Help with anxiety
If you suffer from anxiety, you are not alone. According to mentalhealth.org.uk:
In 2013, there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety in the UK. In England women are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders as men.
It seems we live in the age of anxiety.
Anxiety can have many causes, elevated stress levels is one. To learn how to be less affected by stress and how to slow down, can help greatly to reduce anxiety.
Try this exercise.
This exercise can be done anywhere at any time.
First, become aware of your breathing. Do not judge it just observe how you breathe. Is it fast or slow, shallow or deep? Initially, when you learn this exercise it will help to sit down and place one of your hands on your belly. Now, take a breath in. Do you feel your belly rise when you breathe in? Now breathe out. Do you feel your stomach flatten out again? If not, you might be breathing too shallow into your chest and your belly does not move at all. Or, you might find that your belly actually flattens out when you breathe in. In either case, imagine the air you breathe in goes right down into your belly, where your navel is. Or imagine you are breathing into your belly and it inflates like a balloon when you inhale and deflates when you exhale. You can also try actively pushing out your belly when you breath in to get a feeling for the movement. Practice this until you find that your stomach is rising, when you breathe in and flattens out again when you breathe out. When you feel you got it, do this for a few minutes and notice how this affects you.
Practice this type of breathing daily or whenever you notice that you are starting to feel anxious or nervous. When you have a full-blown panic attack, this might not work so well.
What you are doing here is relearning our natural way of breathing. Look at babies and how their bellies go in and out with every breath. This is called diaphragmatic breathing. The more anxious or stressed we get the shallower and faster we breath. Because our minds and bodies are interactive, consciously reverting your breathing to deep and slow breathing signalises to your brain that you are relaxing. After a few minutes you begin to feel calmer. This exercise also takes you into the present moment and out of your head. Your awareness is on your belly and your breathing. This in itself can lead to a feeling of reduced anxiety.
Depending on the reasons for your anxiety the following things might be useful:
- Look at your lifestyle and your food: slow down and avoid stimulants like caffein, sugar and drugs.
- Good sleep is fundamental for our well being. If you struggle with insomnia or poor quality sleep, you might be interested in learning more about how to regain a good night sleep.
- If you feel powerless, try not to watch the news on TV, or reading the papers and do not listen to the radio news. These are full of anxiety provoking stories you can usually do nothing about.
- Make a point of focusing on the things that give you pleasure, joy and a feeling of calm, like listening to gentle music, or natural sounds; or looking at a nice picture or something in the room with you that draws you in a positive way.
These things can help you to manage your anxiety to some degree, but they will not help you to stop being anxious. For that you have to understand and deal with the underlying cause/s of your anxiety. If you want to change your experience of anxiety, have a look at this course: How to Manage Anxiety
Live your life with less anxiety
Wouldn't it be great, if you could stop worrying and ruminating, sleep better and feel your anxiety is no longer dominating your life?
Yes? Then my anxiety course might be a great fit for you.
Here is an overview of the course, so you have a clear idea of what we will be doing together.
First we will be looking at calming the system. You will get exercises that will help you calm your body and your mind. You will learn a lot about anxiety, stress and what to do manage either. We will look at the impact of mindsets and how to change them.
By doing this course you will learn many things that can help you to feel calm and more in control of how you respond to your experience.
This is an online on demand course. For more information click on the image below.
Here is what people say about the course
"I have read various books and articles about anxiety, but I found Britta’s course very helpful in addressing it in a methodical way with the opportunity to practice the various strategies, breathing techniques and share experiences within a supportive group setting." Jane (February 2019)
"Excellent course. Britta with her charismatic and relaxed manner breaks down the word 'anxiety’ into small easy to manage steps. Audio files, weekly handouts and simple exercises all build on the four week course and are very useful for continued development. I am a mature lady and I have suffered from anxiety all my life. This is the best course that I have attended."
N. Hodge (February 2019)
" I found the course to be very fulfilling & positive. Teachings were very useful for my general life and managing anxiety. Britta is a very intuitive therapist." anon (November 2018)
"Britta delivers an excellent course. The journey to a greater understanding of anxiety has been an invaluable 4 weeks. I have taken away so much and feel that I am better equipped to deal with whatever life brings my way. Thank you. M. L., Stirling (November 2018)
" A great course for understanding anxiety and how to deal with it" Trish C. (April 2018)
"A very enjoyable and powerful course! It has helped me to make changes + practice exercises which have reduced my anxiety. I would highly recommend it. Thank you Britta!" LM, Stirling (April 2018)
"This course really helped me to understand and deal with how I felt. It accomplished more than I was expecting and am so glad I went." C Bruce (April 2018)
If you suffer from sever anxiety, or you have experience chronic anxiety for a long time, you might find that none of these things will make much of a difference. In this case working with a counsellor might be your best choice. If you live in Stirling or Stirlingshire, I offer a free initial session! Get in touch! my contact details are at the top of this page.
Anxiety at work
In October 2019 a headline in the Independent said: "Four in ten people close to 'breaking point' at work, research claims!" Are you one of these people? Do you have sleepless nights and dread going to work, because it all feels too much?
Here are the top ten reasons people state in the UK for their feelings of stress and anxiety at work:
1. Amount of work in general
2. Lack of recognition/reward
5. The job itself
6. Company culture
7. Long hours
8. Amount of work compared to colleagues
10. Lack of Progression/career path
Are these the reasons that make you feel stressed and anxious too?
Here is the thing, all of theses reasons are external. By this I mean they are about the circumstances, for example your colleagues, or your work load, or the lack of recognition you get. The problem is, we have very little control over external factors. If you have an uncooperative colleague, or your boss does not acknowledge the hard work you are putting in, then there is not much you can do to change that. What you can change though is how you deal with this within yourself.
Have you noticed that some people are much better at coping with the same issues that you face? Why do you think this is? These people tend to have an ability to manage their stress and anxiety. What do they do that you don’t?
They tend to have ways of nourishing and recharging themselves throughout the day. They are able to have a perspective on the situation that makes them feel resilient. And they often have mindsets that support their wellbeing in difficult situations. In other words they have internal factors at play that help them to cope more effectively with what work and life in general throws at them.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can be like this yourself and if you want to learn how to manage your stress and anxiety at work better click on the image below.
Here is what people say about the course
"I learned a lot from participating in this course and I feel anything that helps with keeping me on an even keel and enjoying life is worth exploring further and doing. I looked forward to each session and there was always something I took away with me each week to reflect on and either use at work or consider differently. There are various materials to be read and tools to be tried out. It is not too onerous and it is all there to use in the future again and again." Aileen (April 2017)
"This was a really helpful course that was really useful for learning ways to not let stress get to you in the workplace. I was able to take away methods of regaining control of my thoughts in stressful situations and gain a better understanding of why I feel the way I do when I'm anxious and what to do about it. Thanks a lot." Emma E. (April 2017)
"Britta delivered the course very clearly and concisely, covering a range of work related issues to help to ease stress and anxiety at work." Katie (April 2017)
Books I can recommend
And finally here are a couple of books that I think are really good:
1) Susan Jeffers: Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway
This is a great book to help you to overcome fear and anxiety. There are many good exercises in there to help you.
Here is a link to her books and her website.
2)Trudy Scott: The Anti-anxiety Food Solution
I am a great believer in the power of food and nutrition. If you want to find out more about Trudy Scott and her take on nutrition, have a look here.