Coping with Anxiety

I started to experience anxiety about 13 years ago. In the beginning, it was a rollercoaster trying to figure out how to deal with it - some days it still is. It took me awhile to understand that anxiety was something I was going to have to deal with for the rest of my life, so I had better come up with ways to cope.

*Please remember, I am not a doctor. Anything I recommend in this post is just a personal recommendation and something that has worked for me. If you are experiencing anxiety you should speak to your physician*

Write in a Journal

Writing helps clear my mind. If I have a lot of stress going on in my life, I like to take some time to write and let all those feelings/worries out onto the page. If you don't like to write, maybe you like to draw or colour instead. Do whatever helps your mind relax and process any stress or anxiety in your life.

Listen to Music

I'm currently obsessed with listening to Spotify. It has every kind of playlist you could ever need. If I'm having a panic attack music really helps me calm down and focus my attention on something else. Picking out a few of your favourite mood-boosting tunes can really make a difference when you're starting to feel anxious. 

Watch What You Eat/Drink

Keeping a healthy diet will make your body feel better, which in turn, will make your mind feel better. Also, try to limit caffeine and alcohol if you can. For me, caffeine makes my anxiety a lot worse, so I try and not over do it. I still love a grande cafe misto with nonfat milk and 3 pumps of vanilla every once in a while, but when I do enjoy some caffeine I make sure to just have one a day. 

Get Moving

Exercising has such positive effect on our mood! If you're feeling extra anxious, try getting out for a walk, or even do some yoga at home. Exercise should really be incorporated into your everyday routine (easier said than done), because it burns away stress hormones that cause anxiety, and releases endorphin's in your brain - making you feel happier.

Take Mindful Breaths

 This is probably the best piece of advice when you're experiencing an anxiety attack. For me, the first sign of a panic attack is my breathing. I start to feel like I just can't catch my breath, or I'm not getting enough oxygen in my lungs. Taking a minute to concentrate and visualize the air going in and out of my lungs, while taking deep breaths, really helps. You can even put your hands on your chest and feel it rise and fall with your breaths. Another trick I do is to breath in through my nose, hold it for 3 seconds, and then slowly breathe out through my mouth. It almost immediately calms me down and helps me relax.

Don't Fight It

This took me a long time to master. I spent so much time trying to run away from my anxiety and would fear participating in things because I didn't want to have a panic attack. That was such a waste of time! Do a little research on anxiety, and figure out what your triggers are. Once you understand what your anxiety is, it won't seem like such a monster anymore, and when you're feeling it, don't fight it ... just go through the process.

Consider Medication

If you're anxiety is negatively impacting your life and keeping you from enjoying the things you used to love, it might be time to consider medication. I wouldn't recommend this being the first step to dealing with anxiety, but there's nothing wrong with taking medication to help ease the effects of anxiety. I know some people, myself included, who think taking medication means you failed or are giving up. This is not true at all. You wouldn't question someone taking medication for arthritis or back pain, so why is anxiety any different?

I hope these tips help! What are your go to ways of dealing with anxiety?

1 comment

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