This is the most common type of mental illness, it’s a normal response to situations that we see as threatening and it can be caused by many factors. Anxiety can cause a person to experience physical symptoms such as restlessness, fatigue, interrupted sleep, tense muscles and in severe cases, high blood pressure. Anxiety can affect the way we feel, think, behave and the way our body works.
Self help plan can be created by:
- Understanding anxiety better and tackling some of the causes.
After the cause of your anxiety is known, it should be clearly written out and a problem-solving approach should be utilized by thinking how you solved similar problems in the past or asking a friend what they might do if they had same problem or asking a health professional. Write down all the possible solution.
Next, choose what seems to be the best option and write down all the steps it would take to achieve that solution.
- Reducing physical symptoms
It’s important to recognize early signs of tension, this can prevent anxiety becoming severe by using relaxation techniques such as watching TV, reading a book, walking a pet, exercising or listening to music. Deep muscle relaxation techniques, controlled breathing and distractions are also very useful in reducing physical symptoms of anxiety. Relaxation techniques should be practiced daily.
- Altering your thoughts related to anxiety
Anxious thoughts can be controlled by first writing down any frightening thoughts then work to break the vicious cycle by managing worry through these approaches:
- By setting a convenient time for yourself each day which can be “worry time” where you can allow yourself 20-30 minutes quiet time for problem solving.
- Becoming more comfortable with uncertainty.
- Mindfulness: by observing what is happening with calm, non-judging awareness, allowing thoughts and feelings to come and go without getting caught up in them.
- Changing your behaviors related to anxiety
Tackle fears or anxious situations in a gradual way instead of avoiding or escaping from it because the more you avoid it, the more difficult it will seem to overcome it.