Coping with anxiety

Take time out

It’s impossible to think clearly when you are flooded with fear or entirety. The first thing to do is take time out so you can physically come down. Distract yourself from the worry for 15 minutes by having some fresh air or making a cup of tea.

Breath through panic

If you start to get a faster heartbeat or sweating palms, the best thing is not to fight it. Stay where you are and simply feel the panic without trying to distract yourself. Breathe slowly and deeply. The goal is to help the mind to get used to coping with panic, which takes the fear of fear away.

Face your fears

Avoiding fee is only makes them scarier. Whatever your fear, if you face it, it should start to fade.

Imagine the worst

Try imagining the worst thing that can happen, perhaps it’s panicking and having a heart attack. Then try to think yourself into having a heart attack. It’s just not possible. The fear will run away the more you chase it

Look at the evidence

It sometimes helps to challenge fearful thoughts. Example, if you’re scared of getting trapped in the lift and suffocating, ask yourself if you have ever heard of this happening to someone. Ask yourself what you would say to a friend who had a similar fear.

Do not try to be perfect

Life is full of stresses, yet many of us feel that our lives must be perfect. Birthdays and setbacks will always happen, and it’s important to remember that life is messy.

Visualise a happy place

Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine a place of safety and calm. It could be a picture of you walking on a beautiful beach, or snuggled up in bed with the cat next to you, all the happy memories from childhood. Let the positive feelings soothe you until you feel more relaxed.

Talk about it

Sharing fears takes away a lot of the scariness. Try to talk to a partner, friend or family member.

Go back to basics

Lots of people tend to alcohol or drugs to cope with anxiety, but this will only make matters worse. Simple, every day things like a good night sleep or working on a puzzle are often the best cure for anxiety

Reward yourself

Finally, give yourself a treat. Well you have made that the core you have been dreading, for example, reinforce your success by treating yourself to a good bath, or whatever home activities that makes you happy.

Page last reviewed: 6 April, 2020