17 Dec Stop worrying get happy
Excess stress can affect your mood, relationships, work life and even your health. Follow our tips to knock anxiety on the head for good…
Six ways to sort it
Work it out
Physical activity is the best way to quash worry, as it triggers the release of feel-good endorphins. And heading outside to exercise is even better – research from the University of Essex has found getting active in a green area, such as a park, boosts mood and self-esteem, reducing anxiety.
Solving difficulties head-on will help melt away anxiety. ‘When people avoid problems, they fester,’ says psychologist Dr Shannon Snapp. As soon as you face your dilemma, you’ll feel more in control and less stressed. Also, talk it out with your partner or a friend so you have some support.
See fun friends
Spend time with people who lift and lighten your mood. ‘Take a look at who’s in your life and what they bring to it,’ says psychologist Katie-ane Goldin. ‘Nurture positive friends who brighten up your
day. Weed out negative ones who drag you down.’
Expressing feelings of gratitude can make you more optimistic and lower anxiety levels, so you sleep better. Write down five things you’re grateful for every week.
Trying to be perfect = stress! To escape the ‘superwoman trap’, life coach Georgina Burnett (footprintcoaching.org.uk) suggests listing your life priorities. ‘For example, health, career, marriage and children,’ she says. ‘Now put them in order of importance. Whenever you feel stressed, think of the list and focus on what matters most to you.’
Be diet wise
Eat regularly. Low blood sugar levels can trigger panic attacks, so eat healthy food little and often.
Cut down on caffeine and avoid alcohol, as these can increase anxiety
Try this cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) exercise:
- Write down what you’re anxious about and how it’s making you feel.
- Now write down a more rational thought. For example, if your partner’s home late and your mind’s
gone straight to the worst case scenario, write the more likely reason he’s been delayed, such as traffic jams. Notice how you feel now – chances are, you’re much calmer.
- Try to do this whenever a worry enters your mind to help you think rationally.
With this app you can track what’s bothering you and log the outcomes – so next time you’re anxious about something similar, you’ll realise there’s no need to be. iPhone and iPad, £1.49
The whole family can benefit from this app. The mindfulness programmes cater for kids from seven years old to adults – all delivered in soothing Aussie tones. iPhone, iPad and Android, Free
This is meditation made simple. It’s delivered in relaxing 10-minute sessions by a former Buddhist monk to help you destress and be more mindful. iPhone and Android, £4.99 a month (10-day free trial)
Too busy to sit still and meditate? You don’t have to with this app, which helps you chill on the move. There are three short tracks to focus your mind on your body and surroundings. iPhone, iPad and Android, £1.49
You can tell this app where you are, be it the gym, walking, commuting or at home, then pick a style of meditation that suits the situation, and choose from male or female voices. £3.99, iPhone and iPad