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Mental Health Awareness Week 2023

Managing Anxiety – A Normal Emotion That Can Overwhelm.

Anxiety is an emotion that exists within all of us, but it can develop and evolve into a mental health problem if left unchecked.

There are numerous, everyday events which can increase our levels of anxiety, from relationships, family pressures, events at work and other significant life events.  The present economic challenges around meeting our basic needs, such as buying food and providing a warm safe home, can increase pressure and lead to heightened anxiety.  However, with the right support and techniques, managing anxiety can be made easier.

This year, for Mental Health Awareness Week, Shield Services Group will be following in the footsteps of the Mental Health Foundation by supporting the focus on anxiety.

When asked about anxiety, our Mental Health First Aider, Joanne Robb commented, “With naturally occurring feelings such as anxiety, it is important to recognise and understand the symptoms.  When we feel anxious we may notice an increase in our heart rate, and experience more frequent headaches or less regular symptoms such as a loss of appetite, breathlessness or even chest pains.  The first thing that I would recommend is to see a healthcare professional, in order to rule out other physical causes.  Anxiety can make us feel nervous or tense, causing us to find it hard to relax, and encounter problems with our sleep and concentration.  We may appear more irritable and/or withdrawn to our colleagues, friends and family.  It really is a challenging condition, as some suffered can appear fine on the outside but are panicking inside.”

Thankfully help and resources are at hand and there are tips which we should all be aware of to protect our mental health and manage anxiety.

Joanne added, “As a Mental Health First Aider, who has had the benefit of training with the Mental Health Foundation, I would highly recommend that anyone who believes that they are suffering from anxiety take a look at the tips available via this link: Mental Health Foundation – Tips For Coping With Anxiety.  Each person will benefit from the different techniques. But I encourage sufferers to give them a go and see what helps.  Being active, getting outside and enjoying the nature around us can be highly beneficial, but for those who lack the time, practising breathing techniques can have a big impact.  Sharing the load and speaking with a friend, or spending time with those close to you, can often be a step in the right direction.”

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