Anxiety - 7 tips to cope

Anxiety and stress can affect us all in different ways - in some cases it can even begin to affect our personal life or harm productivity school or college.

Prevention of anxiety essentially involves an awareness of life's stresses and your own ability to cope with them. We spoke with Dr. Mark Winwood from AXA PPP healthcare, he offered us some helpful advice.


1. Write down your worries.

Keep a pad and pencil on you, or type into your phone, or on a laptop/ PC. When you experience anxiety, write down your worries. Writing down is harder work than simply thinking them, so your negative thoughts are likely to disappear sooner.

2. Create an anxiety worry period.

Choose one or two 10 minute "worry periods" each day, time you can devote to anxiety. During your worry period, focus only on negative, anxious thoughts without trying to correct them. The rest of the day, however, is to be designated free of anxiety. When anxious thoughts come into your head during the day, write them down and "postpone" them to your worry period. This sounds crazy but I have found it really helps - it gives you permission to worry.

3. Accept uncertainty.

Unfortunately, worrying about all the things that could go wrong doesn't make life any more predictable-it only keeps you from enjoying the good things happening in the present. Learn to accept uncertainty and not require immediate solutions.

4. Try and learn about your panic.

Simply knowing more about panic can go a long way towards relieving your distress. So read up on anxiety, panic disorder, and the fight-or-flight response experienced during a panic attack. You'll learn that the sensations and feelings you have when you panic are normal and that you aren't going crazy. and that the attack will not kill you.

5. Avoid smoking and caffeine.

Smoking and caffeine can provoke panic attacks in people who are susceptible. As a result, it's wise to avoid cigarettes, coffee, and other caffeinated beverages. Also be careful with medications that contain stimulants, such as non-drowsy cold medications.

6. Learn how to control your breathing.

Hyperventilation brings on many sensations (such as light headedness and tightness of the chest) that occur during a panic attack. Deep breathing, on the other hand, can relieve the symptoms of panic. By learning to control your breathing, you develop a coping skill that you can use to calm yourself down when you begin to feel panic, and try and learn relaxation techniques.

7. Apply some logic.

If you are a very anxious person it's easy to take a single fact and build into a whole frightening scenario. As soon as you start feeling anxious about something, remember what the facts are and that you've probably worried about it a lot before, unnecessarily. If you have set this process up, what you need to do is to try to set up another process, which is more rational.

Try and use some of the following statements

1. I'm going to be all right. My feelings are not always rational. I'm just going to relax, calm down, and everything will be all right.

2. Anxiety is not dangerous -- it's just uncomfortable. I am fine; I'll just continue with what I'm doing or find something more active to do.

3. Right now I have feelings I don't like. They are really just feelings, they will be over with soon and I'll be fine. For now, I am going to focus on doing something else around me.

4. That picture (image) in my head is not a healthy or rational picture. Instead, I'm going to focus on something healthy like _______.

5. I've stopped my negative thoughts before and I'm going to do it again now.

6. So I feel a little anxiety now, SO WHAT? It's not like it's the first time. I am going to take some nice deep breaths and keep on going. This will help me continue to get better.

Health, College, 6th FormWeb editor