Feeling anxious


When we feel anxious we often experience worry, body tension and physical changes such as an increased heart rate and blood pressure.

Feeling anxious can look and feel different for each person. Some of us might experience more physical, cognitive, emotional or behaviour symptoms. What does an anxious state look like for you?

Physical symptoms can include: a fast heart rate, muscle tension, shallow breathing, tight chest, nausea, fatigue.

Cognitive symptoms of anxiety include: racing thoughts, excessive worry, brain fog, poor concentration, trouble managing emotions, forgetfulness.

Emotional symptoms can include: fear, nervousness, irritablity, agitation, overwhelm, feeling paralysed

Behavioural symptoms can include: fidgeting, avoidance, restlessness, shaking, jumpy, sleeping difficulties, avoiding eye contact or procrastinating.

To better manage an anxious state, we can practice strategies to calm the body and the mind. Sometimes we experience certain symptoms more strongly - such as more anxious thoughts than body tension. Research shows that strategies you use to calm the body, will also calm the mind, and vice versa. This reflects the strong connection between our mind and body.

Try these exercises to calm the body:

  • Deep breathing
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Mindfulness exercises
  • Meditation
  • Grounding exercises

Try these exercises to calm the mind:

  • Write it out - do a brain dump
  • Reframe unhelpful thoughts
  • Deep breathing
  • Anchor your attention to the present
  • Exercise

If you experience persistent worry and tension and it is within your means to do so, we advise seeking help from a mental health practitioner to alleviate symptoms.

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