How can I reduce my anxiety?

Lately I find myself waking up in the morning and immediately feeling overwhelmed by the feeling of anxiety. I don’t know why because there is no work or assignment that is very urgent for me to get done. Nevertheless as soon as I am awake I feel the urge to start watching lecture recordings and to start on an assignment that will be due next month. Lately, everything I do in every day is pure studying, because I can’t go out due to Covid. I want some help to reduce this pointless anxiety attacks. Thanks.

Thanks for your question. Anxiety can be a very powerful emotion that drives a lot of behaviour, and motivates us to do whatever we think will reduce anxious feelings. Sometimes this is a good thing, such as in a life threatening situation, or when we urgent work that needs to be done. At other times, anxiety can feel out of proportion to the situation we are in, and can lead to unhelpful behaviours and get in the way of our enjoyment.

Even though your anxiety is telling you that you have to work hard all day, it sounds like there is another part of you that knows this is not the case. Sometimes when we are feeling anxious and helpless about one area of our life, like Covid, we respond to this by focusing on an area that we can do something about, like study. Doing this can be distracting, and can provide a sense of purpose and control, which may reduce the feeling of anxiety in the short term. In the longer term however, it is tiring and not helping.

There are a number of ways to reduce anxiety. These include:
• Acknowledging and challenging unhelpful or inaccurate thoughts
• Getting more balance in your days by including engaging and enjoyable activities
• Staying connected with people in your life
• Practicing breathing and relaxation exercises, or meditation
• Regular physical exercise

You can also check out our webinars for some more strategies, or book an appointment with one of our counsellors at Counselling and Psychological Services.

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