It’s normal for people to experience feelings of anxiety after diagnosis of or treatment for and illness or injury. People often find that they worry about their health worsening, being able to cope and uncertainty about the future.These are all normal reactions and there are ways to help you manage these thoughts, emotions and reactions, which will make you feel better in time.
- Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress and threat and is not dangerous. Anxiety symptoms are part of the fight or flight response.
- Anxiety often becomes a vicious circle
- Anxiety can lead people to avoiding certain things or situations. Avoidance makes anxiety worse so it’s important to face feared situations gradually to get used to them and reduce anxiety.
“Five things” Anchoring Technique
This is a useful technique when your anxiety is very high to “anchor” you back to the present
- Start with three slow deep breaths
- Choose a small spot in a room, now describe five things you notice in that spot.
- Colours, textures, shapes etc.
- Sit and notice 5 things you can feel. This can be from holding an object, or from your
- position sitting paying attention to your bodily sensations e.g. feel of your clothes,
- temperature of skin, texture of seat.
- Sit and listen for 5 different sounds. Don’t actively search for the sounds, just notice
- Finish with three slow deep breaths.
Controlled breathing exercise
This can be used at any time. It can help to relax you and help you manage anxious thoughts and feelings
- Get into a comfortable position
- Try to relax your shoulders and chest and let tension go from your body
- Breathe in comfortably through your nose
- Try to breathe down into your diaphragm rather than breathing in your chest – feel the top of your abdomen move outwards as you breathe in
- Hold this breath for a count of two seconds
- Then slowly breathe out through your mouth(it can help to purse your lips to slow down the outward breath)
- While you are breathing in this way you can visualise in your mind’s eye the movement of breath in through your nose and into your lungs inflating your lungs and then moving slowly out through your mouth
- Overcoming Anxiety, Stress and Panic: A Five Areas Approach by Chris Williams.
- Overcoming Anxiety by Helen Kennerley.
- Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway: The Phenomenal Classic That Has Changed the Lives of Millions by Susan J. Jeffers.
- Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook by Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman
- The Worry Cure: Stop Worrying and Start Living by Robert L. Leahy