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The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. The following section will help you begin to recognise if you are thinking about things in an unhelpful or unrealistic way, and discuss how you can start to make changes to this. It is clear to see how this kind of thinking might bring your mood and confidence levels down. When people are worried about something it is common for them to spend a lot of time ruminating. When people are feeling emotionally vulnerable, it is likely that they take things to heart and become more sensitive to what people say.
Based on one isolated incident you might assume that other events will follow a similar pattern in the future.
I'm sure there'll be a good explanation as I don't have any evidence that suggests that they're fed up with me. Moodjuice is a website designed to offer information and advice to those experiencing troublesome thoughts, feelings and behaviours. The following organisations or services may be able to offer support, information and advice.
Samaritans provides confidential emotional support, 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide. Living Life to the Full is an online life skills course made up of several different modules designed to help develop key skills and tackle some of the problems we all face from time to time. Do you often experience unpleasant physical sensations such as 'butterflies' in your stomach, muscular tension, dizziness or breathlessness? If the answer to any of these questions is 'yes,' you may be experiencing symptoms of anxiety and you may find this workbook helpful.
If you experience symptoms of anxiety it is likely that you will recognise many of the feelings, physical symptoms, thoughts and behaviour patterns described below. Although short experiences of anxiety are part and parcel of daily life, it becomes challenging when anxiety begins to follow people around and is a regular feature in their lives. In reality it is likely that a combination of all these factors influence someone's anxiety levels. Another way someone's thinking style can keep their anxiety going is because they become 'worried about worrying'.
One other important factor that can keep people's anxiety going is that they often change their behaviour as a result of their anxiety.
Not having enough free time to relax and do the things we enjoy we can also contribute to our higher anxiety levels. When looking more closely at anxiety, you can begin to see that our thoughts, feelings, behaviours and physical symptoms all interact and combine to keep our anxiety going.
Learning how to challenge your unhelpful thoughts and see things in a more realistic light. When going through this booklet it can sometimes be more helpful to try out the ideas above one at a time, rather and trying to learn them all at once. Anxiety is undoubtedly an unpleasant feeling, but it is something that everyone experiences.
However, when exploring anxiety more closely, we can see that it is a very healthy response which actually helps to protect us. The symptoms we experience when anxious are often referred to as the 'fight or flight' response. In essence, all of these responses would aid our escape or improve our ability to stay and fight the intruder. This fight or flight response was likely even more vital to human survival back in the days of early man, when people had to hunt for their food and were under a greater threat from predators. When we are feeling anxious, it is common for us to spend a lot of time thinking about the future and predicting what could go wrong, rather than just letting things be. Spending the week before an exam predicting you will fail, despite all your hard work studying and your previous good grades.
This means that you make assumptions about others' beliefs without having any real evidence to support them. People commonly 'catastrophise' when they are anxious, which basically means that they often blow things out of proportion.
They may think that something terrible is going to happen in the future, when, in reality, there is very little evidence to support it (e.g.
Anxious people often have a tendency to focus on the negatives which keeps their anxiety going. They focus on the one person at work who doesn't like them, ignoring that they are very popular with the rest of their colleagues. People often imagine how they would like things to be or how they 'should be' rather than accepting how things really are. Unfortunately when we do this, we are simply applying extra pressure to ourselves that can result in anxiety. Based on one isolated incident you assume that all others will follow a similar pattern in the future. This type of thought can often make us avoid going places or doing the things that we would like. Labels like these really influence how we see ourselves and can heighten our anxiety levels. You might find it more difficult to cope if you have lots of problems that you can't seem to get on top of.
The first thing to ask yourself is – "what is the problem?" Try to be as specific as possible.
To help you carry out your chosen solution, it can be useful to break it down into smaller steps. Someone with debt may have decided to try and resolve their problem by getting a part time job. At other times, simply note down any worries that pop into your head and try to forget about them. Once your 'worry time' arrives, choose how long you will allow yourself to 'worry' (try to keep it no longer that 15-20 minutes). If you find it difficult to switch off from all of your worries during the day, don't fret, as this should improve with time and practice. When it comes to 'worry time', feel free to cut it short if you have resolved all of your worries early. Often things that have worried us at one point in the day seem less problematic when we re-visit them during 'worry time'.
Remember, it is usually not possible to resolve every single worry or problem that you have.
Finally, count down silently and slowly: 5-4–3–2–1-0, and come out of the relaxation in your own time. Distraction is a good technique to fend off symptoms of anxiety and stress when they feel overwhelming. Distraction simply involves trying to take your mind off uncomfortable symptoms or thoughts. As with any relaxation exercise, it may take a few minutes before you begin to feel like it's working.


May avoid going out socially in case people don't like them or they make a fool of themselves. May avoid speaking when in large groups, instead staying quiet and not really 'being themselves'. May avoid all performance situations, such as giving a speech or showing off a piece of work, due to their fear of being negatively evaluated.
By avoiding all of these related situations, they never have a chance to practice in them or prove that they could cope well.
It is easy to see how using avoidance as a strategy to cope can soon begin to have a negative impact on people's lives as they start to avoid more and more situations. Once you have done this, try to organise your items from least anxiety provoking to most anxiety provoking. If an item on your list seems too hard, see if you can put in an extra step or two before it. National charity established in 1970 to provide support and services to those suffering from all anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, panic attacks, social phobia, simple phobia, phobia and tranquiliser issues. A self-help guide using cognitive behavioural techniques to help people take charge of their own recovery. Divided into workbooks that are designed to help those experiencing mild to moderate levels of anxiety and panic, this title is easily accessible with boxes, checklists and bullet points to make the information easier to understand. This practical handbook, recommended for people whose lives are upset by worry, fear, or panic, offers coping strategies based on the latest clinical research. Essential guide for everything you need to know to keep relaxed through every day life Repackage of the phenomenally successful guide to dealing with nervous illness -- Self Help for Your Nerves. This site uses cookies to track user behaviour on this site, without linking to personally identifiable data. By doing so, you can learn to see things in a more realistic light which can help to improve your mood and reduce your anxiety or stress levels. They can often make assumptions about why someone said something, beign overly quick to draw conclusions, and thinking that they are the focus of what has been said. Having this polarised view can lead some people into setting themselves impossibly high standards, being overly critical and struggling to recognise any achievement due to their perfectionism. You can continue to use the techniques you found helpful long into the future and they should continue to benefit you.
You might be worried about something - money, work, relationships, exams - or maybe you're just feeling fed up and can't put your finger on why.
However don't be alarmed, this is very common and there are things you can do to improve your situation. It is a word often used to describe when we feel 'uptight', 'irritable', 'nervous', 'tense', or 'wound up'. For example, when anxious, we often worry for large periods of time, so much so that our worry can feel out of control. For instance, when we feel anxious, we often avoid doing things that we want to because we are worried about how they will turn out. For example, if someone has faced workplace bullying in the past, they may be more likely to suffer anxiety when beginning a new job. For example, anxious people have a tendency to expect that the worst possible scenario will always occur. Put another way, although anxiety is largely an unpleasant experience, it also has positive benefits that have been useful to humans over the centuries. In other words, if someone in your immediate family is an anxious person, there is an increased chance that you will have similar personality traits. However, in some ways it is less important to know what causes anxiety, and more important to know what stops us overcoming it. For example, it appears that some people are more likely to overestimate the likelihood of bad things happening than others. More specifically, they believe that being on the 'look out' for danger can help them to recognise and avoid it. For example, they may avoid going to a party because they have spotted many potential 'dangers' (e.g. On the other hand, having too much free time can mean we have lots of opportunities to engage in worry and feel anxious. Of course, some people experience anxiety more regularly than others, but it is a completely natural experience that is part and parcel of daily life.
By learning more about anxiety and why we experience it in the first place, we can see that it is not harmful. This comes from the idea that people primarily experience anxiety to help them either fight or run away from danger.
Nowadays we do not face the same threats, but unfortunately, our bodies and minds have not caught up with these changes.
By doing so, you can learn to see things in a more realistic light which can help to reduce your anxiety levels. In the end most of our predictions don't happen and we have wasted time and energy being worried and upset about them. As a result, you worry that everyone in the class will be the same and you won't make any friends. This involves setting aside between fifteen and twenty minutes each day that you will allow yourself to worry. So if something is outside your control (or has already happened), try not to worry as you have done all you can. Perhaps try to breathe in for three seconds, hold this breathe for two seconds, and then breathe out for three seconds. This can also give you space to deal with a situation in a more considered and positive manner. For instance, they may avoid going to work nights out, parties, restaurants, or taking part in a hobby. If instead we confront difficult situations then it is possible to build up our confidence.
The author sets out to teach how to understand fear and face the possibilities of life calmly.
It describes the various forms that anxiety problems may take, including panic attacks and phobias, and then guides the reader through a series of steps to enable them to overcome problem fears and anxieties of all kinds.
The first workbooks should aid the reader in identifying and assessing the extent of their problem. The author, who has both researched and taught self-help techniques, describes clinically-proven therapy techniques. Personal stories of recovery, worksheets for recording symptoms and progress, and information on finding professional help make this book a must-read for anxiety sufferers who want to regain control of their life. This guide offers the most comprehensive insight and advice into coping with nervous stress.
It is therefore important to remember that they are just thoughts, without any real basis, and are not necessarily facts.
Being aware of the common patterns that unhelpful thoughts follow can help you to recognise when you have them. This can also mean that you label yourself, often unkindly, which can lower your mood and confidence, perhaps even leading to feelings of hopelessness.


The next part of this handout will discuss how we can go about challenging our unhelpful thoughts.
If some of the ideas are not particularly helpful at first, it is perhaps worth sticking with them for a few weeks to give them a chance to work.
We are here for you if you're worried about something, feel upset or confused, or you just want to talk to someone. These worries are often about a variety of issues and commonly our mind jumps quickly from one worry to another.
For example, if someone has work pressures, financial difficulties, and relationship problems, all at the same time, it is perhaps unsurprising that they become anxious. It is easy to see how regularly presuming the worst in this way would make someone feel anxious.
Unfortunately, when searching for danger in this way, they soon begin seeing potential danger in many relatively safe situations which of course makes them feel anxious. This can help us to be less fearful of the symptoms which in turn has a positive affect on our overall anxiety levels. For example, if you saw a burglar, two options open to you would be to either - fight them off (fight) or try to run away (flight). Indeed, all of the physical symptoms we experience when anxious play a helpful role in protecting us in such circumstances. As a result, we now experience anxiety in situations where it is not necessarily as helpful because we cannot fight or run away from them (e.g.
Indeed, one of the most frustrating things about feeling anxious is the seemingly uncontrollable worry that often occurs alongside it. Any worries that pop into your head outside of 'worry time' should simply be noted and forgot about until later that day when you try to resolve them during your 'worry time'. However, you should stop the exercise if at any time you begin to experience discomfort or pain. It can be particularly helpful for those who feel dizzy or light headed when they feel worried or stressed.
Learning controlled breathing exercises can help you to manage these feelings more effectively. It is also helpful when you don't have the space or time to use a more proactive approach, such as a relaxation exercise. You will likely find that although your anxiety might initially rise, it will drop if you remain in the situation for long enough. The book contains many illustrative quotes from people who have had anxiety problems, allowing readers to realise that many others have shared similar experiences and have overcome their difficulties.
The reader can then chose which workbooks may be most helpful and work on the exercises at their own pace. This book provides a step-by-step management program that provides the necessary skills for overcoming and preventing panic attacks and associated agoraphobia.
Sufferers of nervous illness regard Self Help for Your Nerves as their bible -- many believe that if they had found it earlier they would have been saved years of unnecessary suffering.
This edition offers the latest treatment strategies for the whole range of these problems - panic disorder, agoraphobia, generalised anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder - with revisions that include updated information on medications, mindfulness training, and health-related conditions that aggravate anxiety. Even though we may believe a lot of our unhelpful thoughts when we are feeling low, anxious or stressed, it is good to remember that they should be questioned as they are often based on wrong assumptions.
If however you feel your situation remains largely unchanged or if you did not find this booklet useful, you should speak to your GP who can tell you about the other options available which you could find helpful. When thinking about it in this way, anxiety is often the result of feeling as though we cannot cope with the demands placed upon us.
They believe that by thinking about all the things that could go wrong, they will be better prepared to cope if it happens. Unfortunately, when we do feel anxious, we become even less likely to think as clearly as we would like and a vicious cycle occurs. They may also believe that by considering everything that could go wrong; they will be better prepared to cope when it does.
Similarly, people often worry about the physical symptoms they experience when they are anxious (e.g. Similarly, they may put off completing an assignment because they worry about it being negatively evaluated. If however you are concerned that some of your symptoms are not caused by anxiety, contact your GP if necessary. Even though we may believe a lot of our unhelpful thoughts when we are anxious, it is good to remember that they should be questioned as they are often based on wrong assumptions.
We can end up worrying or ruminating over our problems without finding a way to resolve them.
Therefore, if we can reduce the amount of time we spend worrying, we can reduce our anxiety levels.
By noting them down, you can feel safe in the knowledge that you won't forget about attempting to resolve them later on. This sometimes happens because people's breathing changes and gets quicker when they feel distressed.
It is still important to remember that the symptoms of anxiety are not harmful or dangerous. Four people with social phobia are introduced at the beginning and these cases are followed throughout the book, illustrating the application of each technique. Dr Claire Weekes looks at: How the Nervous System Works What is Nervous Illness Common factors in the development of nervous illness Recurring Nervous Attacks Plus important chapters on depression, sorrow, guilt and disgrace, obsessions, sleeplessness, confidence, loneliness and agoraphobia. However thinking in these ways mean they are on regular alert and find it difficult to relax and 'switch off'.
However, often these beliefs mean a lot of extra time is spent worrying than is necessary, as many of our worries never come true. Unfortunately because people tend to use such avoidance strategies, they can never see that things would often go better than they thought and their anxiety remains as a result. However, the one thing that has stayed true is the fact that these symptoms are not dangerous; it is in many ways the right response but at the wrong time. If you practice this nearly every day you will probably notice an improvement after a couple of weeks. Even if you didn't use distraction or relaxation techniques, nothing terrible would happen.
The book also shows the Dr Claire Weekes method, a practical programme on learning to take your place among people without fear. When looking at anxiety in this way, you can quickly see how it can be very useful in certain situations. Unfortunately, worrying about these symptoms (which are perfectly safe and natural bodily reactions), only makes them feel worse, again creating a vicious cycle of anxiety. Remembering this can help you to be less fearful of the symptoms of anxiety which will allow them to pass sooner. Then - when your 'worry time' arrives, you should allow yourself to think about the things that have been worrying you that day and try to resolve them.



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