5 Effective Techniques to Reduce Anxiety: Combining Short-Term Coping and Long-Term Treatment Options
Anxiety is a common mental health problem faced by many in the UK and around the world today. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that in 2022/23, an average of 37.1% of women and 29.9% of men reported high levels of anxiety, a significant increase from data collected only a decade ago.
Anxiety can manifest in many different ways including excessive worry, fear, restlessness and physical symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat and perspiration (sweating).
Fortunately, there are various techniques available to help manage anxiety and this article offers 5 effective strategies for reducing anxiety, encompassing both short-term coping techniques and long-term treatment options.
5 top tips for helping to reduce anxiety:
CBT is a widely recognised, evidence-based approach for treating anxiety as it focuses on identifying and challenging negative thought patterns and beliefs that contribute to anxiety.
By altering cognitive distortions, individuals can reframe their thinking and develop healthier coping mechanisms. CBT also includes exposure therapy, where individuals confront anxiety-inducing situations gradually, helping to de-sensitise and reduce their fear response.
Mindfulness and meditation practices have gained significant attention for their effectiveness in reducing anxiety.
Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment without judgment and allows individuals to observe their anxious thoughts and emotions objectively, without becoming overwhelmed by them.
Regular meditation can cultivate a sense of calmness, enhance self-awareness and build resilience to anxiety triggers. Incorporating mindfulness into daily life can also provide lasting benefits for anxiety management.
Engaging in relaxation techniques is an effective way to alleviate anxiety in the short term. Deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery are among the techniques which can help activate the body's relaxation response.
These practices promote a state of physical and mental calmness, reducing the intensity of anxiety symptoms. Integrating relaxation techniques into daily routines or using them during stressful situations can bring immediate relief and restore a sense of control.
Physical exercise not only benefits physical health but also plays a vital role in managing anxiety and mental health overall.
Engaging in regular exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood-boosting chemicals which promote a sense of well-being. Exercise can also act as a distraction from anxious thoughts and provide a healthy outlet for stress and tension. The great news is you don’t even need to set foot in a gym if you don’t want to! Activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, or yoga can be incorporated into your routine to reduce anxiety symptoms and improve overall mental well-being.
Getting out in nature has been proven to be beneficial for mental health and may even help to spur creative thinking.
Building a strong support network and practising self-care are crucial aspects of anxiety management.
Sharing concerns and feelings with trusted individuals can provide emotional support and help reduce anxiety levels.
Additionally, engaging in self-care activities, such as maintaining a balanced diet, getting sufficient sleep and participating in hobbies or enjoyable activities, can significantly contribute to anxiety reduction.
Find help for anxiety in London
While short-term strategies provide immediate relief during anxious moments, long-term approaches, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, help to address the root causes and promote sustainable anxiety reduction.
It’s important to remember that each individual's experience with anxiety is unique and what works for one, may not work for another. Consulting with a mental health professional or your GP is an important first step to getting the support you need.
At Schoen Clinic, we’re committed to improving people’s lives by offering a range of easy-to-access, personalised treatments and therapies.
If you’re struggling with anxiety and would like professional support to help combat the challenges brought on by it, our anxiety specialists in London can help.
We offer a variety of group and individual therapies for mental health conditions. Just get in touch with our friendly team at Schoen Clinic Chelsea by calling +44 20 4571 9791 or complete our online contact us form.