Anxiety: 6 thing sufferers should avoid

Chloe Brotheridge / May 18, 2016

Hypnotherapist Chloe Brotheridge reveals the top 6 mistakes that people with anxiety should avoid.


Using alcohol

Although alcohol can make the symptoms of anxiety diminish in the short term (making social events less nerve wreaking, for example) anxiety can be a lot worse after a drinking session. Many people, even those who usually don’t feel anxious generally, will have experienced some hangover anxiety. This is partly because having a hangover can produce physical symptoms like trembling, headaches, nausea, which can be similar to feelings of anxiety. Alcohol is also a depressant and reduces the quality of our sleep, making us feel negative and in a lower mood the next day.

I’m not suggesting you give up alcohol completely (although it’s not a bad idea!) but ensuring you’re not going to have a hangover the next day will help. Alternating alcoholic drinks with soft drinks while you’re out is an effective way to minimise the chance of a hangover, while I also find that having a less ‘delicious’ drink, such as a vodka and soda, will mean you’ll probably drink less, rather than the tasty, sugary cocktails, for example.

Fighting against anxiety

When we fight against anxiety, we often make our anxiety worse. We’ll often tell ourselves ‘why am I feeling this?!’ or ‘I shouldn’t feel this way, I need to make it stop!!”. In reality, the anxiety is only our bodies’ well-meaning way of keeping us safe, which has somehow gone awry. When we accept that all anxiety is is adrenaline; our bodies’ way of trying to protect us from danger, we can begin to see anxiety as a friend rather than a foe. As soon as we accept something, without trying to change it or make it go away, it’s power is lessened anyway. Give it a try.

Not Facing Fears

It’s natural to want to avoid things that make us feel anxious. Whether it’s crowded places, public speaking or social events, avoiding doing these things can seem like an easy and simple way to escape the feeling of anxiety. However, in life, we can’t avoid things forever, especially if we want to live full and happy lives, and the time will likely come when you have to face your fears. If you’ve been avoiding a situation, the chances are that it’ll be scarier and more anxiety provoking than ever when you do have to face it.

This is why it’s important to try to challenge yourself and ‘face your fears’ as much as you can. I’m not suggesting you book a sky dive if you’re scared of heights, but just take a small step in the right direction, perhaps by going up in a lift to a high floor or climbing a hill. By taking small steps forwards you’ll be teaching yourself that you can in fact cope with these things, and you’ll be building your confidence in the process.

Keeping It All To Themselves

Are you bottling up your feelings? A key mistake anxious people make it not confiding in others about how they’re feeling. It’s all to easy to want to just got on with things and not make a fuss, especially if we’re worried about inconveniencing others with our problems. However, people who love you more often than not want to help and support you. Often just speaking to someone else about how you’re feeling can make all the difference.

Thinking They’re Alone

I hear time and time again that people feel isolated by their anxiety and as if they are the only ones that feel that way. In actual fact, around 1 in 5 people feel anxious, so you are definitely not alone. Anxiety is very common and can happen to anyone, even rich and famous people like Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone have spoken about their struggles with anxiety.

Not Getting Help

More than half of anxiety sufferers don’t seek any professional help for their issue, which is such a shame since it’s often very effective. Anxiety, when treated, can get better. Whether it’s speaking to your doctor, a therapist or enrolling in an online programme for anxiety, help is available and you don’t have to put up with feeling anxious all the time.