Anxiety and How To Beat It

Mental Health Awareness Week 2014 is from 12-18 May and this year's theme is anxiety. Are you anxiety aware?

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Anxiety. Such a small word, but such a powerful one.

Experts suggest we are in the midst of a growing anxiety crisis, with one in five of us experiencing it on a daily basis, and almost half of us (44 per cent) experiencing anxiety symptoms at least once a week.

Unfortunately, women seem to suffer disproportionately, with a recent survey of more than 1,000 women revealing that two-thirds feel anxious at least once a week and one-third of these have no idea how to cope.

But the good news is there are strategies you can put in place to help yourself. In the run-up to Mental Health Awareness Week 2014, where this year's theme is being 'anxiety aware', why not give them a go?

1 BE MINDFUL: Ruby Wax suggests this exercise to readers in her mindfulness book: if your emotions or thoughts are getting too hot, just switch your attention elsewhere to take down the heat. Try not to pick something that will harm you – for example, drugs, overindulgence in food or shopping.

  • Start counting from one to 100 backwards
  • Watch an engrossing film
  • Read something easy
  • Listen to some loud music

2 GET DOWN TO THE GROUND: If you’re prone to anxiety, it’s important to introduce regular ‘grounding’ activities into your life that calm you, such as yoga, Pilates, tai chi or a chat with friends. These can lower raised adrenaline levels and help to alleviate anxiety.

3 START MOVING: Exercise is the original natural remedy for anxiety. It helps bring levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline back to normal, raises endorphin levels and increases body temperature (which may help to calm). However, avoid excessive exercise as this can raise adrenaline levels even more - think yoga, swimming or walking rather than a marathon!

4 GO UNDER: Although it's not approved by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), there is anecdotal evidence that hypnotherapy may be beneficial for anxiety, according to Anxiety UK. If you're not one for lessons, try a hypnosis CD a couple of times a week.

QUESTION: What have YOU found good for helping to tackle anxiety? Drop me a line or comment below to let me know. Martha

For further information about tackling anxiety, visit

Martha Roberts

Mental health blogger and award-winning health writer and author , -

I'm a seasoned journalist for national newspapers, magazines & the internet, where I focus on health & wellbeing issues. I'm also a blogger on mental health at, plus a nutritional therapist & author (I wrote 'Sugar Addicts Diet' with celebrity trainer Nicki Waterman for HarperCollins).