Anxiety is a very normal and common response caused by stress or danger. When we are exposed to threats in our environment, our body activates the ‘fight or flight’ response which can be vital when we have a genuine need to flee. However, when this response is out of proportion to the actual danger of a situation, it can lead to feelings of anxiety and stress, as well as physical symptoms such as headaches, insomnia and digestive problems.
The good news is that we don’t need to identify with being an anxious person as it is something that can be overcome and managed day to day. Here are some proven methods to help reduce anxiety and stress:
It’s so basic, but breathing exercises work in minutes and you can do them anywhere. When you control your breathing, you are basically telling your body it’s o.k. Try breathing in through the nose, then out through the mouth slowly, and make the out-breath longer than the in-breath. Try it for two minutes and see how you feel.
2. Do something with your hands
This can be anything that you have to really focus on to get right such as cooking, tidying, drawing, gardening or mending things.
3. Treat your body
We often hold tension and stress in our bodies so take a hot bath or shower. Use a delicious smelling body oil or cream. Try stretching your body, a yin yoga class, dancing or a simple walk around the park in the sunshine.
4. Take a herbal medicine
HRI Good Mood (£8.99) tablets use high-quality extracts of the powerful herb, St John’s Wort, which has been used for centuries to relieve symptoms of anxiety and low mood. It is also kinder to the body than prescription medications. Two tablets will provide you with the strongest dose available in the UK, but with the flexibility to take one a day for a gentler dose.