Over the last week I've been blogging about A.N.X.I.E.T.Y., and now we're on Y, the last of my emails, where I'm going to focus on you – the most important subject of all.
As I mentioned yesterday, at times we may all need professional help, and there's no shame in seeking this through your doctor. However, if you understand your triggers and the way your body and mind work together, you can help yourself overcome anxiety and learn to be your own therapist, which is surely good in the long term. Here are some of the key points from each of the blogs:
Adrenaline is what lies behind the palpitations, perspiration, racing thoughts and shaking associated with anxiety. We need adrenaline to survive, and in certain situations anxiety is helpful, so you'll never get rid of anxiety completely. Fighting it will make it worse; acceptance is the way through.
Now is the only time that matters. Worrying about all the things that could go wrong in the future doesn't make life any more predictable—it only keeps us from enjoying the good things happening in the present. Learn to live with uncertainty and let go of the need for immediate solutions to life's problems.
X-cellence is an exhausting pursuit. No one can be perfect at everything, all the time, so give yourself a break. Being good enough is plenty.
Insomnia. A lack of sleep can exacerbate anxious thoughts and feelings, and it's easy to end up in a vicious circle, worrying about sleeplessness. The more you learn to slow your racing mind, the easier it will be to let go of your problems and get a good night's rest.
Exhalation. When practised regularly, deep breathing can reduce anxiety symptoms and increase feelings of relaxation and emotional well-being.
Triggers to anxiety can't be avoided entirely, but we can learn to recognise our vulnerabilities and greater understanding can go a long way to helping us manage our reactions.
You will come through anxiety. Remember, when you feel panic rising or overwhelmed by anxious thoughts, you are not alone. There are times I struggle to use these tools too, but for the most part they are very helpful when I do use them, and when I'm just too edgy to do anything other than be a bundle of nerves, I try reassuring myself that at some point this feeling will pass.
Finally, I'd just like to say thank you for reading. I hope you've found this week's emails helpful. If so, why not them print out and keep them to hand somewhere, so when you're having an anxious day you can dip into them again?
A Moodscope member.
Every day during Mental Health Awareness Week, Moodscope are giving away a signed copy of Sarah Rayner's new novel, Another Night, Another Day, which is available exclusively from Waterstones. Today is your last chance to enter. Just email email@example.com with 'Giveaway' as the subject and we'll pick one person each day to receive a free signed copy.
The Moodscope Team.