Mental Health Awareness Week 2023
May 15th – 21st marks mental health awareness week where the focus this year is around anxiety. Many of us experience some form of anxiety from time to time, but what actually is it and what can we do to tackle it?
Anxiety can be a debilitating condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It's an overwhelming feeling of unease, worry, and fear that can interfere with daily life. And a lot of the time, it can come on without warning and without explanation. Fortunately, there are various strategies you can employ to tackle anxiety head-on and regain control over your emotional well-being.
Understand Your Anxiety:
The first step in tackling anxiety is to gain a deeper understanding of what triggers it and how it manifests in your life. Keep a journal to record your anxious thoughts, situations, and physical sensations. By identifying patterns, you can start to recognize the root causes of your anxiety, which will enable you to address them more effectively.
Practice Deep Breathing and Meditation:
Deep breathing exercises and meditation techniques are powerful tools to calm an anxious mind. When you feel anxiety creeping in, take slow, deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. This simple practice activates the relaxation response in your body, soothing the nervous system and reducing anxiety levels. Meditation, even for a few minutes each day, helps cultivate mindfulness and promotes a sense of inner peace and tranquillity.
Challenge Negative Thoughts:
Anxiety often leeds on negative and irrational thoughts. Challenge these thoughts by asking yourself if they are realistic or if there is evidence to support them. Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations and realistic perspectives. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques can be particularly useful in changing negative thinking patterns.
Connect with Supportive People:
Maintaining social connections and seeking support from loved ones can make a significant difference in your journey to overcome anxiety. Share your feelings with trusted friends or family members who can provide a listening ear and offer support. Consider joining support groups or seeking professional help from therapists who specialize in anxiety disorders.
Self-care is crucial when dealing with anxiety. Make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as reading, painting, listening to music, or taking a bath. Take care of your physical health by nourishing your body with a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep. Remember, self-care is not selfish; it's an essential part of maintaining mental well-being.
Speak to professionals:
There are many organisations that can be accessed that can provide positive mental health support online, by telephone and face to face. One such organisation is CiC Wellbeing. Also partners of Gravity Co, CiC Wellbeing ensure that all Gravity Co members have an outlet to reach out to, should they ever need it, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.