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Tips on Managing Anxiety

16/04/2014 11:01 BST | Updated 15/06/2014 10:59 BST

Anxiety Hypnotherapy is the most common thing I see my clients for.

Here I put together 5 tips that, if you put them into practise, should help you to regain control and feel less anxious.

The art of distraction

Just because anxious thoughts or feelings are coming up, doesn't mean you have to engage with them. Perfect the art of distraction by doing something else engaging when you feel that way. When you notice anxious thought patterns tell yourself 'STOP' and quickly find something else to do. Pick up the phone and talk to a friend, do something physical or creative, or practise some breathing or writing (see below).

Don't believe your thoughts

We have a tendency to get carried away with the thoughts in our heads and believe they are true. Remember this; your thoughts are not facts. Much of the time our thoughts are distorted and are not realistic or rational. Sometimes just realising this can take the power out of them.

Journalling

There's something about writing things down that helps to get things out and put them in perspective. Every morning, or just when you need to, write down a stream of consciousness. Note any worries, anxious feelings, frustrations or just musings. Next, make a list of all the things you're grateful for. This has been shown to boost happiness! After that, write about how you would like to be thinking, feeling and behaving, starting with 'I am'. For example, 'I am feeling calm and in control'. This sends a message to your subconscious about how you want things to be, and by stating 'I am' your subconscious starts to take it on board as fact.

Breathe

This breathing exercise is like a short circuit for anxiety. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system which turns off 'fight or flight' and instils 'rest and digest' mode. Breathe in for a quick count of 7 and then out for a quick count of 11. When you breathe in allow your belly to expand like a balloon and as you breathe out let your belly flatten. Try for a few minutes or for as long as you like.

Rational response

This CBT technique involves writing down all your repetitive negative or worried thoughts and then trying to 'answer back' to the thought in a rational way. For example if you think 'I'm no good at anything' you could answer back 'There are some things I am less good at although there are many that I am good at. If I keep trying I will get better'.

Remember, these tips only work if you put them into practise. Please share this article with anyone you think may benefit from it.

What tips do you have for managing anxiety? Write them in the comments below.

For more on anxiety and hypnotherapy in London get in touch!