today and it nearly always shows us that it’s coming from earlier in life (often from experiences in childhood). By understanding the root of the anxiety, clients are able to heal and let the cause go, this then helps the anxiety to lose its grip and people are able to feel much more confident and calm in their everyday lives.

Reducing anxiety with lifestyle changes 

I also teach my clients some simple lifestyle things that they can incorporate and change to be able to cope and overcome any anxious feelings when they arise. Three of these are what I want to share with you in this article.

These particular tips are classed as 'bottom-up' techniques, aiming to work by calming the body first, which then leads to the mind feeling the beneficial effects too.

Here are three lifestyle tweaks

Breathe: It sounds obvious but many of us are not breathing properly and therefore we are not utilising our best tool to settle the nervous system and create more calm in the mind and body. A simple tool to use is the 7-11 breath. This can help you reduce stress in a relatively short time and in the moment, plus if you do it regularly, you will feel calmer generally. Simply breathe in through the nostrils for a count of seven and exhale through the nose or mouth for a count of 11.

Here are some tips to get the most out of this technique:

  • Make sure you’re doing deep 'diaphragmatic breathing' rather than shallower lung breathing. This means breathing as deep down into your stomach as you can. Your diaphragm should be moving down and pushing your stomach when you take a breath.
  • If you find it difficult to breathe for the full seven and 11, then you can reduce it to a three-five count. Just make sure that the out-breath is longer than the in-breath. Practice this technique for five to 10 minutes, as often as you want to.

Walk: The continual movement, fresh air and change of environment of getting out and taking a walk can really help to elevate positive thoughts and change your mindset to a more helpful state of being. Try to walk daily and for at least 20 minutes.

As you walk, be mindful of your feet making contact with the ground. Relax and notice the sights and sounds that are around you. Swing your arms gently as you walk and rotate your shoulders from time to time, to loosen any tension that may be stuck there. You can listen to some of your favourite music or even an audiobook or podcast if you like. I can’t tell you enough how much walking can alleviate stress and improve your mood. It’s such a simple solution really!

Liquids: What you put in your body in the form of fluids is super-important. The first things I advise my clients to reduce are caffeine and alcohol. There is scientific evidence that both these stimulants can alter the brain’s chemistry and both are linked to possible increases in anxiety symptoms. Sugary drinks should also be avoided as they can cause highs and lows in the blood sugar levels which can alter the mood and cause an imbalance in the body.

Instead of caffeine, alcohol or fizzy, sugary drinks, drink plenty of water and try chamomile tea which has calming effects on the body and mind. If you’re like me and you’re a real coffee fan just try to reduce your intake to one to two small cups per day. (Some of my clients are drinking a lot more than that and that’s when they start to feel jittery, shaky, heart beating quickly etc.).

Thanks for reading! I hope these tips help you or someone you know who may be struggling at the moment. If you need any further help please do consider hypnotherapy, as it can be so helpful!

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London SE22 & NW1
Written by Becca Teers, DIP CBH MNCH (Reg) CNHC (Reg) GHR RTT
London SE22 & NW1

Becca Teers DIP CBH MNCH (Reg) CNHC (Reg) GHR

Hello and thanks for reading. I am a cognitive behavioural clinical hypnotherapist, certified RTT, NLP & EMDR practitioner and holistic therapist. I am passionate about helping my clients to overcome limiting beliefs and to empower them to make positive change.

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