Are you suffering from anxiety? How would you know and what are the symptoms you need to look out for?

Anxiety can arise in many different situations and most of us suffer to an extent. For example, the current coronavirus pandemic has disrupted all our lives and inevitably can make us anxious.

When this feeling persists though and becomes more frequent, it can have a negative impact on your quality of life. Work, study and relationships can all suffer due to anxiety affecting your mental health.

Some common symptoms of anxiety can include:

- Panic attacks,
- Hot and cold flushes,
- Feeling tense,
- Excessive fear; and
- Avoiding situations that leave you feeling anxious.

People manage their anxiety in a variety of ways, what works for one doesn’t for another. In many ways, it’s almost a learning process, self-help, where you use your experiences to better handle situations that previously would have brought anxious feelings.

There are some well-known treatment therapies you can try to help alleviate your anxiety:

- Slow breathing. Your breathing becomes faster when you’re anxious so try to slow it down. Counting to three as you breathe in, then out, may help.
- Healthy lifestyle. A good diet, exercise and spending time with loved ones can reduce stress and bring feelings of positivity, meaning you’re less likely to feel anxious.
- Learn from others. Whether it’s a friend, loved one or even an online forum, you can get practical self-care tips from others which may also help you better manage your condition.
- Be Brave! Well, small steps at least can help you overcome any fears you may harbour as you realise you’re able to cope with a situation which previously made you anxious.
- Live in the present. Try not to over-analyse future scenarios, especially when it seems frightening. Live in the moment and trust yourself to make the right choices when dealing with everyday issues. Meditation helps to focus the mind.

There are other techniques and strategies for handling anxiety but, If the feeling becomes overwhelming, it’s recommended to seek professional help, such as your GP or through the NHS. Learning to handle your condition can prevent the onset of more serious illnesses, such as depression.



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