Friday, 17 July 2020
Josh, our Jigsaw volunteer, talks to Jen, a Jigsaw clinician, about effective ways to manage anxiety.
Understanding anxiety is a really important first step in managing it. Anxiety can be difficult to experience but knowing that it’s not dangerous and not something that is going to cause us damage can help gain perspective.
There are lots of practical ways to manage the physical symptoms; things such as relaxation, deep breathing and grounding techniques. Different mental health apps like Stop, Breathe and Think or Worry Time can help you learn some very practical techniques to cope with the physical signs of anxiety.
Learning to be kinder to yourself
One of the really important things is looking at what we’re telling ourselves that is creating anxiety. Often we’re telling ourselves stories about our ability to cope. We need to learn how to be kind to ourselves and listen to what we’re saying to ourselves. Are we saying things to ourselves that we would never say to somebody else? Read more about dealing with self-criticism here.
Sometimes it’s helpful to look at the situations where you’re not feeling anxious. What’s going on there? What are you telling yourself then?
Reach out to others about anxiety
Another way to help manage anxiety is to reach out and talk to people around us. A lot of people experience anxiety, a lot more than admit it.
Within a group of friends or family members there will be people who’ve experienced it and who understand. They also might have some ideas and be able to help. Reaching out and being able to share your experience can be really helpful. Watch Lauren talk about what happened when she spoke to others about her anxiety.