1 in 6 young people have anxiety in the United Kingdom. Anxiety triggers can include migraines, excessive sweating, and shortness of breath. Mamma Mia 2 actress Amanda Seyfried told Glamour that she often sees a therapist to cope with panic attacks and has to take medication. There are in fact ways to treat anxiety, and down below you will find an array of tips experts swear by:
Feel all your emotions
Give yourself permission to feel anxious, don’t try and resist it. If you want to cry, then cry. Tears alone can make you feel better and help your anxiety in the long-run. More often than not, anxiety is a reaction to trapped grief so you need to calm your nervous system. Chloe Brotheridge, a clinical hypnotherapist who specialises in counselling people with anxiety says: “Think of it as a brain training exercise, one that actually changes the structure of your brain. Allow the feelings to be there, and breathe through them instead. Take deep belly breaths, slightly lengthening the out-breath, to calm the fight or flight response. Paradoxically, when we accept anxious feelings, they pass by themselves.”
Shut down your social media
There will always be external pressures in your life. Lauren Rose, a psychotherapist in New York told Huffington Post that people can feel anxious based on their newsfeeds. She said: “Social media ― and the internet in general ― often heighten anxiety and fear, sometimes through encounters with inaccurate information or information not relevant to the particular situation”. Take time off from your online platforms and focus more on real life for a while.
Journaling can be an extremely helpful tool for stress relief. Start by journaling for 5 to 15 minutes. Write about what’s on your mind, and what’s bothering you. David Klow, licensed therapist and founder of Chicago’s Skylight Counseling Center says: “You don’t need to do anything in-depth or lengthy—just take five minutes or so a day to write down your thoughts, feelings, or ideas. This can be especially helpful if you want to keep track of changes in your moods or behaviour over time (maybe to discuss with a therapist later). But it can also just be a place to work through something in a private, non-judgemental space—something that you may not feel comfortable talking about just yet.”
Seek help from a professional
Emma Stone recently told the Wall Street Journal that before acting she suffered from panic attacks. She said: “The first time I had a panic attack I was sitting in my friend’s house, and I thought the house was burning down. I would go to the nurse at lunch most days and just wring my hands. I just needed to know that no one was going to die and nothing was going to change.”
Talking through things with a mental health professional could be hugely beneficial. They could help you break the unhealthy patterns and learn new, healthy ways of coping with anxiety.
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Author: Scarlett Victoria Clark
Scarlett Victoria Clark is Founder and Editor of SMART GIRL TRIBE and a multi-lingual journalist. She has also written for Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Women’s Health. When not writing she enjoys travelling and shopping for (more) heels.