Stress and fear are conditions that we are designed to experience. They are related to the mammalian part of the brain that governed us through our evolutionary journey (how far would we get if we responded without fear to an approaching threat?). Anxiety is a response to stress and fear while experiencing some threat. And whilst it may have been helpful in some circumstances, anxiety’s persistent and consistent presence causes an intolerable strain on us. What ways are there to reduce this anxiousness and manage our response?

Anxiety, or at least the neurotransmitters adrenaline and cortisol, are a requirement for survival. Our ability to react to a threat has seen us survive and evolve. But much like the three bears’ porridge, it’s best when it’s ‘just right’. However, what can be more often the case is that the porridge is too hot, the threat response overloads our system. How this may have happened can be explored in therapy. Yet there are some techniques below which you may find helpful to consider when looking at ways to reduce anxiety.

Breathe

One significant way we can reduce anxiety is to breath. As simple as it sounds, your breath regulates your heartrate and blood flow. Anxiety will increase both and as mentioned surge neurotransmitters around your body that increase the anxiety. While the problem won’t necessarily go away, we are looking to find a calm or calmer state to manage the situation.

The 4-7-8 breathing pattern can be helpful to do this:

  • Breathe in for 4 seconds
  • Hold your breath for 7 seconds
  • Exhale slowly for 8 seconds
  • Repeat until you feel calmer.

Write the Anxiety Down

Unbeknownst to us, our thoughts can be running at rapid speed. Both in awareness and out of conscious awareness, our thoughts are often racing around. While it may be difficult at times to talk about what you’re thinking, setting aside some time to write out your thoughts can be a great way to reduce their intensity and perhaps cause you to doubt their validity.

Sleep hygiene

Sleep is the body’s and mind’s way to recharge and heal from the day. By early evening the body is preparing itself for rest. And while there may be the odd late night, a continued lack of consistency in a bedtime routine can contribute to mental health issues such as anxiety. Decide on a reasonable sleep routine. Look at being consistent not only with the times but also with how you prepare for rest. Consider removing visual stimulants before bedtime. This may not just be your devices but includes any dramas, documentaries, films etc that are deeply engaging. Monitor to see what improvements if any you notice.

Speak to a person you can trust

A trusted friend can be a great source of easing the anxiety you’re feeling. There is something therapeutic in being able to share what’s on your mind, especially if the thoughts are confusing. You will need to make your own judgment on who you know you can trust. Not only to listen but to listen without judgement as well as not wanting to just tell you how they’d do it. If that is not an option, seeking the help from professional therapist is an important and helpful step. Therapy can help find techniques to ease the anxiety and seek to understand where it stemmed from.

NOTE: Please note that this article is general signposting and is not a specific endorsement or recommendation by Ben Jackson Coaching.

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No-cost

Appointment Times: Weekday, daytime sessions
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Maximum Sessions Available: 9

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Low Cost

Appointment Times: Weekday, daytime sessions
Availability: Limited spaces
Maximum Sessions Available: 20

Cost Per Session: £20

Standard

Appointment Times: Weekday and evening appointments only
Availability: Greater available sessions
Maximum Sessions Available: Unlimited

Cost Per Session: £60

Premium

Appointment Times: Weekday appointments either morning and evening, plus access to weekend appointments
Availability: Rapid access: no waiting list
Maximum Sessions Available: Unlimited

Cost Per Session: £90

** Clients can stop or pause therapy at any time. There is no obligation to attend all sessions.

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