The ‘A’ word has become much more popular nowadays than in former times. Where previously it was more acceptable to suppress unwanted emotions such as anxiety and put on a brave face, today it is becoming increasingly normal to admit… “You know what? I am anxious!”

Anxiety is one of those experiences that we would rather do without. It pops up at unexpected moments, blocks goals, interrupts holidays, effects health, limits potential and steals joy. It is the ultimate party pooper. Anxiety can be mild and minimal or massive and utterly paralysing. In conclusion, it sucks.

All of us have experienced anxiety to some degree and some of it is normal and healthy. If you are driving too fast or contemplating surfing 20 metre waves, you SHOULD feel anxious. If you feel anxious about public speaking, join the club ( for about 80% of people it’s their primary fear).

But if you are plagued with a constant sense of dread, are experiencing panic attacks or don’t want to get up in the morning because you’re anxious, or if it has become a normal part of your day to day emotional experience, you may be suffering from anxiety.

But know this, it is common, there is help and You are NOT alone. You can overcome it.

Here are some basic tips to get you started:

1. Speak to your GP. They may recommend medication or refer you to a specialist or counsellor. Avoid GP’s who overprescript medication. You may or may not need it. Sometime sanxiety can be coming from a physical condition that needs addressing like high blood pressure.

2. Find a good counsellor and attend regularly ( weekly if possible). Be open and honest with them.

3. Join a support group. Online is good, but face to face is better.

4. Apply some routine and structure to your life. Sometimes we can be anxious because we have too little structure. For example: get up at a set time, do certain activities ( sports, hobbies, etc).

5. Over time, endeavour to involve yourself in group activity ( I.e. Dance)

6. Check your diet, avoid caffeine, too much sugar etc. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water.

7. Try to get a good nights sleep. If necessary, you may benefit from non addictive sleeping pills for a time.

8. Laugh, view comedy, be intentional about laughter.

9. Be intentional about relationships. Move towards people, be authentic in relationship. Love and connection drives out Anxiety.

10. Get involved with charity work. Acts of kindness effect your brain chemistry and help release chemicals that are conducive to healthy brain function.

11. Exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise in particular, releases pent up stress and anxiety.

12. Feed your mind positive information. Read, watch and listen to positive, encouraging, motivational teaching. Meditate on positive themes such as kindness and compassion.

13. Explore and endeavour to discover what you enjoy and spend time doing it. Explore your talents and interests.

For more help, advice or online counselling contact breathecounselling.com