I felt the room suffocating me, my heart was racing so fast I thought I would die, I was sure it would be a disaster, I had to leave…”

The above scenario is something we would be familiar with if we are touched by anxiety. A  healthy amount of stress triggers a process that makes us more sharp and focused on the task at hand. People who suffer from anxiety can experience debilitating factors that affect their lives and their health. 

Anxiety is described as feeling nervous and having a sense of impending danger. Others describe having an increased heart rate and breathing rapidly, sweating and trembling. Other symptoms include feeling weak and tired, finding it hard to concentrate and having trouble with sleeping or digestion. The effect of anxiety ranges from simply avoiding situations where we do not feel comfortable, to not being able to carry simple daily tasks, in the most severe cases.

Here are some easy coping strategies  when we are feeling stressed and anxious: 

  1. Distance yourself from the problem: Stepping back from the issue troubling us and focusing on relaxation techniques. Such techniques include yoga or meditation  which can help us clear our thoughts and get out of the worry cycle that causes anxiety. One can also listen to relaxing music, go for a walk or engage in a hobby to help calm down.
  2. Eat healthy meals: Many times when we are anxious our eating patterns are disrupted, and we tend to either skip meals or go into comfort eating. Others might increase their alcohol and caffeine intake which can increase anxiety and even trigger panic attacks. Professionals recommend eating healthy meals and limiting alcohol and caffeine consumption .
  3. Take control of your breathing :  Taking deep breaths, counting to 10 slowly and talking positively and calmly to ourselves can all be strategies to take control and feel calmer.
  4. Work on your mindset: Our thought processes can be an essential resource when working on our anxiety. Accepting that we can’t control everything, and that rather than aiming for perfection, we can only  do our best, can be powerful ways of reducing anxiety. Learning not to take things too seriously and trying to see the humorous aspect of things can also help.
  5. Know your triggers: Take the time to reflect on what is making you anxious. Writing a journal can be a big help when we are feeling anxious.   It can be one way of venting out what we are feeling but it can also help us recognise a pattern about what is making us feel stressed.
  6. Talk it out: Talking to our friends and family members when we are feeling overwhelmed can help but it is also important not to underestimate the effect of stress and anxiety over a long period of time, and to see a physician or therapist if you feel that the symptoms are intensifying. 

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.

Sonya Galea is a family therapist with the Willingness Team. She works with families and couples experiencing couple relationship issues and parenting struggles.


Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (2010). Generalised Anxiety Disorder.Retrieved from: https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/generalized-anxiety-disorder-gad

E. Delzell. (2021).How to stop feeling anxious right now. Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/ways-to-reduce-anxiety