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Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a great way to reduce anxious feelings, for example eating regularly and having a good sleep pattern. Having breakfast, lunch and dinner at the right times will also help your body to fit into a routine. As does going to bed and getting up at the same time.

Having a consistent routine can help give structure to your life. Patterns can be set as we react the same way or do the same thing in certain situations. Our body can begin to expect and follow such routines.

Everyone knows that exercise is good for your body – but it’s also important for your emotional wellbeing. Exercise causes your brain to release chemicals that make you feel good. Exercise keeps our heart, body and our minds healthy. There is evidence that exercise can help in depression, anxiety and even protects you from stress.

Regular activity helps you to:

  • feel good about yourself
  • concentrate better
  • sleep better
  • have a positive outlook on life

Most of us feel good when we are active. So – don’t worry about not doing enough – get started by building a bit more physical activity into your daily life. Even a small change can help raise self-esteem, help sleep problems, improve memory and concentration and takes your mind off negative thoughts.

Breathing exercises to help with slowing down your heart rate when feeling anxious Try laying or sitting in a quiet distraction free room, closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing, try taking slow breaths, breathing in for a count of four and breathing out to the count of four.

Discussing your feelings with friends and family could go a long way as they may be able to provide you with some solutions and support. There are also other services, such as counselling, that can provide support for you and give you someone to talk to who really wants to listen.

The pastoral support team at school should be able to support and direct you in the right way – you may have a school counsellor that you get speak with. Your GP can also talk to you about taking care of yourself to manage anxiety or put you in touch with other services that may be able to help too.

Anxiety happens for different reasons and in lots of situations. It can feel random, but you may also spot themes

Being able to identify the causes of anxious feelings, or panic attacks, is extremely important. If you can work out what causes you to experience these feelings, then try and put things in place to help you avoid the triggers.


Anorexia (or anorexia nervosa) is a serious mental illness where people keep their body weight low by dieting, vomiting, using laxatives or excessively exercising. The way people with anorexia see themselves is often at odds with how they are seen by others and they will usually challenge the idea that they should gain weight. For example, they often have a distorted image of themselves, thinking that they’re fat when they’re not. People affected by anorexia often go to great attempts to hide their behaviour from family and friends.


Bulimia is a serious mental illness where people feel that they have lost control over their eating and evaluate themselves according to their body shape and weight. People with bulimia are caught in a cycle of eating large quantities of food (called ‘bingeing’), and then vomiting, taking laxatives or diuretics (called purging), in order to prevent gaining weight. This behaviour can dominate daily life and lead to difficulties in relationships and social situations. Usually people hide this behaviour pattern from others and their weight is often in a healthy range

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder (BED) is a serious mental illness where people experience a loss of control and overeat on a regular basis. People who binge eat consume very large quantities of food over a short period of time (called bingeing) and they often eat even when they are not hungry. It is not about eating extra large portions.
Binges are usually planned like a ritual and can involve the person buying “special” binge foods. Binge eating usually takes place in private

Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified

Some people with an eating disorder may have received a diagnosis of Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). A diagnosis of EDNOS would typically have been given to someone whose symptoms didn’t meet all of the criteria for anorexia or bulimia or where their symptoms were a mix of those for anorexia and bulimia

It was estimated that of those with eating disorders; 10% were anorexic, 40% were bulimic and the rest fall into the EDNOS category which included BED.