First Steps in Managing Anxiety

If you have not already recognised what situations make you feel anxious, then use the previous sections to help you.

Life Events:
We may develop anxiety following a series of stressful life events. For example, if someone has employment instability, financial worries, and ill health, all at the same time, it is understandable that they may become anxious. The life events and the fear of not being able to manage, become the threat and the fight and flight response will begin as part of our defence mechanism. Also, we may naturally develop anxiety based on past life experiences. For example, if someone has faced  bullying in the past, whether it be at school or in a workplace, they may be more likely to suffer anxiety when beginning a new job.

Unhelpful Thinking Styles
Some people may have unhelpful thinnking styles due to experiencing anxiety. For example, people experiencing anxiety may expect that the worst possible situation will always happen. By thinking about all the things that could possibley go wrong, they will be better prepared to cope if it happens. However thinking like this means they are constantly on guard and find it difficult to relax and ‘switch off’.

Altered Behaviour
When feeling anxious people often change their behaviour as a result of their anxiety.They may avoid necessary situations. This, in-turn, can keep the cycle of anxiety going.

You could start to monitor and investigate when you experience anxiety by keeping an anxiety diary. You could document if you anxiety occurs with a particular person/people, at certain times, certain places etc… You could also document what your was thinking and look at this diary to help see if a pattern is emerging or a specific problem.

If there is a problem that hasn’t been tackled, using a problem solviing appraoch would be another way to manage your anxiety.


If you already know what scenarios or situations make you feel anxious then continue reading on how your anxiety symptoms can be managed and controlled.


Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

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