Alice is 21 years old and decided to get involved with Student Life to share her own experiences.
Research reports that 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem each year and in 2013 there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety recorded in the UK. Anxiety is a feeling that most of us experience at some point in our lives, and can be a useful bodily reaction to certain events and incidents; allowing you to react faster and blood to flow quicker to areas that need it most. But for some, anxiety can start affecting their daily lives when there is no profound need for an anxiety response to a situation.
Writing this article took me a lot of time, to put in to words how I feel and admitting that I have mental health disorder, but it doesn’t define me, or change me as a person. I’ve suffered with general anxiety disorder for a number of years, suffering with it on and off at different time periods. I find it quite hard to voice what exactly I’m worried or anxious about but my body will be reacting like I’m in danger.
Anxiety varies person to person, and people find different things to help them. Below are some tips that I have found to help when I feel anxious and you may find useful when experiencing moments of anxiety or methods to just help yourself relax:
Concentrate on five things you can hear, feel and see, this allows you to distract yourself away from how you might be feeling and concentrate on what’s going on around you.
A problem shared is a problem halved
If there is something that is making you feel particularly anxious, talk to someone and let them know how you are feeling and talk it over, once speaking about your worries they might not seem as big or you may find solutions to help reduce your anxiety.
Focus on your breathing
A really good technique I have found when I begin to feel anxious or experience a panic attack is to focus on my breathing. The 7/11 technique makes you focus on taking slow deep breaths. Breathe in for the count of 7 and breathe out for 11, allowing you to gain composure and begin to feel relaxed and grounded.
Don’t avoid situations
There may be certain situations that make you feel particularly anxious, but try not to avoid them as this will only make things worse. Going to a certain place or being in a certain situation may feel uncomfortable at the time, but once completed reward yourself, doesn’t matter how big or small the reward is it might even be a nice relaxing bath or a Costa Coffee!
When my anxiety is really bad I often feel as though I have little or no energy, but exercise often takes your mind off things, allows you to view things more rationally and releases endorphins that will make you feel better!