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  • Writer's pictureCathy Stones

How To Manage Anxiety

How do people manage anxiety?

How to Manage Anxiety

Everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their lives. We all have feelings of worry or fear sometimes. These are normal responses to certain situations. For example; You may worry about meeting someone new, or not having enough money to pay the bills. The feelings you experience during these times highlight risks of the situation involved. This is called the fight or flight response. Longer term anxiety would be classified as an anxiety disorder (see What is anxiety) and is commonly associated with depression as well. To help you cope and manage anxiety, and the more extreme feelings of panic please read below for ways of coping with anxiety.

How to manage anxiety….

Finding the evidence

A short version of CBT might help. This involves meta thinking, observing your thoughts and challenging them. Are your thoughts true? For example, the biological response to anxiety give the mind feed back that something is wrong, reinforcing the idea that you need to be worried. So try and challenge this. A common thought is “I’m dying” with the onset of a panic attack. When was the last time you died as a result of having an anxiety attack or panic attack? If the answer is never, then perhaps you can find solace in this.

Questioning how rational your thoughts are can perhaps in hind sight provide you with enough evidence to suggest that all will be ok when the feelings lapse. What drives them is actually your thinking in most cases. Unless of course there is a biological reason – seek assistance from your GP in all cases to begin the process of looking after yourself.


This is simple…just breathe. When you feel like you’re getting anxious or worried practice breathing. Slow, consistent breathing into the stomach triggers a change in your nervous response system.

Have a go at this exercise

  • Try and sit comfortably somewhere calming if possible

  • Breathe in through your nose and into your stomach (deeply) slowly (4 seconds in)

  • Hold that for 1 second

  • Breathe out through your mouth slowly (4 seconds out)

  • Pause for 1 second

  • Continue this process 3 times

  • Then again breathing slowly in through your nose (5 seconds in)

  • Hold that for 2 seconds

  • And again breathe out through the mouth slowly (5 seconds out)

  • Pause for 2 seconds

  • Repeat this process until you can hold the breathe for 4 seconds

Consciously focusing on our breathing acts as a distraction, and also begins the process of relaxation.

Draw your anxiety

Take some coloured pens and simple spend time drawing your anxiety. Use the list below to consider what your anxiety would be in terms of;

  • Shape

  • Colour

  • Flower

  • Animal

  • Stone

  • Cartoon Character

  • Fruit

By simply spending time utilising this process it will distract your thoughts away from creating more anxiousness. It will also help you in describing your anxiety to yourself, a type of self discovery. The more you can change your understanding and perspective the better chance you have of managing and coping with anxiety and panic attacks.

Make mindfulness a routine – help manage anxiety

Take time each day, make it an absolute must in your day, to add mindfulness into your routine. Mindfulness has shown with evidence that it can actually reduce anxiety and depression by focusing on the ‘here and now’. By bringing your attention to what you are actually experiencing in the here and now it creates a break in being reactive. Mindfulness brings you to being aware of your body, your thoughts and feelings and can create some objectivity. You can also look at youtube for some guided mindfulness videos to get you started.

If you would like to know more please get in touch.


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