So many factors can contribute to feelings of anxiety such as relationships, starting or losing a job, exams, things to do with money or struggling to meet basic needs to name a few. As you can imagine, the outcome can impact the health and well-being of a person but simply becoming aware will change this in a heartbeat.
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems we face yet still, the challenges are not taken seriously enough. From a recent study carried out by the Mental Health Foundation, six in ten adults feel this way, so never feel like you are alone.
Here at OM Magazine, we have looked into some coping mechanisms to help combat any feelings of anxiety.
We can’t talk about mental health and not mention The G.O.A.T (greatest of all time) of mental well-being; mediation. A practice that intentionally draws our attention to our mind and to take time out of our busy day to sit quietly and focus on our breath. Giving yourself this time helps to become aware of your thoughts but allow them to pass and connect with your breath once more, bringing yourself back to the present moment.
Research and studies have shown a multitude of health benefits for your body such as improving sleep, decreasing blood pressure and may reduce age-related memory loss, but its biggest impact is shown to reduce stress, depression and anxiety. In an 8-week study, meditating daily reduced anxiety symptoms and increased positive self-awareness and improved stress reactivity.
Just like the gym or any new habit, you are trying to adhere to, consistency is what matters most. You have nothing to lose as it’s a free practice that you can do anywhere and anytime. To aid with your meditation you can turn to YouTube for free meditation music or you can download a brilliant free app called Insight Timer which has a variety of meditation and sleep music as well as guided meditations. Some other apps you could try are; HeadSpace, Calm: Sleep & Meditation, Meditation Studio or Balance: Mediation & Sleep.
A five-step method that can help ground you when you’re feeling anxious or in panic and bring you back to the present moment. Before starting the technique, pay attention to your breath and ensure you are taking deep, slow, long breaths, this will help to return you to a calmer state;
• Notice FIVE things you can see around you
• Notice FOUR things you can touch around you
• Notice THREE things you can hear
• Notice TWO things you can smell
• Notice ONE thing you can taste
A quick natural remedy, if you’re experiencing some sporadic anxious thoughts, is to literally walk away from the situation. A bit like meditation, this is a great way to focus on your body and surroundings rather than your mind. Exercise can boost your mood and send that lovely little happy chemical around your body, serotonin. If you find yourself with a bit more time, perhaps this would be a great chance to grab your mat and try out some Yoga. Not only does it improve your flexibility, and posture and reduces stress but it’s an incredibly powerful mindfulness practice. If you’re new to Yoga or you’re a seasoned Yogi, there’s a great Youtube channel called ‘Yoga With Adrian’ which caters for all abilities. If you wanted to treat yourself to some classes and meet like-minded individuals in the process, Plymouth has some great studios such as Yoga Loft, Space to Move Ltd or The Yoga Sanctuary Ltd.
Getting into the habit of writing down your thoughts and emotions is such a great tool to keep track of how you feel but it also can help to recognise what’s causing certain. The practice itself can be calming for some as it’s another avenue of checking in with yourself and taking the time out of your day to focus on yourself.
Tips on how to create a workspace that promotes mental wellness – https://www.freeofficefinder.com/article/how-to-ensure-your-office-space-promotes-mental-wellness