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Managing anxiety


Anxiety is more than feeling worried or stressed. People often feel this way in response to situations or tasks, and these feelings usually pass once the situation or task is resolved. If you find that the worry or stress does not pass, make it hard to cope with daily life or happen without any reason, you may be experiencing anxiety.

Anxiety is common in Australia. One in four people will experience anxiety in their lifetime, and although it is common, anxiety can feel different for everyone.

For some people, anxiety makes them feel restless, like they can’t sit still or concentrate; for others, they might feel frightened, tense or dizzy. This can present changes to your thoughts or day-to-day life. You might notice that you stop looking forward to social situations, withdraw from the people around you, have trouble concentrating and sleeping, or start having negative thoughts about yourself.

When anger outbursts become frequent and uncontrolled, it can lead to problems in your personal, work and study relationships and affect the overall quality of your life. Anger is also a problem when it causes people around you to feel frightened, hurt or feel they cannot talk to you or disagree with you in case you become angry.

What to do

If you think you are experiencing anxiety, the most important things to know are that support is available and anxiety can be resolved.

Things you can do right now to manage anxiety:

  • Speak to a health professional or someone you trust.
  • Practice relaxation techniques – practicing these techniques before you need them will make them a little easier to use when you really need them.
  • Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and say ‘I can do this'.
  • Focus on the task at hand, not what might go wrong.
  • Take a moment to remember times when you have performed well in the past.

Getting support

At Deakin, you can make an appointment with the Deakin's Counselling service or Deakin Medical Centre.

The Anxiety Disorders Association of Victoria and Beyond Blue websites have lots of information about anxiety and support groups for people experiencing anxiety.

If you need to speak to someone right now, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat online on their website.

13YARN (13 92 76) is a 24/7 crisis support service that provides a culturally safe space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to yarn about their worries, needs and concerns.

QLife provides information and support LGBTIQ+ people and their loved ones. You can speak with someone at QLife by calling 1800 184 527 or visiting their website between 3pm and midnight every day.

More help and advice

The DeakinWELLBEING app can help you find balance and develop healthy habits, which may help you to reduce and manage anxiety.

MoodGym is an interactive, evidence-based self-help tool that you can use to help prevent and manage anxiety.

myCompass is a personalised self-help tool for mental health.

Our podcast on managing social anxiety outlines some practical strategies for coping with spiralling negative thoughts.

Contact us

Make a free and confidential counselling appointment.

In an emergency or after-hours, call Lifeline telephone counselling 13 11 14.