I know what you’re thinking… really? When most of us search for help regarding anxiety we are met with thousands of links about anxiety disorder, symptoms, medication and panic attacks. So what possible benefits can having anxiety give us? Hear me out.
If you know you experience anxiety, that is a great step towards managing it and mastering your mental health.
Once you recognise it, you can start the journey of learning how to breathe – which sounds simple, but you’d be surprised by how many of us don’t know how to breathe properly. Meet Earkick the cute and chill Panda who will show you how to calm down within 1 minute
👉🏼 For more breathing exercises check out the Earkick selfcare companion app. It’s completely free and anonymous.
Look on the flipside 🌗
When you are frequently anxious, you may have low expectations, or imagine the worst will happen. So on the flip side, when things go well, take a moment to reflect and enjoy the experience. Each time something positive happens, make a note or use a mood tracker so that you can start to understand the things in your life that bring you joy.
Prepare for the worst, hope for the best 📋💡
A motto from the US Marines that has stood the test of time and is now used widely as a good principle for many of us to follow. Some people who are anxiety-prone may make plan A, plan B, plan C… They are likely to be able to plan realistically rather than over optimistically which can result in saving hassle down the line – you’ll already have that umbrella ready in the event of rain, or sun screen for a beautiful Summer’s day and your friends will thank you! Worrying about what could happen can be helpful, when it is proportionate and relevant to a relationship or task at hand. If you find yourself excessively apprehensive, feeling a sense of dread or restless and with a racing heart, it could be time to reflect and see how you can improve your wellbeing. If you want to understand more about anxiety I’ve put some links at the end.
Where do you fit along the spectrum of anxiety? 🌈
At ease – you feel calm, peaceful, and safe 😌 -> 0
Slightly nervous -> 1
Nervous -> 2
Very worried ->6
Somewhat fearful ->7
Somewhat panicked ->9
Panicked -> 10
Check out how you can easily log your anxiety level in our free Earkick tracker 📲
Understanding where you are on this sliding scale can be really empowering to accepting where you are and acknowledging your feelings and how they affect your body. For example, you may suffer from tightness of chest, rapid heart rate, shallow breathing. The Anxiety & Depression Association of America says anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting some 40 million adults, or about 18% of the population. So you are not alone and what you experience is not unusual. This is good because it means there is a lot of help available. At Earkick we believe you should be in the driving seat of your well-being journey. So, let’s empower you to outsmart your anxiety.
We built an app to support you to log your daily mood. By tracking every day our app learns more about you and starts to recognise patterns e.g. the causes of your anxiety such as work, family, lack of sunshine etc. We can recommend helpful exercises to do because by releasing the physical tension built up in your body you can help to reduce the tension in your mind.
3 reasons why anxiety can be good:
- You can take back control 📍
The fact you can recognise these feelings is a good first step to helping yourself. Be proud of better knowing your mind and your body. We spend a lot of time talking about our bodies, and physical fitness, and it’s time to do the same for our minds too.
- You can plan well 📆
Being worried can be a natural response to challenges and can stimulate you to be more thorough in your planning.
- You can feel grateful 💛
You may feel more gratitude for the good things in your day by being more conscious and valuing the positive things.
3 ways you can reduce your anxiety today
(because the old saying goes that good things come in threes, even London buses 😎).
- Take control by being active 🏄
Yes, you know the mantra that exercise is good for the mind and body, but the evidence is everywhere. Harvard Medical School published an article saying running for 15 minutes a day, or walking for an hour, reduces the risk of major depression. There is a wealth of evidence to say that being in green spaces can improve your mood. Dr Marcia Pescador Jimenez recently published a study proving it can even lower depression and improve processing speed and attention, as well as boost overall cognitive function. So put on your trainers and get outside even for 15 minutes today!
- Plan ahead and connect with friends 👫
Use your planning skills to reach out to friends, family or colleagues. It can be something as simple as a video call, connecting through an online game or going outside to one of the many parks, museums, or galleries for something new. New experiences can be genuinely ‘brain-changing magic’ according to Gabriella Paiella at GQ who reported on the cognitive scientist’s work Dr Laurie Santos who says ‘there is a connection between novelty and happiness’. The study, co-authored by Dr Aaron Heller analysed results which concluded novelty, and ‘going to places you had never been before, actually seemed to have an even larger association with positive emotion on that day’ and even the day after.
- Selfcare time to reflect on the positives 🐼
This doesn’t have to be all about chilling. Although, if you love nothing more than getting into pjs and watching TV than crack on! It can also mean challenging yourself. Setting goals for the day or week ahead to start a new habit, (or stop an old one – hello nail biters out there we see you!) Maybe set yourself the goal to be grateful for 3 good things every day. Work smarter, not harder on your mental health. Use an easy app like Earkick to have a quick, intuitive toolkit in your back pocket.
👉🏼 Free today for you on the Apple store here.
Helpful links to resources you can trust because we have reviewed them for you:
- Psychology Today – a US publication devoted to mental health and behavourial science with reliable clinical and scientific information.
- The NHS (National Health Service) in the UK has an online mood self-assessment which is a short questionnaire for those aged over 16 to better understand how you’re feeling.
Here’s the link to the study mentioned above. Proof about living in green spaces comes from a recent study published by the Boston University School of Public Health which says: ‘ living in areas with more greenery may boost cognitive function’.