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HealthInfo Canterbury

Self-care for anxiety

There are many things you can do to help get your anxiety under control and feel better. While taking the first steps can be hard, the sooner you get help, the sooner you'll get better.

Getting better can take time. You'll need to make lots of small and big changes to your life. Then maintain them to stay well.

Talk to your GP, practice nurse or other health professional about how you're feeling. They can talk to you about treatment options.

Learn more about anxiety

Learn about what causes anxiety, how it affects people and the different treatments that are available. Understanding the illness and seeing how it can be treated can help you feel more able to cope and less alone with the problem.

These two resources are helpful:

Make healthy choices

Learn to relax and reduce stress

Most people who suffer from anxiety aren't aware that the way they breathe and hold their muscles is probably reinforcing their feelings of panic and fear. Try these relaxation exercises to help you feel less anxious by retraining your muscles and your breathing.

You can borrow relaxation tapes and music from your library or contact the Mental Health Education and Resource Centre (MHERC). You can also use the online guided meditation from CALM Auckland.

Mindfulness may also be helpful. It's a mental discipline that helps connect you to the here-and-now and regain control. The Smiling Mind app is an excellent free resource to get you started with mindfulness.

You may also want to consider a yoga or meditation class.

Get support

Use a free phone service. These services will be able to talk to you about your day-to-day struggles or help you if you have a crisis.

On the next page: Getting help with anxiety

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed April 2020.

See also:

Medications for mental health issues

Preparing for your doctor's visit

Reading in Mind book scheme

Page reference: 50597

Review key: HIAXA-50595