How to cope with anxiety and panic attacks

What is anxiety?

If you find you are often worrying, if you feel nervous a lot of the time and you are restless and on edge, then your feelings of anxiety may be a symptom of a mental health condition such as generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias or obsessive compulsive disorder.

It is common for all of us to feel worried and be anxious sometimes, but if you feel your anxiety is causing you problems, for instance if you can’t relax, have disturbed sleep or are experiencing panic attacks without a clear trigger, then perhaps you could benefit from some support from a mental health professional to help you better manage your anxiety. Apply now for free support from Able Futures

 

Anxiety illustration

What causes anxiety?

There are many reasons why we may feel anxious, but if you are struggling with nervousness and worry for prolonged periods of time it may be that your physical and psychological background has triggered you to experience an anxiety disorder. The NHS explains that generalised anxiety disorder may be caused by triggers such as an imbalance of chemicals serotonin and noradrenaline in the brain, or having a history of traumatic or stressful experiences, or a long-term physical health condition, so you should not judge yourself for experiencing anxiety.

Feelings of anxiety can cause us to experience physical and mental symptoms like nausea and a fluttering feeling in your stomach, a thumping heartbeat, hot flushes, grinding your teeth, having a sense of dread, worrying that gets out of proportion about your future or your anxiety or how people might see you, or dissociation.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, it may be that anxiety has become a problem that is impacting on your ability to live your life as you want to. You could get free help from a mental health professional to help you understand your anxiety and reduce its impact on your life and your work. Apply now for Able Futures.

 

How can I help myself deal with anxiety?

Looking after yourself by eating regularly and balancing your blood sugar levels, getting enough sleep and doing some exercise can all help your body feel stronger and more able to cope when something triggers your anxiety.

Self-care for your mind is also important and you could try talking to someone you trust – a friend or a peer, someone from Able Futures, or a helpline from the Samaritans or Anxiety UK will all listen and show they care about you. Keeping a diary where you note what happens when you feel anxious can also help. It could help you to try to manage your worries so that you have them written down and can try to come back to think about them at specific times instead of thinking about them all day.  

From Able Futures you could find someone to talk to about your anxiety and any other issues which are affecting your mental health and a mental health professional can give you more ideas on how to look after yourself and access help and advice that you need.

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Access to Work Mental Health Support Service: Freephone 0800 321 3137