Last published 25 May 2021
Got too much on your mind? It’s natural to feel anxious, worried or scared in certain situations but it can sometimes be difficult to control these feelings.
The NHS defines anxiety as “a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe” and notes that it could lead to specific conditions, such as generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder.
Symptoms of anxiety vary from person to person and can be both physical and psychological. They might include a fast heartbeat, headaches and feeling shaky. Anxiety can also lead to sleep problems, poor concentration, irritability and changes in appetite. In more severe cases, it might result in panic attacks, feeling unable to see people or carry out your job and generally not enjoying life.
If anxiety is interfering with your daily life, there is support available to help you manage it. Use Good Thinking to get recommendations for NHS-approved apps, find expert advice and give your mental wellbeing a check-up with our self-assessment tool.
Good Thinking recommends NHS-approved apps to help reduce anxiety (many of which are free if you live or work in London), including:
Uses repeated breathing and tension/relaxation exercises to rapidly abolish the ‘fight or flight’ reaction then visualisation skills build new positive resources to establish positive mindset.
A clinically proven online mindfulness course approved by the NHS, Be Mindful helps you to manage anxiety through mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT).
Meditainment uses established guided meditation and visualisation techniques, leading you on imaginative journeys to dreamlike destinations to explore and reflect on a range of wellbeing topics.
By using this NHS-approved programme for 15 minutes a day, you can optimise your cognitive health, mental wellbeing and resilience to stress.
This clinically proven app can help you to understand and identify the causes of your anxiety so you can learn coping mechanisms and manage future situations better.
tomo is expertly designed to support you with many of life's obstacles, including social anxiety. The app combines digital peer support with the best of social media and proven therapeutic techniques.
Clear Fear is a free app developed to reduce anxiety using effective Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques. It was developed by a charity with input from young people and is recommended for 11 to 19-year-olds.
Check the symptoms and types of anxiety and access information sheets:
Take our anxiety quiz to get recommendations for NHS-approved apps. You can also use our free clinically-validated self-assessment tool to assess your anxiety anonymously – it only takes 20 minutes to complete and will provide you with a guiding diagnosis, helpful resources and, if necessary, relevant treatment options.
If you’re anxious about coronavirus, Good Thinking recommends the following articles and podcasts. You can find lots more information in our COVID-19 advice hub.
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