Tips to Avoid Feeling Anxious – 08/04/09

Exercise, relaxation and learning new skills are just some of the ways people can avoid falling victim to anxiety, say experts at a Black Country mental health trust.

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMHPT) is offering advice on the condition ahead of Mental Health Action Week, which starts on April 12.

The week is this year aiming to raise awareness about the impact fear and anxiety can have on people’s lives.

Staff at the Trust’s Dudley Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service say that while fear and anxiety are natural responses to a threat, they should not hold people back from doing things or affect health.

Liz Willetts, from the Trust’s IAPT team, said: “Anxiety is a normal, healthy reaction to worrying situations or anticipated danger. Anxiety can be an advantage in responding to an actual threat, allowing you to act quickly if necessary.

“However, fear or anxiety can be a problem if people feel them often or if there is no obvious reason for them to be experiencing these emotions.

“Symptoms can include irregular breathing, a churning stomach, sweating, trembling, a racing heart and feeling dizzy. People may also experience worrying thoughts, loss of concentration and negative beliefs about themselves or what might happen to them.”

Liz said there were a number of things people could do to prevent fear and anxiety from impacting on their lives.

“Tips to help alleviate fear and anxiety include breaking unhelpful habits, learning new skills, taking part in a physical activity, doing something enjoyable and managing your time better,” she added.

“People can visit helpful websites such as http://www.livinglifetothefull.com/ or www.overcoming.co.uk and find useful books in the library. Relaxation techniques are also good and there is a downloadable resource available on the www.dudley.nhs.uk/emotionalhealth website.

“If fear and anxiety is affecting a person’s everyday life and they feel like they can’t cope, they should visit their GP who will be able to help them consider available options.”

For further information, please contact Emma Baronenas at LTA Communications on 01384 444044.