That jittery feeling. Nervousness culminates in your body as it bubbles up from the pit of your stomach. Blood rushing to your head, making you lightheaded and giddy. Your body stiffens like a statue, as your mind’s eyes witness yourself spiralling out of control, helplessly. All the time, looking perfectly put-together in front of others.
This is how some experience anxiety. I wonder, what is your version of anxiety? In our previous blog post, we talked about what anxiety is, its original function, the different types of anxiety disorders and its causes. Click here to read more about it.
In this week’s blog post, we want to undertake the perennial question of whether we can ever get rid of anxiety, completely. The short answer to that is, not permanently. But, don’t lose hope yet, because the symptoms can be managed and be kept at bay.
“A grapefruit is just a lemon that saw an opportunity and took advantage of it.”– Oscar Wilde
Managing Anxiety Symptoms
If you are experiencing mild or short-term anxiety episodes, there are multiple self-care strategies listed below that you can adopt to mitigate symptoms. However, these may not be effective for anxiety disorders that are serious or persistent, and you are strongly advised to seek the professional help of a psychologist or counsellor.
- Educate yourself about anxiety
There are multiple types of anxiety disorders as mentioned in our previous blog post and it is useful to know which you might be suffering from and what it means and entails. As you get down to the specifics, you would come to understand yourself more, as well as potential causes for your anxiety. I know it may sound like opening a can of worms, and that is not a delightful imagery to put into anyone’s mind, but it is better than being in the unknown and having your mind orchestrating the worst possible scenario there is. Not only so, understanding more helps you better manage your symptoms and possible roadblocks ahead. If this process sounds like something you need help in navigating, feel free to reach out to our psychologists and counsellors.
- Manage stress and practise mindfulness
Stress management is so crucial for people living in fast-paced cities like Singapore. Getting used to stress is not a form of stress management, neither is “sucking it up”. Our bodies may be built for acute stress which is short-term in nature, but not for chronic stress, which is long-term in nature. Therefore, learning to properly manage stress can be helpful in avoiding potential triggers. You could start by setting reasonable and attainable goals and expectations for yourself. When work or other pressing issues get daunting, learn to break it down into smaller tasks that are more manageable. While you plan your schedule around appointments and deadlines, be sure to put aside time for breaks or “me-time” where you engage in self-care.
Relaxation techniques like mindfulness practices, meditation and deep breathing exercises can also help you to decompress and unwind. By doing so, you are counteracting the effects anxiety has on your body by slowing down the fight-or-flight response and improving how you feel in the moment. Mindfulness, for instance, grounds you in the present moment, allowing you to release worries about the past and future. It is found to be a great way to calm anxious thoughts and regain awareness of the present moment.
- Keep a journal
It is common for individuals with anxiety to have negative thoughts circling in their minds for prolonged periods of time, and often, it keeps them awake late into the night, giving them insomnia. And the lack of sleep itself can affect moods and worsen anxiety. Hence, it might be helpful to write those thoughts down in a journal, as a “ritual” to release those thoughts, to allow the mind some respite. It is also a good opportunity to then reflect on those negative thoughts, and make a list of realistically positive thoughts to replace the former. But of course, give yourself ample time before bed to do so, so that your sleep duration is not compromised.
- Join support groups
Consider speaking to trusted loved ones like friends or family members that are supportive about what you are going through. Alternatively, you can join support groups, whether it is online or offline, where you would get to meet others of similar experience and find comfort in knowing that you are not alone, as well as, exchange concern, encouragement and coping strategies. It can be a very uplifting experience to be in a community of individuals who can understand and relate to you.
- Speak to a psychologist or counsellor
If coping with anxiety on your own is becoming too overwhelming, consider reaching out for professional help by speaking to a psychologist/counsellor/therapist. These professionals are learned in their respective fields and are well-endowed with research knowledge and first-hand experience working with different individuals with anxiety disorders. They would be able to guide you through understanding yourself and the disorder better, as well as chime in with fresh perspectives that may help you to reorganise or even rewrite your thoughts, and finally, tailor coping strategies to suit your needs, to aid in your healing journey. Therapies like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy are found to be effective in treating anxiety. If you would just like to have a chat about it, our therapists are more than happy to help!
A Kind Place supports and welcomes everyone from all walks of life, gender identity, orientation, and backgrounds. We offer free 15-minutes consultation for you to meet with your choice of therapist / psychologist / counsellor to support you on your journey of mental wellness. For any enquiries, Whatsapp us or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Reach out to us today!
If you are looking for any kind of assistance, including psychologists and counsellors in Singapore, counselling for men, anxiety counselling, couples counselling, hypnotherapy services or corporate wellness services, talk to us today!