Overcoing anxiety

In our latest two-part blog, we offer some tips on how to better understand, manage and overcome anxiety. Each part details five tips and testimonials from some of our clients who have made use of them in therapy or coaching. For more information on anxiety, read our other blogs on How to sport the signs of an anxiety or panic disorder and Understanding the link between low self-esteem and anxiety.

1. Emotions are messages

If you are experiencing anxiety then your brain and body is trying to tell you something important. Understanding anxiety, reduces anxiety, so try to discover the message contained in yours.

“I knew my life had been difficult. There was domestic violence in my family. I had to change schools a lot. My mum blamed me for her problems, and my father told me he had wanted a son not a daughter. And yet my anxiety only made sense to me when Mark linked it to all that had happened in my life. The sense of relief was immediate.” Yasmin

2. Boost your self-esteem

Anxiety is an emotion linked to threat and low self-esteem can be seen as a threat to someone’s ability to thrive and survive. Boosting self-esteem is a great way of reducing and overcoming anxiety.

“I was really struggling with anxiety, and it was seriously affecting my happiness and the strength of my business. I had techniques to help me manage my anxiety, but it still persisted. Therapy helped me confront what I had been in denial about. That I didn’t value myself.” Chris

3. Interrupting anxious patterns

Negative patterns of thinking, behaviour, feeling and relationships fuel anxiety. Interrupting those patterns by focusing attention on something else can be highly effective.

“Every time I saw my ex in a lecture, I would feel anxious and sometimes this would result in a panic attack. Mark asked me if I had anything on my phone such as photos or videos that meant a lot to me. There were some videos of my holiday to Greece last year with my two best friends. Mark suggested that whenever I began to feel panic that I plug my headphones in and watch the videos. It made such a difference although I’m not sure why something so simple worked so well.” Priya

4. Using stories

Most of us have a story we keep coming back to, one that stays with us. Whether it comes in the form of a film, book or play, the therapeutic value of a story should never be underestimated. If you have a story you keep coming back to, take another look at it.

“I am a 46-year-old middle-aged housewife who slowly came to realise she was unhappy. How else to explain regular outbursts of anger and secret, binge eating? Mark asked me about my favourite films and I told him about Dirty Dancing and Pretty Woman. He suggested they were about me. I was sceptical at first, but of course they are. That’s why I kept coming back to them. These two films have made such a difference to my life.” Deborah

5. The right strategy for the right goal

Why should a positive goal in life cause anxiety? One reason might be the strategy someone is using to achieve it is – unrealistic. Remember our first tip – to think of emotions as messages? Anxiety in this instance is saying: the goal is great, but you’ll need to find another strategy.

“This idea explained very simply why my diets had never worked. My aim of losing weight was fine, but the way I tried to lose weight was rubbish. Dealing with my depression helped me lose weight, not just eating less.’ June

Getting support for anxiety

We hope you have found this blog helpful. At Conversations With Impact, we offer a safe and confidential setting, where our clients can openly discuss their issues free from any judgement. For more details, please get in touch.