I often worry and feel anxious and want to learn how to deal with this

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If you’re often worried or feeling anxious, you may struggle with rumination, panic attacks, or physical symptoms such as restlessness, palpitations, or dizziness. You can also feel fatigued if you are anxious, or you can find it hard to fall asleep because of the worrying. You may avoid certain situations, such as contact with others (friends or colleagues). Also, you may be thinking about things that might happen or have already happened. Constantly worrying and feeling anxious is distressing and has a negative impact on your daily life.

Getting started

By learning about and actively working with your anxiety, you will gradually start to feel better and experience more control.

We are happy to help you with the action plan below. The action plan contains information and various exercises that you can perform throughout your daily life with the help of the NiceDay app over the next 4 weeks to help you gradually get more control over your situation. You can do this independently, but also by using the NiceDay app to support you. Download the app here if you haven’t got it on your phone yet and get started right away!

Disclaimer
Are you experiencing so much anxiety that it is greatly impacting or limiting your daily functioning? In that case, it might be good to schedule an appointment with your GP for a referral to a psychologist. Click here for more information about treatment via NiceDay, or ask a NiceDay psychologist a question for free.

Your action planWeek 1

  • Set a goal: By setting goals, you give your recovery process focus, which will help to keep you motivated. Read the information about setting goals in this article and write down your goals in the NiceDay Diary. Tip: Set your goal as a reminder in NiceDay so that you are reminded of your goal on a daily basis.
  • Understanding anxiety: Knowing what anxiety is and what causes anxiety can help you to understand and come to terms with your struggles. Read these articles on anxiety and normalizing anxiety and write down the things you learnt and identify with in your NiceDay diary. What feelings do you recognize? What avoidance and safety behaviour do you rely upon? What made you anxious in the past? In addition, make a note of your avoidance and safety behaviour.
  • Insight: Gaining insight into your anxiety and being aware of when it arises will give you a good starting point to make changes and will help you to regain control. Activate the Tracker for ‘Fear’, ‘Worrying’ or ’Panic attacks’ in the NiceDay app and keep track of the moments you experience anxiety each day. Try to do this at least 3 times a day and add extra information about your experience by writing a short note.

Week 2

  • Reflect: Take a look at the overview of your Tracker(s) and reflect on the week that has just passed. Do you notice anything? Does your anxiety occur in specific moments? Does something trigger your anxiety? Write down any patterns or insights in your NiceDay diary. Continue to keep track of your anxiety over the next few weeks.
  • Relaxation and mindfulness: Taking time to relax and recharge is important for your well-being. It ensures that your body can recover properly from the fear and tension. Practising regularly will help you make the most out of them. Read about Mindfulness and how it works and choose an exercise from the our blog that works best for you to practice with this week. Schedule two short moments (approximately 10 minutes) each day with the NiceDay app to practice when you are in a safe environment.
  • Exposure: During the first week, you will have read about avoidance and safety behaviour and what they are. Exposure involves confronting yourself with the things you worry about or avoid. Read this article on exposure and the basic principles of a successful exposure, and schedule an exposure exercise for yourself with the NiceDay app. Think of something that makes you anxious, such as saying “no” to a friend or colleague, leading a meeting at work, or meeting someone new.
  • Exercise: Exercising is beneficial for both your physical and mental health. Read about the benefits of exercise and walking, then plan to do some exercising in your NiceDay planner. You can activate the pedometer in NiceDay to keep track of your progress.

Week 3

  • Reflect: Take a look at the overview of your Tracker(s) and reflect on the week that has just passed. Do you notice anything? Have the mindfulness or relaxation exercises been effective? Take some time to think about the exposure exercises you did last week. What did you learn from those exercises? Has your negative expectation come true? Write this down in your NiceDay diary. Plan another exposure exercise in your NiceDay planner for this week. If the last one went well, try to come up with something more difficult.
  • Self-compassion: As humans, we are often our own worst critic and talk to ourselves in a negative way. Self-compassion is about being kind and gentle to yourself, which is important for your self-esteem. Read about self-compassion and set reminders in the NiceDay app to talk to yourself with compassion.
  • Thoughts: Your thoughts can play a major role in anxiety and affect your experiences. A thought record helps you to gain insight into those thoughts. Read about keeping a Thought record and what thinking styles are. Next, fill out the first part (Step 1) of a Thought record every day this week in the NiceDay app to gain more insight into your thoughts and the role they play in your anxiety.

Week 4

  • Thoughts: Complete step 1 of a few different thought records, strive for completing 1 each day. Once you’ve mastered that, you can move on to steps 2 and 3 of the Thought record, which involve challenging your thoughts and coming up with new more realistic and positive ones. Read about thought challenging and continue to complete steps 2 & 3 of your Thought records. Tip: When challenging, pick a thought or doubt that says something about you. E.g.: “They don’t think I’m important” or “I’m a bad employee”.
  • Talking: Talking about our feelings with someone else can be a huge relief. By talking about your experience, you will receive more support and understanding from others. You don’t have to do it alone! Learn more about talking about your feelings and schedule a time to talk to someone who you trust and who you feel can support you. Tip: If you want to inform someone on your experience, you can share this article with them.
  • Reflect: Reflecting provides you with insight into your growth process and your progress. Look back on what you’ve done in the past few weeks. What went well? What are you proud of? What can you improve? Do you notice patterns? What have you learned from the Thought records and exposure exercises? Can you apply these skills to your daily life? Write down your insights in a Diary entry in the NiceDay app.

After

  • Prevention: Based on your last reflection, you can create a reassurance plan. This will help you to identify the signals that indicate that your well-being has decreased and provide you with tools to intervene effectively. It can be seen as a summary of your growth process over the past few weeks.
  • Keep working: Learning to deal with your anxiety is a process. Now that you’ve made a start, it’s important to keep going and keep challenging yourself. Therefore, make a plan for the coming week to see what you can do to reduce your anxiety in the long term.

Tips for successfully completing the action plan

  • Reward: You are working hard on your self-development! This should definitely be rewarded. Rewards help to motivate you. Learn more about rewards and get inspired to reward yourself. Schedule your rewards in NiceDay.
  • Patience: Effective change takes time, patience and perseverance. Give yourself time and take note of the small steps in your progress. Don’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t work out perfectly the first time.
  • Patterns: Be alert to connections and patterns in your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. They can influence one another and can inform you of the most effective areas for change. Learn more about Cognitive Behavioural therapy here.
  • Read more: If you’re looking for information on anxiety or specific anxiety topics, such as panic attacks or phobias, check out our anxiety library or search for ‘anxiety’ on our blog page.

Need extra support?

Haven’t the steps above helped you sufficiently and are you looking for professional help or guidance from a psychologist? Learn more about receiving online help through the NiceDay app here.

Technical questions

Do you have questions about using the app while going through your action plan or are you unable to figure something out? Please read the Frequently Asked Questions or contact our NiceDay Support Team on working days via the app (tab ‘Support’) or by telephone on 010 – 3030 600. We are happy to help you!

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