Self-Help For Anxiety

NHS

If you have generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), there are many ways to help ease the symptoms of anxiety yourself.

Try a book or online course

There are lots of books and courses that can help you learn to cope with your anxiety. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) only recommends trying treatments based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

CBT is a type of psychological treatment that can help you manage your anxiety by changing negative or unhelpful thoughts and behaviour.

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, may help you combat stress and release tension. It also encourages your brain to release serotonin, which can improve your mood.

Examples of good aerobic exercises include:

  • walking fast or jogging
  • swimming
  • cycling
  • tennis
  • hiking
  • football or rugby
  • aerobics

You should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week. Moderate-intensity exercise should raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster.

Learn to relax

As well as regular exercise, learning how to relax is important. You may find relaxation and breathing exercises helpful, or you may prefer activities such as yoga or pilates to help you unwind.

You can also try listening to this 6-minute anxiety control training audio guide.

Avoid caffeine

Drinking too much caffeine can make you more anxious than normal. This is because caffeine can disrupt your sleep and also speed up your heartbeat.

If you're tired, you're less likely to be able to control your anxious feelings. Avoiding drinks containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, fizzy drinks and energy drinks, may help reduce your anxiety levels.

Healthy living

Taking steps to enjoy a healthier lifestyle can help boost both your physical and mental health which can also help combat feelings of anxiety.

Steps you can take include:

  • take regular exercise
  • eat a healthy balanced diet
  • quit smoking if you smoke
  • drink alcohol in moderation and stick to the recommended unit consumption levels

Contact support groups

Support groups can give you advice on how to manage your anxiety. They're also a good way to meet other people with similar experiences. Examples of support groups you may find useful include:

Support groups can often arrange face-to-face meetings, where you can talk about your difficulties and problems with other people. Many support groups also provide support and guidance over the phone or in writing.

Ask your GP about local support groups for anxiety in your area, or search online for mental health information and support services near you.

Useful resources

Our team of facilitators have extensive knowledge and experience in the field of Mental...
Advanced Diploma in Mental Health and Wellbeing Coaching This virtual training programme...
Our Talking Therapies Practice offers individuals a range of psychological interventions...
Clinical hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis for the treatment and alleviation of a...
We’ve gathered useful advice, information and help for young people aged 8-25 and those...
A partnership, led by AMH, who worked with 8 leading charities to improve mental health...
WiseTalking is a pilot Talking Therapies service for children and young people who are...
This programme is a six week training programme for groups of adults and focuses on...
This idea is a walk in the park. It really is that simple, post a news item to see how...
You must download the Libby app to continue to access the eMagazine and eNewspaper...
Helping employees become more resilient, by giving them the skills to reframe negative...
AWARE also offers an online support group service. The groups provide an opportunity to...
Action Mental Health is one of the ChatPal Project Team Members working to develop and...
This is aimed at the over 55’s and is delivered to groups in community settings. The...
This is a six-session programme using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) concepts – the...
AMH New Horizons provides a comprehensive programme of specialist training in: Personal...
First aid as we know it is the help given to an injured person before medical treatment...
Stress doesn’t just make you feel bad – it can also be bad for your health. The good news...
A project for men aged 50+ to share skills, socialise and connect with their wider...
AMH Promote provides opportunities for adults with a learning disability to be socially...
This is delivered to expectant mothers & parents of babies under 3 years of age. It...
Counselling is a form of talking therapy that allows you to speak openly about your...
From books and magazines to local history resources, Libraries NI has a host of fabulous...
Back to Life, Back to Normality is a free 12-week mental health programme delivered by...
Well mind is a workshop which focuses on recognising the triggers of stress and the...
Bloom is a UK-wide programme which supports young people’s mental health resilience,...
The Community Care and Support Service is open to individuals over the age of 18 years...
Belfast Resource Centre offers many opportunities including social and leisure activities...
Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), developed by Professor Paul Gilbert OBE, is a...
Sourcing and supporting employment opportunities, training and/or voluntary placements...
Supporting veterans at risk of suicide across Northern Ireland. Exposure to line of duty...
Beyond Bricks is Lego® Based Play that uses a 'recovery to discovery' approach to enhance...
There are a number of health campaigns throughout the year to raise awareness of...
This is delivered to the general adult population, including those affected by depression...
Libraries NI can provide a free Homecall service to your home if you have significant...
Anxiety can affect anyone at any time, however, students often experience additional...
Our support groups offer a safe space for people aged 18+ to share experiences of anxiety...
AMH New Life Counselling provides high quality counselling services and is part of Action...
The OUR Generation project is a Peace IV funded project that provides a unique...
MindWise is delighted to offer employers an opportunity to train their staff as Mental...
This includes: Raising awareness of depression and Aware NI services at a wide range of...
AMH EveryBODY aims to promote greater understanding and awareness of eating disorders. We...
Mindfulness is a form of meditation with its roots in Buddhism. It helps you develop...
Link & Learns are bite size, topical learning sessions for your employees, delivered...
Tailored activities to support positive mental health and emotional wellbeing. MensSana,...
AMH Works provide specialised mental wellbeing training and consultancy to tackle...
Mood Matters Young People programme is aimed at 14-18 year olds and gives them knowledge...
It is estimated that the overall prevalence of mental health conditions in Northern...
Free access to eBooks, audiobooks and eMagazines - available to download on your device...
Positive Minds for Premature Parents supports families of premature babies to develop and...
Everyone’s mental health and emotional well-being is important and many different issues...
Since 2010 Action Mental Health has been successfully delivering Chronic Pain/Conditions...
The British Red Cross is helping people connect with their local communities, meet new...
MindWise are proud to be the only membership-led mental health organisation in Northern...
CBT involves examining your thoughts, feelings and behaviour patterns, and working out...
Be Mindful is an online course that uses mindfulness techniques like meditation,...
We have a wealth of experience in delivering training and consultancy services to a wide...
This supportive behaviour change programme motivates individuals who are ready to make...

Helplines & Web Chats

Samaritans
Action Mental Health
Association for Post-Natal Illness Helpline
Aware NI - Support Groups
Aware NI - Online Support Groups
Mind - Side by Side Online Community