There are endless things to worry about – repaying your student loan or mortgage, keeping your job and managing relationships to name just a few. But what some people might not know about anxiety is that it can come hand-in-hand with depression.
According to research, people who have an anxiety disorder can be three to five times more likely to visit the doctor and six times more likely to see their GP for a mental health issue.
So here are five ways to take a proactive stance towards excessive worrying:
1. Become aware of your emotions
One of the first steps to address your worrying is to recognise when you are doing it. Studies suggest that people who label their emotions correctly are able to calm down a lot quicker.
2. Take a number of deep breaths
Taking deep breaths through your nose in to your diaphragm and then exhaling slowly reduces your body’s stress response. Even though this isn’t the most original piece of advice, it doesn’t mean that it’s any less effective.
3. Focus on the present
When you feel yourself drifting away to past or future moments, try to bring yourself back to the present moment. This is a practise called mindfulness. Mindfulness can lead to a reduction in worrying and anxiety.
4. Focus on only what you can control
Feeling in control of your situation can reduce worrying, anxiety and even in some cases, pain. So instead of imagining the worst case scenarios, focus on what is in your control – this can modulate your brain activity and reduce anxiety.
5. Try making a decision
Make a decision about what’s worrying you. This can elevate the perception of control over the event, which can increase your mood and give your confidence a boost.