10 Practical Ways to Manage your Anxiety

Do you remember when you were a teenager and your moods swung from euphoric to depressed and back again with regular monotony? Although we didn’t know it at the time this was the result of hormonal mayhem when our reproductive hormones swung into action. 

 

Unfortunately far too many of us forget how our hormones affect our moods, and getting hormone levels looked at is probably the very last thing women try when trying to address a bewildering variety of anxiety symptoms that seem to come out of the blue. These typically come on in your forties. 

 

This may mean that you have to put extra effort into looking after yourself through the current pandemic.  It’s important that you don’t automatically look after yourself last,  so here are 10 practical things you can do

 

  1. Indulge your curiosity

 Check out this article with links to 19 virtual tours of museums 

 

  1. Laugh a lot

 Although scientific evidence could be stronger, a variety of the medical benefits of laughter have been supported through research and virtually all studies of laughter and health indicate positive results. The authors of a small study in Jan 2019 linked to a number of such studies which claim that laughter has beneficial effects on

 

  • stress
  • dementia
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • anxiety

 

There are even studies which claim that laughter has a positive influence on the immune system In 1989 Psycho Neuro Immunologist, Dr Lee Berk of Loma University medical Centre California did a study on 10 healthy males in 1989 and saw that cortisol had decreased and that there were increased levels natural killer cells which attack tumour cells and virus.

 Laughter Yoga classes started to appear in 1995 and many people seem to find them therapeutic. There are a number of laughter yoga sessions on YouTube which you might want to try here 

 

  1. Escape with a book

A good story can not only take you out of yourself it can provide you with an emotional connection to relatable characters and a stable source of companionship when you feel alone. The Guardian shared a reading list for these times here 

 

Perhaps now is the time to try audio books company Audible which offer a 30 days trial. They are also streaming a whole collection of children’s stories for free whilst the schools are closed. These include a lot of literary classics that you have never quite got round to reading.

 

  1. Get moving to shift your mood

Personal Coach Joe Wickes has a whole library of videos for every age group – from kids to seniors. These are completely free to access. 

 

  1. Remember the power of words

 Think about picking a positive personal mantra and repeating it.  These may be things “Like when one door closes another one opens” or a line from a favourite song or poem like “Every little thing gonna be alright” from Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds.

 

Try to use positive statements instead of negative ones like “I’m so stressed” this can make a big difference to how you feel and how others react to you.

 

  1. Connect to talk, share and play

You’re not alone in this digital age. Free to download Houseparty lets you video chat in a group or even play games with up to 8 people via your smartphone. It’s been around since 2016 and was previously the province of mostly teens and twenties but we can all take advantage now ;-)

 

  1. Learn New Skills

This keeps your mind focused and gives you a sense of purpose. There are any number of “How to videos” on You Tube and huge number of online courses offered via Coursera. This includes free ones which you can find here one of which is the science of Well-Being.

 

  1. Get out in nature

According to Mind spending time in a green space or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing.  There are some nature ideas here 

 

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation and Channel 5’s Dr Amir Khan have joined forces for people to become Nature Doctors in their own garden. Why not get involved?  Check this out here 

 

  1. Mindfulness - to quiet a busy mind

Many people find this helpful – there is a very good Mindful Breathing Exercise here and there is a course here. Scroll down the bottom of the page to try the free introduction before deciding if you would like to pay the £30 joining fee

 

  1. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill

Use these 3 steps to help you keep perspective

 

  1. In your mind say “Stop – I am not going down that path again”
  2. Breathe deeply focusing on your breaths for a couple of minutes to calm yourself
  3. Refocus – talk to someone close to you to get a more grounded perspective or ask yourself “Will this matter in 5 years? Or 5 months?”

 

These are enormously challenging times so we will all feel some level of anxiety. However, if you were feeling terribly anxious before the coronavirus even appeared you may be suffering from a hormonal imbalance.

 

This could probably be addressed so don’t wait to seek treatment until your symptoms are so severe that you can’t function, please get in touch for a Menopause Consultation.  Like my GP service this can be done via a remote consultation using online technology. The cost is £200.

 

If you want to see me for this or as a new patient because you are struggling to get advice from your usual GP about other health matters please ring for an appointment via 020 7935 3351 rather than e-mail.

 

I hope this helps, look after yourself.                      

 

 

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