On 15th June 2020, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that since Covid-19, over a third of adults in the UK felt high-anxiety due to the pandemic. The levels of anxiety were associated in different ways, with many people stating that feelings of loneliness were significant. Others worried about their marriage or relationships, home schooling their children, the threat of job loss and fears of themselves or loved ones contracting the virus.
Anxiety is something that many people lived with before the pandemic and before this time, mental health support organisation Mind estimated that around 1 in 4 people in the UK are likely to experience a mental health issue in a year. Mind carry out mental health surveys every 7 years and in 2016 the anxiety stats were reported to be:
5.9 in 100 people in the UK suffered from general anxiety disorder
7.8 in 100 people struggled with anxiety and depression
Although levels of anxiety amongst adults shot up in early 2020, there are reports that statistics have somewhat reduced since. But how can we support our mental health in such uncertain times and what can we do for ourselves to ensure that we take control of anxiety?
Living an unhealthy lifestyle can have a negative impact on your mental health and wellbeing. It is vital that you look after your physical to look after your mental:
Exercise: Taking regular exercise boosts your self-esteem and confidence. This in turn stimulates the production of serotonin and endorphins which are chemicals in the brain that help to relieve anxiety.
Avoid Stimulants: Stimulants such as alcohol, tobacco and drugs are not only addictive but should be avoided as they have depressive effects on your mental health. They can also affect sleep, relationships, diet, work, confidence and self-esteem.
Contentment: Being unhappy in any area of life can contribute towards anxiety – if you’re unhappy in your job or relationship, this will be triggering anxiety. Having concerns over money, a family member or home life will all make it worse.
Take Control of Anxiety
If you suffer from anxiety, you will know it can have such a powerful impact on your outlook on life, your confidence and your self-esteem. There are several steps you can take to get control of anxiety and it could be quicker than you think.
Nutrition: Eating the right foods will support not only your physical health but your mental health. Your brain needs a balance of nutrients to function well, so eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals. Magnesium and Vitamin B are known to be very beneficial for low mood and anxiety. Increase fresh foods, vegetables, fruit and whole foods to support your well-being. Avoid refined and processed foods, and limit fizzy drinks, alcohol and caffeine. Drink plenty of water to keep rehydrated and help eliminate toxins.
Breathing Techniques: Anxiety and panic attacks are often brought on through shallow and rapid breathing. Panic attacks are simply not getting enough oxygen to the brain, so regular deep and slow breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth will take control of it. Try mindfulness and meditation to practice deep breathing and bring calm to your life.
Therapy: Many people who struggle with anxiety do not often share it with others. However, it is nothing to be ashamed of and anxiety is so common that you may be surprised how many people you know, have it. Speaking to a therapist about anxiety can be incredibly beneficial as they are experts in this area, knowing several ways and techniques that will help you. Many people report that speaking to a therapist has dramatically reduced their anxious feelings, and they feel much more able to live a normal ‘anxious-free’ life.
How We Can Help
Anxiety is unpleasant and can become all-consuming and difficult to manage. Speaking to a therapist who is an expert in this area will help you to not only find ways to cope with anxiety, but to also help you to take control of anxiety. Therapy sessions can change your life and you may soon find that you can live an anxious-free life. To book a session with our therapists, simply call 0207 553 5010 today. Ask our receptionist to recommend a therapist who specialises in anxiety. We look forward to helping you take the first step to taking control of your anxiety.