Anxiety Self-Help – 10 Strategies That Work
Are you considering anxiety self-help as a way to move forward from your fears and worries? You are unlikely to be the only one. The Office of National Statistics has just announced some extraordinary numbers in the UK today. They have estimated that around 25 million people have experienced high levels of anxiety after the lockdown. That is a phenomenal number and shows that a mental health crisis is brewing in the UK.
In fact, anything happening in the UK is likely to be replicated around the world. The sheer demand for help to deal with anxiety is currently going through the roof and one of the first places that people are going to look is at online self-help products.
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Online Self-Help for Anxiety
The main reason why online self-help for anxiety is so popular at the moment is that it is a relatively cheap way of helping you to manage your fear. It is also incredibly accessible which is so important at the moment as doctors surgeries are a place that I am sure you want to avoid.
The question is what methods of self-help might be useful for anxiety and which ones should you not bother with. I have created a list of ten anxiety self-help methods which you can use today. Some of them are free! You may need to use a combination of methods to get the best results for you.
Anxiety Self- Help Books
The first place to start is with anxiety self-help books. Why are these so important? Educating yourself about why you have your anxiety can make a huge difference in how you feel. When you understand the science and psychology behind the problem it takes some of the fear away. Knowledge is power as they say.
Doctors in general practice rarely get time to go into detail with you about what you are feeling and thinking whilst anxious. A book can if you take the time to read what is really going on. It can explain why your chest might be pounding or why you might feel impending doom.
Anxiety self-help books also give you tools and strategies to change the way you think. Again you need to practice the exercises in the books but if you do you should start to see some great positive changes.
If you want to know my recommendations then I have a full guide to the best books for anxiety on another blog. You can read what is most suitable for children, adults, social anxiety, OCD and much more.
Here is something that is simple and free and known to help lower anxiety, exercise. Now I am not talking about you running a marathon or spending five hours in a gym. Sustained regular exercise such as walking, riding a bike or even yoga can all help to change your mood.
If you are feeling too much adrenaline in your body from anxiety then you need to find a way to burn it off. This is where a slightly more rigorous exercise may help. So up your walking to a faster pace or pedal that little bit harder. If you just need to relax then pilates or yoga might be more useful.
There is some form of exercise that most people can use and most cost you very little. Anxiety UK state that regular exercise can help with:
- Stress and Tension
- Energy Levels
- Reduction in anger
- General Mood
What’s not to love? Resolve to timetable something in your diary every day and start to feel the worry dissolving away.
Breathing and Anxiety
Yes, I know you are breathing all day every day but are you doing it correctly and is the way that you breathe making you more anxious? A great illustration of this is people who experience breathing problems during a panic attack. They feel that it is impossible to catch their breath and they start to panic that they are not getting enough oxygen and that they could die.
The reality is that in most of these cases the person concerned is getting too much oxygen and not enough carbon dioxide. This is caused by breathing too fast and the breaths that are taken are too shallow. The way to counteract this is to breathe slower and take deeper breaths.
There are tons of breathing exercises that can help you to lower your anxiety levels all over the internet. Here is one of my favourites. Just breathe in for the count of 7 and then breathe out for the count of 11. Such a simple technique but it has a magnificent calming effect. Practice this regularly and watch your anxiety get lower.
Self-Hypnosis for Anxiety
Ever heard of self-hypnosis? If not you are missing a trick it is one of the easiest and simplest ways that I get my clients to feel calmer. Yes, you can learn how to do this professionally from a hypnotherapist but there is no need when anxiety hypnosis downloads can be so easily downloaded.
I give all my clients downloads from my best selling stop anxiety self-hypnosis program. There is an audio that can help most situations including generalised anxiety, panic attacks, help for sleep, deep relaxation as well as worrying and negative thinking. Just choose the audio that is most helpful for you at that moment and start listening.
The key to making self-hypnosis for anxiety work is regular practice and listening. You shouldn’t just listen to the audio a couple of times and expect a miracle cure. Instead, the guided meditations for anxiety need to be listened to daily for at least 21 days. Self-hypnosis has a cumulative effect so over time you should see a lessening in your anxiety levels.
Distraction for Anxiety
You may not have noticed but anxiety is usually worse when you have nothing to do. So you can be fine all day when you are busy at work but when you get home and plonk yourself down on the sofa your mind has time to think. That thinking can soon turn into worry or fear and a feeling of being on edge.
To make matters worse most anxiety sufferers think inwardly. In other words, they pay attention to their thoughts and feelings far more than others do. So if I experienced a sudden pain in my wrist I would usually ignore it as I know its likely to be gone in seconds. Someone with anxiety will immediately fixate on that feeling and start to panic that there is something wrong with them.
Distraction activities become the perfect way to become absorbed in something else so that you stop yourself brooding or worrying. It doesn’t matter what activity it is so long as it takes your mind off whatever is happening. Bake a cake, play a computer game, phone a friend or learn a new skill. Anything that allows you to distract your thoughts can be useful.
Distraction activities alone are usually not enough to stop anxiety but they can be helpful when combined with self-hypnosis or exercise and so on. You need to find the right combination of anxiety self-help methods to make a difference.
Anxiety journals can be a great way for you to manage anxiety. They help in two ways. Firstly you can get the thoughts that are whirling around your mind onto paper so that you can examine them rationally rather than allowing them to take up too much headspace.
Secondly, anxiety journals are a great way of helping you to identify your triggers. Anxiety triggers come in all shapes and forms and often it can be difficult to identify just exactly what is pushing your buttons. When you start to write down when you were experiencing anxiety and who you were with and where you are it starts to make more sense.
I use similar exercises with my clients. I want them to understand what might be behind their problem. Understanding helps to reduce fear. So if you know that meeting a certain person at work sets off your anxiety then you can take steps to do something about it. Are they rude? Do they remind you of someone who upset you? Are they an authority figure? Work out the reasons for your anxiety and you are halfway to stopping it.
My Thoughtful Diary is a great example of an anxiety journal that can help you make positive changes to the way that you feel.
We also have anxiety tracking printables that can be used to understand what is causing your stress and worry. Learn how to identify your anxiety triggers so that you can put in place strategies to overcome unhelpful thought patterns.
Get Better Sleep
If there is one thing that you must absolutely do if you want to get to grips with your anxiety then it is getting a great nights sleep. I can tell you that my clients who have insomnia have significantly worse anxiety than those that sleep like a baby.
Sleep makes everything feel better. When you are well-rested you are calmer and more in control. You have better energy levels and you are more able to rationalise your situation rather than feeling panic or worry.
So how do you get better sleep? Firstly you need to tackle any bad lifestyle habits that may have crept into your life and secondly you need to find a way to quieten your mind.
Some simple tips for a good nights sleep include:
- Switching off electronics well before bed
- No TV in the bedroom
- No bringing work home or working late
- No going to bed too early – always go later
- Not sitting in bed when your mind can’t switch off. Get up and read a book but nothing else.
- Listening to a self-hypnosis for sleep audio as you fall asleep
If my clients have insomnia I make them follow a strict sleep routine for a week and give them a guided meditation for sleep to listen to in bed. In the majority of cases, my clients are sleeping normally again within days. Want to try the sleep audio for yourself? You can purchase it in my online store or as part of the anxiety download set.
Self-Help for Anxiety – Mindfulness
Mindfulness for anxiety is another great tool to stop your mind racing and thinking the very worst. Anxiety is a curious thing because in fact, it is a part of your mind that is plotting and planning for a future that hasn’t even happened yet. You might worry about crashing your car or ending up in hospital but in reality, neither of those two things are real they are just imagined.
Mindfulness is a tool to help you concentrate on what is happening right at this moment rather than allowing your imagination to run riot about the future. There are so many useful tools out there to help you with Mindfulness. I love Mindfulness colouring books such as this adult colouring book to help you reduce stress and distract your mind.
If however you want a book that tells you how to actually practise mindfulness in your daily life then you can’t go wrong with Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World.
Creativity to Stop Anxiety
Some therapists would argue that anxiety is larger when you have needs that are not being met. That might be not getting enough love or security or not feeling fulfilled in your life. When you have a part of your life that isn’t working well anxiety starts to fill the gap.
I know that for many of my client’s anxiety is increased by the fact that they are in jobs that they don’t enjoy. They spend day after day either bored or unfulfilled doing the same thing over and over again. The creative part of their mind can, therefore, run riot creating anxiety.
Using your creative part of your brain to do something you love is really important. When your creative brain is stimulated it leaves less room for the worry. Ask yourself is there something that you would like to do that can use that creative part. Have you ever fancied painting, producing pottery, sewing or even creating DIY projects?
Find some areas that might interest you and get started. You don’t need to spend a fortune you just need something that you love to occupy you in the short term. In the longer term you can actually think about retraining or setting up your own business but for now, you just need to get creative.
Anxiety Self-Help Program
Finally last but not least an anxiety self-help program is probably the most comprehensive way of resolving anxiety issues without seeing a therapist. I created my anxiety program to help people who were unable to see me in person. It consists of videos, audio downloads and exercises involving CBT techniques, NLP, Coaching and Mindfulness to help you change the way you feel.
My anxiety reduction methods have been used with thousands of clients over the years to manage their anxiety effectively and easily. All you need to get access to the program is a computer, tablet or mobile phone. When you busy the course you are guided through a series of video sessions to help you understand your anxiety and to take control of it.
This comprehensive toolkit hasn’t been written by a celebrity or a publishing house but a therapist in practice who deals with anxiety clients every day. This is why I know it can help. To get your anxiety self-help program just follow the link to download your copy and start making changes to the way that you feel today.
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