At a time when the world is changing rapidly, you may find yourself experiencing anxiety more than usual right now.
Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia, affecting more than 2 million Australians.
Today, we share some helpful tips for managing anxiety, along with a few handy resources.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is the body’s natural response to worry or stress – like that nervous feeling you get about meeting a new person or before a job interview. It’s the body’s way of keeping you safe.
Each person experiences anxiety differently, however there are some practical things that you can do to help manage your anxiety.
Tips for managing anxiety.
There are many techniques for managing anxiety that can be helpful during periods of increased stress or if you begin to feel anxious. Try a few of these techniques to see what works for you.
Use breathing techniques.
Breathing techniques can be helpful for panic attacks or if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
- Breathe slowly and count each breath until you reach 20
- Inhale slowly through your nose for 3 seconds then exhale through your mouth for 3 seconds, making a sighing noise as you exhale. Do this for 2-5 minutes.
Bringing your attention to what’s happening right now can help stop your mind dwelling on the past or future.
- Feel the texture of fabric you are wearing or the chair you are sitting on
- Spend some time patting your pet
- Notice what’s happening in your body and the sensations you are feeling
- Spend time in nature, focusing on sights, sounds or smells.
Look after yourself.
Having a healthy lifestyle can help to reduce the impact and severity of anxiety.
- Get enough sleep
- Eat a balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Include time for relaxing and doing what you enjoy.
Connect with others.
Sharing how you feel can lighten your mental load. Phone a friend, talk to a support worker or even find a group of like-minded people on social media.
Identify your triggers.
If you experience anxiety, it is important to identify things or situations that trigger anxious feelings or panic attacks so they can be avoided or managed.
Crowded places, alcohol, certain medications, health concerns or having too many things to do are common examples of what might trigger anxious feelings. A psychologist or counsellor may offer some strategies to help manage these triggers.
Anxiety and the NDIS.
If your anxiety is closely related to your disability and you’re an NDIS participant, you may be able to access psychology or mental health supports with your NDIS funding if the support is considered “reasonable and necessary”.
Extreme anxiety can also cause impairment that might lead to a psychosocial disability. The NDIS may fund supports if you can prove the impairment has a significant impact on your daily life and is likely to be lifelong. Check out our story, Psychosocial disability and the NDIS for details.
Supports are also available through the mainstream health system, such as a Mental Health Care Plan.
If you or anyone you know needs help:
Lifeline 13 11 14
MensLine Australia 1300 789 978
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
Headspace 1800 650 890
Connect with us.