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6 ways to help cope with anxiety and depression

If your anxiety or depression is getting in the way of your daily tasks, some quick natural ways could help you take control of the situation.

If your thought and feelings are focused around a situation, such as being worried about an upcoming event, you may notice the symptoms are short-lived and usually subside after the anticipated event takes place. Other times some daily self-help techniques may help ease anxiety and depression.

  1. Practice focused, deep breathing
    One of the quickest ways to help with anxiety is to try deep breathing. To do this breathe in for 4 counts and breathe out for 4 counts for 5 minutes total. By slowing and regulating out your breath, you’ll slow your heart rate which should help calm you down.

  2. Question your thought pattern
    Negative thoughts can take hold in your mind and distort the severity of any situation. One way is to challenge your fears, ask if they’re true, and see where you can take back control. For example, you may disagree with a friend and then say to yourself ‘everybody hates me’. When looking at this you can go through the family and friends that love you and that your friend doesn’t ‘hate you’, you both just have a difference of opinion.

  3. Go for a walk or do 15 minutes of yoga
    Sometimes the best way to stop anxious thoughts is to walk away from the situation. Taking some time to focus on your body by going for a 15-minute walk in the fresh air may help relieve your anxiety and release the body’s natural endorphins.

  4. Write down your thoughts
    Writing down what’s making you anxious or depressed gets it out of your head and can make it less daunting and easier to deal with. You can then look at the situation and consider what the best outcome and worst outcome could be and then what’s most likely to happen in reality.

  5. Sleep
    Sleep deprivation can be a major cause of anxiety and depression. Try to get into a routine of going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends. It’s also good and ok to have 20- 30 min power naps during the day– this could just be lying down or sitting in a chair with your eyes closed for a short time to help you to relax and recharge your batteries.

  6. Talk to someone
    Just the act of talking through your worries can help ease anxious thoughts. Find a friend or family member who is good at listening and meet up for a cup of tea to talk. You may find you have similar worries and can help each other. Alternatively, you can always talk to the Samaritans for free on telephone number: 116 123

Always monitor your thoughts and feeling and seek help from your GP if anxiety and depression last for more than 2 weeks or gets worse quickly over a few days. There are many different ways that your GP can help from talking therapies, medication, group activities and more.

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