• Accept that anxiety is a learned behaviour

Accept the uncertainty.  When you experience any unwanted feelings, look around yourself and reassure yourself that there are no dangers.   Then say to yourself “Thanks, but I don’t need any protection right now” 

  • Exercise for thirty minutes per day – ideally outside

Exercise has such a profound effect on mood and health that it has been proven to be an effective method for overcoming stress and anxiety.   Do something to get the body moving – dancing, walking, cycling, swimming, whatever you can do. 

  • Take some time out to relax

Take twenty minutes a day, just to simply relax – take some long, slow deep breaths (breathing out for longer than you breathe in) or listen to some meditation or hypnosis. Here’s a link to my podcast on anxiety – click here 

  • Eat three meals a day – choose nutritional foods, and limit your sugar, alcohol and caffeine intake

As anxiety is physiological, stimulants may have a considerable impact. 

  • Let some Joy into your life

Build a complimentary set of neural pathways so that your brain begins to default to feelings of joy and relaxation. Find something fun to do or find a purpose.  Listen to your favourite music or to something funny or volunteer or doing something for someone, achieve something.

The more you focus your brain on good feelings, the more it will notice them.

Whenever you become aware of a particularly good feeling in your body, put your hand on your heart and take a moment to acknowledge how good it feels. Next, give your mind the instruction to seek out more of this good feeling in the future or simply say out loud; “I feel good!” 

  • Talk to yourself in a confident way

Visualise some big, bold, positive pictures in your mind.

Remember – the more we think and focus on how we want life to be, this is how it will be. 

  • Use Anxiety Distraction Techniques

Distraction can be a good way to repel any sudden symptoms of anxiety.   This can also allow you to “take a step back from the world” and take a more considered approach to the situation, rather than a “reactive” one.

Distraction is simply taking your focus onto something else for a few moments. If you do this for around three minutes, you will find that any sudden symptoms will dissipate.  Here are some techniques: 

  1. Visualise being in your favourite place/favourite holiday destination, close your eyes and use all your senses to imagine it – what it looks like, sounds like and feels like to be there. 

  2. Count backwards with your eyes closed from 200 in multiples of 2 – if you forget where you were, simply pick up where you think you left off, and allow your mind to wander to wherever it chooses. 

  3. Engage in an something active i.e. go for a walk, or do something creative like drawing or painting – it doesn’t have to be perfect – do it for fun! 

  • Get plenty of sleep

Good quality sleep is essential for a healthy mind and body.  Lack of sleep can have a negative effect on your mood, and sleep deprivation increases anxiety levels.   Listen to my podcast on sleep to help with your sleep – click here. 

  • Block those anxious thoughts

Remember thoughts are transient, they are always changing and you can do that yourself:

As you become aware of any tension, take a deep breath in, pinch your fingers together and as you breathe out say “I choose to leave this thought” and throw it away physically – shake it off and imagine dumping it, chucking or flushing it away, (whatever works for you) and then replace it with something.   You could move your position, walk into another room, pick up a book or think of something pleasant or imagine that worry shrinking in size or flowing away or do a little dance (something to make you smile).  It helps to activate the areas of the brain associated with being more positive rather than those associated with fear.

<a href="https://summertownclinic.co.uk/author/linda-flanigan/" target="_self">Linda Flanigan</a>

Linda Flanigan

Talking Therapist

Linda Flanigan – Clinical Hypnotherapist, and NLP practitioner. Linda’s specialist interests include treating patients for anxiety, confidence, self-esteem, and phobias.If you'd like an appointment please ring us on 01865 558561
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