Shoot Queue

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Modern life can be incredibly stressful; it’s little wonder, then, that anxiety diagnoses are on the rise, with so many tasks to complete, places that we need to be, and so much information to remember – seemingly all at once. While some instances of stress are easily remedied, others can be more concerning – just how do those who suffer from high levels of anxiety cope from day to day?

Simple stress-busting techniques

Stress is a complex beast, and it affects different people in a variety of ways, with numerous causes and remedies. From your daily commute and working life to issues with friends and family, cleanliness, health, finances, or an endless to-do list, it may feel as though every aspect of your being is out to get you down and it’s just not healthy. Increased stress levels can wreak havoc on your heart, cause weight problems, induce sleep deprivation, aggravate skin conditions, or become something more sinister, such as depression or anxiety. It is important that you learn to recognise those first signs of stress – perhaps you get a headache, feel your heart rate begin to quicken, notice the blood flooding through your veins, or even experience a panic attack – and learn how to counteract those feelings. Taking five minutes to yourself, enjoying a warm drink or organising a cluttered cupboard can help. Even running a soothing bath, lighting a scented candle, having a massage, or simply counting objects can tackle those feelings of anxiety that you may be experiencing. It’s also essential to learn how to breathe properly; big, deep breaths will help you to reduce your heart rate and feel better.

Dealing with stress, or anxiety, on a larger scale

If none of the methods above seem to be working or you’re unlucky enough to suffer from anxiety, regular attacks, or depression, you may want to think about more productive ways of reducing stress in your home. For example, if you find that clutter and mess are triggers for an attack consider re-organising your home, or a single room to start with, so that you start to de-clutter your life. You will soon notice a weight beginning to lift with every bag of rubbish that you get rid of, and it’s a fantastic feeling. Tidying your workspace, or re-arranging your office, can also be a great way to reduce stress; you spend so much of your life at work, or working, and must feel comfortable while you’re doing so. Joining a gym, hiring a personal trainer, and attending fitness classes are great stress-busting and mood-lifting activities. If you can, attend at least one session a week so that you have something to give you a boost and help counteract those sluggish feelings.

Of course, not everybody can get to the gym, face re-organising their life, or remember to find the positives. In those cases, pets can be amazing companions. Loyal, trustworthy, and non-judgmental, they can instantly soothe the most anxious mind. Simply stroking a dog’s fur can be incredibly therapeutic, while taking a new pet for a walk, joining a forum to talk to other owners, and learning to take pictures of a furry pal can remind you that there are other things to focus on, potentially helping lift those dark feelings for good. Now, pet owning isn’t for everybody, and there are some things you need to think about. Can you offer an animal a good home? Could you afford a pet? Is your home suitable for an animal? How would your pet be taken care of if you were away? Even providing a basic level of care can cause problems, which are likely to exacerbate stress levels. Illness, behavioural issues, and conditions such as fleas can be devastating for a person suffering from high anxiety, and must be counteracted. Flea tablets for dogs are just one necessity of owning a canine companion, and it’s not a decision to be taken lightly.

Whether you experience symptoms every now and again, or have found that it has wormed its way into your life, anxiety and stress can be incredibly damaging. Learning to treat your symptoms, tackle the causes of stress, and to face every day can take time, but have confidence in yourself and you will succeed.

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