In August Barnes & Noble (one of the largest book retailer in the USA) announced a huge increase in the sales of books about anxiety; a 25% increase on last year’s figures. Everyone can remember a time when they felt anxious, but what is anxiety, the mental health disorder? And how do you manage when your anxiety feels like it’s getting out of hand?
Anxiety disorders aren’t just about everyday worries that come and go, they can seriously impact your day-to-day life when it comes to school, work, and personal relationships. Anxiety related mental health conditions can feel completely overwhelming and more people are looking for ways to cope. In fact, 8% of people are currently experiencing anxiety and depression, with 75% of young people not receiving treatment.
So what practical steps can you take to better manage your anxiety? The first step is to change your relationship to it. Everyone experiences anxiety. It is a normal response to stress. Rather than trying to fight it when it shows up (which doesn’t really work, making you feel more overwhelmed), take a moment to see what it is trying to bring to your attention.
Playing safe and avoiding things and situations which make you anxious can make it worse. Push yourself to do things that are outside of your comfort zone and show yourself that you can feel anxious and still succeed. Remind yourself that your mind is not always the best advisor. Our minds like to constantly tell stories, analyse, judge, give advice, and criticise. Often these thoughts are unhelpful to us and not true. You get to decide whether the thoughts are worthy of your attention.
Look after yourself. Make sure that you are maintaining social support and talking to other people to get different points of view. Eat well and make sure you’re getting enough sleep and exercise. When you give yourself time and attention you improve your resilience and stress management.
Make sure that you build time into your life to relax, rest and switch off. Sometimes a change of scenery or a relaxation practice can move you away from your anxious thoughts.
Sometimes anxiety can be difficult to manage without professional help and finding a therapist who you connect with is crucial. A good fit is someone with whom you feel comfortable and trust who is knowledgeable about the evidence-based treatment of anxiety disorders.
Working with a hypnotherapist may help you feel more confident and more at ease about things which have previously been challenging for you says the NCH. A qualified clinical hypnotherapist can assist individuals in learning to better understand anxiety and change their relationship to their anxious thoughts and feelings.
“Hypnotherapy unlocks the potential you have to break free of negative thought patterns, and to react more positively and more confidently to situations in your life that may have previously made you anxious.”
To contact your nearest NCH-registered therapist and start the process of shedding your anxieties, simply click here.