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How to calm anxiety symptoms

Worry is not your enemy, but an indication that something in your life isn’t right. Here, author Sam Owen helps you get back on track

by Suzy Walker

Anxiety

2 minute read

'Anxiety is your friend, guiding you towards your goals; health, happiness and survival,’ says author and coach Sam Owen. It is both a mental health and physical health feedback loop, she explains, and it exists because your brain is trying to alert you to a threat to your mental or physical wellbeing. Anxiety is just your brain’s way of trying to keep you alive and well. Your job is to use this alerting system to your advantage. Try the following:

1. Identify the cause of your anxiety

Is it real or imagined? Is it self-generated anxiety from your thoughts? Or is your behaviour causing a problem? Are you behaving in line with your true inner self? Or are you processing too much information? Is the cause externally generated, for example, negative relationships or an issue at work?

2. Find solutions to overcome the threat

Create self-serving positive thoughts that soothe anxiety in the moment; build positive relationships, prune away negative ones; indulge in proper self-care, create fun strategies that soothe your anxiety in the moment. Ask goal-focused, solution-focused, empowering questions, for example, what would make me feel more optimistic about my career?

3. Take thoughtful action to resolve the issue

Owen suggests having a social media detox and learning how to breathe calmly (inhale calm into your heart for three, hold for three, exhale for three, breathing out tension). Create some specific written goals, such as spending only one hour a day on social media, learning new things and building in self-care every day.

Anxiety Free: 4 Weeks To Inner Peace’ by Sam Owen (Orion, £14.99) is out now

Image: Getty

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