The UK’s Most Anxious Towns Revealed

A recent study by bcalm has found that Swansea is the UK’s most anxious region, with 8.16% of residents suffering from weekly panic attacks. People in Cardiff, Wolverhampton, Glasgow and Birmingham are also at risk. Surprisingly, Londoners were the 14th most anxious Britons, with only 3.21% of residents suffering from weekly panic attacks.

How anxious is your home town?

  • Swansea – 8.16% residents have one panic attack a week
  • Wolverhampton – 6.98%
  • Cardiff – 6.67%
  • Glasgow – 6.56%
  • Birmingham – 5.85%
  • Brighton and Hove – 5.80%
  • Newcastle – 5.78%
  • Portsmouth – 5.77%
  • Bristol – 4.62%
  • Manchester – 4.29%
  • Liverpool – 4.04%
  • Oxford – 3.96%
  • Belfast – 3.39%
  • London – 3.21%
  • Norwich – 2.56%
  • Southampton – 2.35%
  • Edinburgh – 2.17%
  • Sheffield – 1.86%
  • Leeds – 1.83%
  • Aberdeen – 1.75%
  • Leceister – 1.54%

Researchers think that carbon dioxide levels are to blame for panic attacks. Participants of the study claimed that crowded offices and commutes to work were among their most frequent triggers for panic attacks.

Do you suffer from panic attacks during your working day? Suggest a change of layout in the office or even better ventilation, and avoid confined spaces such as lifts if you’re particularly prone. Read on for more tips on how to reduce anxiety…

According to YouGov, one in five Brits feels anxious all or some of the time. Mixed depression and anxiety is in fact the most prevalent mental health problem in the UK as a whole. A certain amount of anxiety can be good for you – it keeps you alert and can help you to perform well when life situations instill you with fear. Although this is only in small doses. If anxiety becomes too intense or goes on for too long it can make you feel bad and start to interfere with your life. It is in fact a major trigger for depression and can start to affect your physical health as well.

Anxiety can manifest itself in all sorts of ways. It can include feeling worried all the time, having difficulty sleeping or being unable to concentrate. Physical symptoms include dry mouth, faintness, sweating and breathing too fast. The good news is there are many simple steps that you can start taking right now to help you calm down and let go of the angst that is plaguing you.

So how can we chase that chilled-out feeling when anxiety is getting the better of us? Psychologist Tony Crabbe and neurophysiologist Dr Nerina Ramlakhan gave us some advice on how to cope.

1. Step away from tech

Our access to stimulation,
information and communication is limitless, and we can’t resist going
back for more. It’s not just our kids who need limits! Escape screen
overload and take back time by making a conscious decision about how
long to browse, then put away your laptop, switch off your smartphone
and stop the mindless more game.

2. Stop multi-tasking

Five minutes of this, ten minutes of that – we are doing a hundred jobs a day and, inevitably, not all of them properly. As tech allows us to fragment our attention and take multitasking to a new dimension, we can actually make less progress and end up having to return to undone tasks.

Instead, stop thinking better time management and consider better attention management. Keep your focus simple. Choose one thing and do it excellently, closing your mind to every other distraction. Only then move on.

3. Get meditating

If every five-minute breather is spent with a to-do list flashing before your eyes, develop a wind-down ritual you can use even when there’s only a mini break in your day. Do some simple breathing exercises, open the window and inhale some fresh air or kick off your shoes (okay, it may be under the desk!) and have a herbal tea. Read more on meditation techniques.

4. Make a ‘NOT To-Do’ list

We all make lists of things we have to do… now make a list of things NOT to do. You don’t have to answer all your emails right now or give attention to time stealers – they are the ones who take, don’t give and never stop talking. About themselves.

5. Find your fabulous fifteen

It’s not your 500 Facebook friends who make you happy, but the 15 people you cherish most. Research shows it is these magic 15 people who bring you joy, wellbeing and satisfaction in life. You probably know who they are immediately but, if not, write them down. Now make space to spend more time with them.

6. Schedule time to relax

Don’t hit the ground running. If you start off in a mad rush, the rest of your day will follow suit. It may mean a slightly earlier wake-up time, but allowing yourself the luxury of a slow start, with a cup of herbal tea in bed on a weekday perhaps, will make you feel more in control and put you in a better frame of mind. At the end of your day, create a similar wind-down space.

7. Change gear

A change really is as good as a rest, so if you can’t switch off mentally, trust your body to do it for you. Engage in something purely physical, such as ballroom dancing or rock climbing, and the concentration it requires will drown out your internal taskmaster, allowing your brain to recharge.

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