Stress can be good for us in small doses but long-term stress can have a big impact on wellbeing and physical health. If you’re currently struggling with this, you may find the following advice useful.
Tips for Coping with Stress and Anxiety
Avoid triggers. If you’re aware of things that definitely trigger stress and anxiety, you can do your best to avoid it. It won’t always be obvious what’s behind it though.
Change your thinking. It’s common for people with anxiety to always see the worst in a situation. These negative thoughts can inadvertently trigger anxiety symptoms. Changing your thought patterns to look at things in a more positive way can help.
Retrain your breathing. Stress and tension has an effect on your breathing. Rather than breathing deeply from your abdomen, you’ll probably find yourself breathing faster and from your chest. Refocusing your breathing pattern can reduce tension and increase oxygen supplies to the brain and muscles. This can be challenging if you’ve got used to shallow breathing but it can help to reduce some of the physical symptoms of anxiety.
Exercise. Exercise releases feel-good chemicals known as endorphins which can improve wellbeing. Yoga can also help you to relax.
Look at your diet. A healthy diet can go some way towards improving wellbeing. As well as making sure that you eat well, you may also find it useful to limit some things from your diet. For example, caffeine can make you feel even more on edge and anxious. Caffeine and sugar also provide a quick ‘high’, followed by a slump in energy and mood.
Get rid of unhelpful coping mechanisms. Some people cope with stress by smoking, drinking alcohol, substance misuse (including over-the-counter medicines) and cutting themselves off from friends, family and the outside world. This can exaggerate stress and anxiety.
How We Can Help
Not everyone will be able to manage stress and anxiety through these tips alone. If you feel that you need extra support to cope with stress and anxiety, we’re here to help.
We deliver several services and activities that can offer support for stress and anxiety:
– The Phoenix Group is a self-support group in which members meet regularly to talk about their mental health and offer support to each other. Spaces are limited so please call us on 01332 341633 to confirm whether there are spaces available.
– Counselling can help you to work through mental health issues. Some of the women who come to us for counselling support are dealing with issues such as domestic violence but many others are gaining support with mental health issues. Our counsellors are all female.
– Our social and creative activities are ideal opportunities to learn new skills and meet new people. Many of the women who have come to our workshops and coffee mornings have made good friends with other service users and find the activities a useful way to cope with stress and anxiety.
Do you suffer from anxiety? Let us know how you’ve learnt to cope.