Living With My Condition In Fife


Anxiety is something we all experience from time to time.  Most people can relate to feeling tense, uncertain and perhaps fearful at thoughts of sitting an exam, going to hospital, attending a new job etc.  These worries can affect your sleep, appetite and ability to concentrate.  If everything goes well, the anxiety will go away.  Short term anxiety can be useful.  Feeling nervous before an exam can make you feel more alert and enhance your performance.  However, if the feelings of anxiety overwhelm you, your ability to concentrate and do well may suffer.

Symptoms of anxiety vary from butterfly feelings in the stomach, being on edge, irritable, unable to relax or concentrate to panic attacks where there is a rapid build up of overwhelming sensations such as a pounding heartbeat, feeling faint, nausea or chest pains.


Managing and Controlling the Symptoms

Taking action may make you feel more anxious at first, but facing up to anxiety can be the first step in breaking the cycle of fear and insecurity.

  • Breathing and relaxation therapies: These can control anxiety and replace distressing, negative thoughts with positive, peaceful ones.
  • Complimentary therapies:  These can help you to relax, sleep better and deal with the symptoms of anxiety.
  • Exercise:  Exercise uses up the adrenalin and other hormones that are produced under stress, allowing muscles to relax.  Certain brain chemicals are also released during exercise which can enhance your mood.
  • Healthy Living:  Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep can also make a big difference to your ability to cope with anxiety.  Stimulants such as coffee, alcohol and cigarettes can promote anxiety and should therefore be avoided.
  • Talking:  It can relieve your feelings to talk to a friend or family member about what’s making you anxious. 

If these strategies aren’t enabling you to cope, go and see your GP or practice nurse.  GP’s may prescribe medication as a temporary measure for severe or disabling anxiety.

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