Top Tips for Reducing Anxiety
1 in 6 of us will suffer with anxiety in any given year. Couple that with the fact that it takes people, on average 10 years to seek the help that they need, the potential for anxiety to take over someone’s life is huge.
Here at Inspired to Change we work with people every day to help them overcome anxiety. For many of our Inspired to Change therapists it was our own struggles with anxiety that led us become hypnotherapists in the first place.
So we wanted to share with you some of our favourite top tips for reducing anxiety.
Tip 1 – Breathe
When we are feeling stressed we take short, shallow, fast breaths. By taking control of your breathing and slowing it down you can stop your stress response from taking over. Our favourite technique is called 7/11 breathing. Breathe in for the count of 7 and breathe out for the count of 11. Give it a try – you’ll feel so much more relaxed!
Tip 2 – Stop Worrying About What Everyone Else is Thinking
This is such a common cause of anxiety but the reality is often very different to our worrying thoughts. Most people are so caught up in their own stuff that they really don’t have the time to spend on thinking about us! And if they were thinking about us they certainly aren’t thinking what we think they are thinking!
Tip 3 – Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
No one is the same. Our situations are not the same. It makes no sense to compare yourself against something that is different – you wouldn’t compare apples to bananas! All each and every one of us can do is our best at that time, with what we have at that time. Allow yourself to acknowledge that you are doing you best and no one can do better than that.
Tip 4 – Stop Worrying about the “What if’s” and Start Focusing on the “What IS”
Check in to the reality around you rather than diving down the rabbit hole of every possible eventuality. A great way to do this is to look around you and use your senses to find something you can see, something you can hear, something you can feel, something you can taste. This helps to ground you in the here and now rather than time travelling off to those future worries.
Tip 5 – Take Control
Focus on the place in your body where you are feeling the anxiety. Give it a colour, shape, texture – even sound, movement and smell if you like. Start making changes to the features of your anxious feeling like change the colour to a more relaxing one, the sound to a more peaceful one…then try moving the feeling to a different place.
Tip 6 – Acknowledge the Good Stuff
When we are suffering from anxiety it often feels never ending. By taking the time to recognise the positive things that are happening all around us it allows us to see that there are gaps in the anxious thoughts, that we are able to be anxiety free, even just for a moment. These little glimmers are reassuring and give us something to build on.
Tip 7 – Relax
Take some time out to relax. Go for a walk, do some gardening, meditate, book a spa treatment – whatever helps you relax. It’s really important that we get some downtime in our busy lives to switch off. Book it in your diary and stick to it!
Tip 8 – Write a List
Many of our anxieties are around things we need to do and we don’t want to forget. We purposefully keep things going round in our mind so we don’t forget them. Writing them down on a list means we can get them out of our head in a safe place where we know they won’t be forgotten. It’s important not to see the list as a “To do” list as this will just cause more anxiety about how much you have to do! This is a “Things to remember” list which doesn’t have the same pressure attached to it.
Tip 9 – Focus on the Best Case Scenario
Our anxieties always get us thinking about the worst case scenario but the reality is that very rarely happens. Instead challenge yourself to imagine what the best case scenario could be – what would happen, how would that make you feel? It’s a great antidote to all the worrying thoughts and actually more likely to happen!
Tip 10 – Divert Your Attention
Be firm and say stop to the anxious thoughts! Divert yourself onto a different activity and engage fully with it. Give your brain a little peace – you’ll be surprised at how effective this can be!
Tip 11 – Find Some Certainty
Much of our anxiety is generated by fear of the unknown. There is much about our lives which is uncertain and that feeds in to our anxieties. By finding and focusing on the things that are certain it reassures and grounds our anxious mind.
If you’d like to find out how hypnotherapy can help you cope with pressure and get the results you want get in touch to book your FREE initial consultation with your local Inspired to Change hypnotherapist. Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are based across the UK in Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Devon, Kent, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Norfolk and Somerset.
Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are all recognised by the National Council for Hypnotherapy, the UK’s leading not-for-profit hypnotherapy professional association.
To find out how you can train as a solution focused hypnotherapist click here for our hypnotherapy school information