Stressed or anxious?

This section of the self-help toolkit is all about the way that anxiety can affect us. Anxiety is a very normal part of everyday life but sometimes…

Learn ways to relax

The first thing to try is to learn ways to relax and to use these techniques regularly during your week. Learning relaxation takes a bit of practice, so don’t worry if it doesn’t work straight away. For guidance on how to get the most of relaxation have a look here click to download document – ‘ Tips for Relaxation’

If you use an iPhone there are some free apps that you can download and listen when it suits you, for example:Relax Completely Hypno Therapy Direct

Challenge your anxious thoughts

The next step is to to identify and challenge your anxious thoughts. When you are feeling anxious try and write down what thoughts are going through your mind. Then, you can use these questions to try and challenge the thoughts click to download document – ‘Alternatives to Anxious Thoughts’

Break the cycle of avoidance

Finally, it is important to start thinking about things you avoid due to anxiety. Avoiding things that make you anxious works in the short-term but generally, the more you avoid, the more anxious you become. To overcome anxiety it is important to break the cycle of avoidance. One approach to this is called graded exposure, which just means you take it step by step. For a very clear handout and example diary on how to use graded exposure from the BBC look here http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/headroom/cbt/graded_exposure.pdf

Books on Anxiety

If you would like to find out more we recommend reading these books, which are available for free in Hammersmith & Fulham libraries:

Overcoming anxiety a self-help guide using cognitive behavioral techniques by Helen Kennerly.

An introduction to coping with anxiety by Brenda Hogan and Lee Brosan.

To find out which libraries have these books available search here

Organisations

If you would like to find out about other people who may be feeling the same way, you can contact these organisations:

www.nopanic.org.uk – a charity for people who have an anxiety problem

www.anxietyuk.org.uk – offers for help, information and support in dealing with anxiety.

Types of anxiety

There are also very specific types of anxiety, when your anxious thoughts and become centered around a very specific situation or fear. You may start avoiding more and more situations because they make you feel anxious and you may have to change your everyday life because of your anxiety.

If you are extremely frightened of a specific animal (e.g. spiders, bees, birds) or situation (e.g. dentists, planes) you may have a Specific Phobia.

If you find that your anxiety is very intense and your heart races and breathing speeds up very quickly you may be suffering from Panic Attacks

If it’s really hard to leave the house or travel any distance away because you think you might start to feel anxious or unwell then you may be suffering fromAgoraphobia

If, when you are talking to people you are often afraid that they don’t like you or think badly of you or you find it very hard to speak in front of groups of people then you may be suffering from Social Anxiety

If you can’t stop worrying about your health, even when doctors say there is nothing wrong then you may be suffering from Health Anxiety

If you find that you sometimes do things over and over again and have thoughts that you can’t get rid of no matter how hard to try then you may be suffering from Obsessive-compulsive Disorder

If you find that you are worrying constantly about lots of different things are you are always thinking ‘What If?’ and this stops you from getting on with everyday activities you may be suffering from Generalised Anxiety Disorder

If your anxiety is connected to a very upsetting and traumatic event, either recently or a long time ago then you may be suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

The good news is that Back on Track can offer you effective treatments that really work for all of these anxiety problems. Please contact us today for an assessment to find out more.