5 Things That Make Anxiety Worse

With anxiety affecting up to 16% of the population at any one time, and most of us at one time or other in our lives, it’s important to realise that our gut reactions to anxious thoughts aren’t always the best things for us.

5 Things That Make Anxiety Worse

  1. Trying to stop the thoughts – Trying not to think about it will only draw attention to the thing that makes you anxious. Saying to yourself ‘don’t think about x’ will only bring ‘x’ to the forefront of your mind. Instead, try accepting and acknowledging your anxious thoughts, and try to be okay with their presence.Man pressed between two walls. Concept of oppression, anxiety
  2. Avoiding the things that make you anxious – If, for example, social situations make you anxious, it’s tempting to avoid them altogether, but that’s actually counterproductive. If you get into the habit of avoiding the things that make you anxious, it reinforces the idea that there’s something to be afraid of. It’s far better to face your fear and prove to yourself that your fears are unfounded – if you go to that party, nothing bad is going to happen!Woman In Depressed Mood Sits On The Window
  3. Unhealthy coping mechanisms – The phrase ‘Dutch Courage’ comes to mind here. If you’re nervous about something, it can be tempting to have a drink to steady your nerves. Other people might have a cigarette to calm themselves down. But regardless of the negative impact these have on our health, they can actually make your anxiety worse in the long run. If you use alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, etc., as a coping mechanism for your anxiety, you essentially create a psychological crutch which you will come to rely on – and you’ll be less able to cope with your anxiety without your crutch.anxious woman hiding under a pillow, lying on her bed
  4. Isolating yourself or moping – It’s tempting when we’re anxious to shut ourselves off from the rest of the world, but when we do that we’re also shutting ourselves off from the things that can help make us feel better. If you’re alone, you will focus on the things that are making you feel bad, but if you’re with friends or doing an activity, you have something else to focus your mind and energy on. Plus exercise and positive social interactions encourage the production of those chemicals in the brain that make you feel good, helping to overcome that anxiety chemically.Panic business concept psychological health
  5. Unnatural breathing – Panic attacks are often accompanied with hyperventilation or heavy breathing, but it’s a two way street. If you start to hyperventilate or breath heavily, you’ll panic more because you’ll start to think that you can’t breathe normally. Instead concentrate on taking steady, controlled breaths to try and return your breathing to normal. This will help slow your heart rate and calm you down.

Chrysalis Placements: What Help Is There?

Applying for Chrysalis placements can be a daunting experience: it’s just like applying for a job.

When studying with Chrysalis, you’re not alone – we can help you find the perfect placement, all you have to do is ask!

What We Can Do:

1) We can supply in depth information about the course so that the placement provider understands what you are studying and the requirements of the course. This means that you’re less likely to end up on a placement that’s not suitable due to miscommunication or misunderstanding on the part of the provider – we’ll make sure they know what you need from them!

2) If the placement provider requires further information to this, Chrysalis can arrange for a member of the Chrysalis team to contact the placement to talk through the requirements. If they’ve got questions, we can handle them for you so that you can be confident that the placement you undertake will definitely fit the requirements of the course, and you won’t waste your time.

3) Chrysalis are currently collating a list of placements, which get published on our website with information on how to apply. We’re also looking to launch a student space on the website, where ads will be published. Of course, you can find your own placement, but if you apply to any on our list, you’ll know you’re doing an appropriate course straight away (and negate the need for items 1 & 2 in this list – Bonus!).

4) For Autumn 2016 Chrysalis will produce a guide on finding a placement with all of the top tips to help you find your ideal placement provider. If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to finding your placement, you’ll be able to check out our handy guide for all the advice you’ll need.

Please remember that it is down to the student to find a placement. We can help out, but we can’t be there in your interview!

If you have any questions then please feel free to get in touch via email or phone, and one of our helpful team will give you all the advice you’ll need.

Young Minds Matter: Are We Neglecting the Mental Health of Children and Young People?

child depression

 

These statistics are unsettling.

10% of children will experience a mental health problem, but it most cases, intervention comes much later than it should.

There are obvious speculations to be made about why this is – often children’s responses to mental health problems get dismissed as mere ‘naughtiness’ until the behavioural pattern becomes significant (or even dangerous) enough to warrant escalation by teachers or parents.

So What Are The Risk Factors?

  • Long term illness
  • Parents with a history of mental health problems, alcohol or substance abuse, or problems with the law
  • The death of someone close to them
  • Parents’ divorce or separation
  • Being a victim of bullying
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Living in poverty
  • Experiencing discrimination for their race, religion or sexuality
  • Being a carer, or having other adult responsibilities
  • Prolonged educational difficulties

This list is, of course, not exhaustive, and it is not to say that children who don’t experience these things don’t develop mental health problems.

Monochrome portrait of a sad and lonely girl crying with a hand covering her face (with space for text)

What Are The Most Common Mental Health Problems in Children?

Children and young people can develop any of the same conditions that adults can, but there are some which have proved prevalent among children and young people. The following list contains some (though not all) of the most common, along with warning signs to look out for.

  • Depression – as with adults, children with depression may withdraw from social activities, or experience difficulty concentrating in school (sometimes resulting in a dip in grades)
  • Self-Harm – particularly common in teenagers, they may cut, scratch or burn themselves (often on the arms or legs)
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder – children may become reluctant to do particular activities, have difficulty concentrating, or become more fidgety or agitated
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – usually a response to a traumatic event or experience, which can be anything from a death in the family to abuse
  • Eating Disorders – this can be purposely under-eating, over-eating, or purging. Look out for secrecy about food habits (either secret eating or hiding uneaten food), anxiety at meal times, or rapid weight loss or gain.

 

New Chrysalis TV Ad

You may have noticed a few more butterflies on your TV screens than normal…

Our TV advert launched at the beginning of April, and has been playing regularly across a range of channels – from freeview to subscription – ever since.

Not seen it? Check it out below!

 

Our TV ad is just the start of our campaign to reach a much wider audience, to show people that they can make a change.

Chrysalis offers the opportunity to train on fully accredited courses to become a qualified counsellor or hypnotherapist around any current commitments, be they family or work related, meaning that anyone can make that career change.

10 Top Tips for Dealing with Exam Stress

Tired College Student Girl Studying For University Exam Worried

Thousands of university students across the country are preparing for their exams. It’s, understandably, a very stressful time, but what can students do to help keep on top of their stress an anxiety?

  1. Eat Well: A balanced diet keeps your body healthy, and is vital for you to perform at your best.
  2. Get Enough Sleep: You need a full night’s sleep (about 8 hours) for your brain to function properly.
  3. Learn to Recognise When You’re Stressed: If you can be aware of when your stress is starting to become a problem, you can take steps to control it before it gets out of hand.
  4. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others: Everyone is different – not only will everyone get different results, everyone studies differently as well. What other people are doing doesn’t matter. Focus instead on what’s best for you and doing your best.
  5. Exercise: Not only does exercise provide a welcome break from studying, it produces chemicals that help combat stress and leave you feeling positive.

Tired Student Surrounded By Books

 

6. Take Regular Breaks: Your brain can only focus for so long in one go. Take regular short breaks every 40 minutes or so, with longer breaks every few hours. Scheduling time where it’s ok to check social media (i.e. in your short breaks) will also make you less likely to procrastinate – bonus!

7. Don’t Get Drawn In To Exam Post-Mortem: Worrying about what’s already happened won’t change it. Focus on moving forward – think about what’s coming next rather than dwelling on the past.

8. Lay off the Caffeine: Stimulants such as caffeine can increase your heart rate and contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety.

9.Take Steps to Overcome Problems: Instead of panicking about something you don’t understand, ask for help! If you’re having problems, ask a friend or tutor to go through the course material with you. People would far rather see you succeed – help is there if you only ask!

10. Talk to Someone!: If you’re feeling stressed and struggling to cope, please do talk to someone – a friend, family member, or a counsellor. Most universities have student support service, and are well-equipped and experienced at helping students cope with exam stress.

That last point is perhaps the most important – it’s okay (and indeed, it’s the smart thing to do) to ask for help if you need it.

Good luck in your exams!

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