More than two million Australians suffer from anxiety. To mark World Mental Health Day on 10 October, we asked Beyondblue for tips on how to manage when stress strikes.
1. Slow down your breathing. When you’re anxious your breathing becomes faster and more shallow, which means you’re exhaling carbon dioxide more quickly than is ideal. This triggers greater feelings of anxiety. To combat that, count to three as you breathe in then count to three as you breathe out. Make your breath out as long as your breath in. 2. Challenge your inner dialogue. Try to imagine different interpretations of a situation that’s making you anxious, rather than jumping to the worst-case scenario.
3. Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Things like exercise, good nutrition, reduced stress and adequate sleep can make a big difference in helping you manage anxiety, as can spending time in nature and connecting with people you like. 4. Learn from others. Talking with others who also experience anxiety can help you feel less isolated in your experience. Support groups or online forums can be safe spaces to get help and you can also visit beyondblue.org.au.
5. Stay in the moment. Anxiety makes you worry about a terrible future that hasn’t actually happened. Try to bring yourself back to where you are right now. Do this by noticing five things you can hear, five things you can see and five things you can touch.