Dedicated to raising awareness of important mental health issues, each year in May the Mental Health Foundation hold their Mental Health Awareness Week, shining the spotlight on topics that can affect our mental health and wellbeing.
This annual event serves as a platform to shine a spotlight on various topics that significantly impact our mental wellbeing and overall health. By bringing these issues to the forefront, the foundation aims to foster understanding, support, and positive change in the way we perceive and address mental health challenges.
This year's theme is one that can affect anyone: Anxiety. Many of us will encounter feelings of anxiety in our lives, it's a normal emotion that can affect anyone in any walk of life and it can be brought on by a number of different triggers. Sometimes these feelings can spiral out of the bounds of normal emotion, getting out of control, stopping us from doing the things we need or want to do, and posing a significant challenge to our mental health.
How can we cope with feelings of anxiety?
While anxiety is incredibly common, it can also be easy to manage once we identify it as an issue. If you've recognised that anxiety is becoming an issue for you it's a good idea to work on some techniques that work to ease these feelings. Life can be overwhelming at times, but remember, you're not alone in your journey.
While there are lots of techniques out there for easing anxiety, it's important to work on finding the ones that work for you as no two people are the same.
Here are some effective ways to manage anxiety and cultivate a peaceful mind:
1. Breathe deeply. Take slow, deep breaths, focusing on the sensation of the air filling your lungs and then releasing it. This simple practice can help calm your nervous system.
2. Practice self-care: Prioritise activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Engage in hobbies, exercise regularly, get ourdoors, sleep well, and nourish your body with delicious, healthy foods.
3. Connect with loved ones: Reach out to friends and family members who make you feel supported and understood. Share your feelings with them and seek comfort in their presence.
4. Mindfulness and meditation: Practice mindfulness techniques to stay grounded in the present. Meditation can help quiet racing thoughts and promote a sense of inner peace. Even sitting in a quiet space with your favourite book and your favourite candle burning nearby can help ground you as scents from nature work their magic to sooth mind and soul.
5. Challenge negative thoughts: Replace self-critical or anxious thoughts with positive affirmations. Remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments, and focus on gratitude.
Remember managing anxiety is a journey and it's essential to be patient and kind to yourself. If you're dealing with feelings of anxiety then getting help can sometimes feel like an insurmountable task, but there are always people and resources out there ready to help.
While The Mental Health Foundation are a charity focused on research and policy development, and aren't able to advise people directly they have a page dedicated to dealing with feelings of anxiety here, and they have a page of resources on their website where you can find links to a host of amazing charities and services to get help and advice, which you can access here.