Self-Managing Anxiety


In this article we’ll look at some tips to help you self manage anxiety.

Self-Managing Anxiety

This article has been medically approved by Pharmacist Sumaiya Patel - GPhC Reg No: 2215078

Anxiety is, unfortunately, a normal part of life. We may all be affected by anxiety in different ways and at different times. If you haven’t already, check out our article ‘What Is Anxiety?’. There you’ll find more information on the causes and symptoms of anxiety.

Below, we’ll look into some ways that you could try to self-manage your anxiety.

The tips below may help you to manage feelings of anxiety. However, if your anxiety is disrupting daily life or causing you distress, you should consider seeking further help. There is no shame in asking for help. Talking to someone you trust about how you’re feeling could be a relief. If you aren’t able to talk to someone close to you, the Samaritans and Anxiety UK both run helplines that you can call to talk to someone.

Try to manage your worries

When you have anxiety, it can be hard to stop worrying and you might have worries you can’t control. Sometimes you might feel like worrying feels useful, or that something bad will happen if you stop.

You might find it helpful to try to manage your worries. There are a few ways to do this, so you might want to try different methods to see what works for you. For example, you could:

  • Set aside a specific time to focus on your worries. It may be helpful to set a timer. This way you know you haven’t forgotten to think about them.
  • Write down your worries and keep them somewhere, like a notebook or on pieces of paper in a jar.
  • Try to understand your anxiety triggers by keeping a diary of what you are doing and how you feel at different times. This way you can identify what causes you to have anxious feelings and act on this.
  • Challenge or reframe your anxious thoughts. Tackling unhelpful thoughts can help you to feel less anxious.

Look after your physical health

Looking after your physical wellbeing can improve your mental wellbeing.

Try to get enough sleep, as this will give you the energy to cope with difficult feelings and experiences. If you struggle falling or staying asleep, Mind, the mental health charity has an article full of advice on How to cope with sleep problems.

Make sure you are eating regularly and keeping your blood sugar stable. This can make all the difference to your mood and energy levels and can also help you to think more clearly.

Fresh air and exercise can be really helpful for your mental wellbeing. Try to do some physical activity, even if it’s just a walk around the garden.

Breathing and relaxation

Some people find breathing, and relaxation exercises helpful. Mind has a page with tips and exercises to help you relax, and the NHS Website has a calming breathing technique.

Can mindfulness help with anxiety?

Some people find that mindfulness can help them with some anxiety disorders, but others say it makes them feel worse.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) does not recommend mindfulness exercises for social anxiety.[1]

If you do want to try mindfulness, it’s best to try it with a trained professional first, if possible. You can also get advice from a doctor or therapist before trying by yourself.

Peer support

Peer support brings together people who’ve had similar experiences so they can support each other. Many people find that it helps them to learn and share ideas about how to stay well, connect with others, and feel less alone. You’ll also be able to connect with people who understand what you may be going through or how you may be feeling.

There are plenty of resources online to provide more information on whether peer support is the right choice for you.

Complementary and alternative therapy

There are many different types of complementary therapy that you could try. Yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, massage, reflexology, herbal treatments, Bach flower remedies, CBD, and hypnotherapy are just some of the options. Some people find that these methods can help them to improve mood, relax, and even sleep better.

More Information

For more information, check out our article on Treatments for Anxiety.