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How to deal with Anxiety Symptoms

Lesson
Materials
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How Can I manage my anxiety symptoms?

To start with, I want to remind you about the anxiety reaction – remember the brain perceives a threat and the body reacts instantly.

Once this reaction has taken place, there is nothing we can do to stop it from happening so we must learn to and practice minimising the symptoms.

Here are 3 easy steps for instant help…

  1. Learn to Breathe – breathing is the enemy of the anxiety reaction. Oxygen dilutes the Cortisol much more quickly
  2. Tell your friends and family – teach them the techniques so that they can help you
  3. Practice breathing – practice when you are not anxious to maintain the benefits and help to relax you

You can also learn some relaxation techniques which we will come to later in the course. The more you practice brain relaxation and focus, the easier it will be to tap into.

Let’s look in a little more detail at our 3 quick steps to help you deal with an anxiety reaction.

  1. Learn to breathe – there are many different ways that you can do this, but I like a technique called square breathing. Remember that any breathing technique will be difficult to keep up whilst you are experiencing an anxiety reaction but this one is easy to remember and therefore easy to recall

We’re going to do this together, so I want you to practice with me. We are going to breathe in for 4, hold for 4, breathe out for 4 and hold for 4.

Are you ready? Let’s begin

In 2, 3, 4

Hold 2, 3, 4

Out 2, 3, 4

Hold 2, 3, 4

And again…

In 2, 3, 4

Hold 2, 3, 4

Out 2, 3, 4

Hold 2, 3, 4

Now let’s try on our own (repeat twice more)

You might feel a little light-headed when you practice at first that’s just all the yummy oxygen coming in to chase your symptoms away!

Practice this breathing technique as much as you can. It’s one you can do anywhere, anytime, so no excuses!

Now, let’s work through the other steps to help you manage your symptoms…

  1. Tell your friends and family – people essentially want to help or feel like they’re helping. So, you’re almost doing them a favour by inviting them to help you.

Another thing to consider is that if you become anxious around friends and family, they do not always understand that this is the problem. They may panic themselves or they may become impatient with you. Neither of these reactions are helpful.

Bonus!!!!

By telling your friends what the problem is, they can become part of your very own support team.

  • Now you know what anxiety is, explain it to them
  • Establish a word or phrase that you can use confidentially to let them know you’re feeling anxious
  • Once they hear the word, get them to ask you to rate your anxiety / discomfort level 1-10
  • They must remain calm, take you somewhere away from crowds and as private as possible
  • Together, practice the square breathing technique (that you will have taught them!)
  • After a couple of minutes, ask them to rate the levels again. Hopefully they are lower, if not, repeat!

BONUS!!! They will also feel more relaxed and energised! It’s a win win!

Finally – PRACTICE!!

Practice breathing as often as you can. It can never do you any harm and by concentrating on the breath, you are actually practising mindfulness. Other relaxing activities such as walking in nature, a bubble bath, yoga etc. will all help your long-term health and wellbeing.

How clever are you? Really clever actually, because you now know what anxiety is and how you can deal with that annoying reaction when it hits!

Next, we’ll look at how you can take preventative steps to minimise your anxiety reactions.