Anxiety Toolkit

Further support, information and techniques to help manage your anxiety.

Online support groups

Joining an online support group with other anxiety sufferers may help you find a sense of connection with others. It may also provide comfort to know that you are not alone and others have a shared experience. Here you will find some great online support groups currently running in the UK


Grounding Techniques

Exercises to help focus your mind on the here and now, taking you away from the unknown future which may be exacerbating the anxiety. These techniques also engage the parasympathetic nervous system, sending the signal to the brain that you are safe, you are ok, your survival mode can be switched off.

Five Senses Exercise

This is a simple technique I use when I can feel myself getting overwhelmed by anxiety or stress.

It’s easy to remember because it’s just 5,4,3,2,1.

I suggest either taking yourself out to a green space or sitting down somewhere quiet, facing out of a window if you can.

FIND:


5️⃣ things you can 👁

4️⃣ things you can 👂

3️⃣ things you 👃

2️⃣ things you 👅

1️⃣ thing you can 🖐


The great thing about 5,4,3,2,1 is that it’s relatively discreet (except if someone catches you munching on a leaf), and it’s brilliant at snapping you back into the present moment. The here and now.


Mindfulness Object Exercise

Simple exercise to calm your mind before a particular event or moment that might be causing anxiety. Especially helpful with performance anxiety, just before an audition or public speaking.


Rectangle Breathing

Think RECTANGLE:


1️⃣ breathe in for the short sides to a count of 4

2️⃣ breathe out for the long sides to a count of 7


Drawing a rectangle forces you to take longer exhalations and shorter inhalations.

This encourages a slower, deeper and more controlled breath which helps to calm your anxiety and lower heart rate.

Such a simple exercise but so powerful when things feel a bit overwhelming.


Alphabet Grounding Technique

A great little exercise if you are feeling anxious. Run through the alphabet in your mind but picking a particular theme. I tried vegetables and clearly lost the competition at X. Who knows a vegetable beginning with X?!?!


Progressive Muscle Relaxation

A guided meditation to encourage full body relaxation and focus on the present moment. Best results come if you can find a quiet space to sit comfortably in a chair.

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