More often than not, anxiety can come on seemingly out of nowhere, yet it can quickly snowball into a feeling of overwhelming stress and emotions. Anxiety has been a part of my life ever since I can remember. It would rear its ugly head and control my thoughts, actions and emotions. Through the years with the help of family and friends, I’ve learned how to cope with the feelings and emotions that come with my anxiety in a healthy way. Here are 6 tips that I’ve found most useful to help ease my anxiety:
DON’T TRY TO GET RID OF YOUR ANXIETY
This might sound like an absolute contradiction, but hear me out. I’ve learned over the years that if you focus on getting rid of your anxiety completely, it adds pressure to an already stressful situation. You don’t need to get rid of your anxiety. All you need to try and do is to learn how to calm it, and cope with it in a healthy way. It may still remain a part of you, but that does not mean that it has to control everything you think and do.
SLOW THINGS DOWN
Whenever I’m extremely busy and on the go, that’s when I find my anxiety rears its head the most. It’s not like this in every case, but when I have an overwhelming schedule, I often find myself feeling anxious and worried. Even if you feel as though time is slipping through your hands, let yourself sit with the simplicity of taking things slow. Take a rest- try to read a book, write in a journal, take a bath; do anything that helps you feel more present.
Some days, rather than feel motivated to stay on the go and keep working, I feel the opposite. I’d rather lay in my bed all day and feel guilty about it than do something that might help my anxiety. It may be a struggle, but I’ve found that going outside for a walk and immersing myself in nature when I feel anxious has been one of the best ways to help calm my mind. Any time outside is time well spent for the racing mind. It helps clear your head and allows you to feel gratitude for all that surrounds you; the trees, the birds singing, the sound of the river flowing through the woods.
EXPRESS HOW YOU FEEL
For me, expressing how I feel means journaling. Bottling up your feelings can often result in a big blow out or an unnecessary fight where you release your emotions but in an unhealthy way. Journaling is the way in which I express my feelings, emotions, and worries in a healthy way. Similarly, singing, dancing, taking photos, creating art, exploring the outdoors or exercising may be your way of expressing yourself. Whatever way you choose to do it, make sure that its something that makes you feel lighter when you do it.
DON’T BLAME YOURSELF
Anxiety can make you feel isolated, make social interactions much more of an effort, and can throw you off from feeling confident in your own skin. It’s completely normal to want to take a break from people and social situations until you feel more like yourself. For instance, if you over analyze what you said, how you acted, or replay every moment of the night in your mind – don’t blame yourself. Remember that it’s the anxiety that’s making you feel so unsure of yourself. Those who are closest to you will understand and support you while you work through your anxiety.
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
Anxiety seems to have a mind of its own and it can be a nightmare to try to get a handle on. One thing that you do have the power to control is the way that you react to your anxiety. You can be understanding, kind and patient with yourself through the throws of anxiety. You can talk to friends and family to let them know how you’re feeling, so that they don’t feel shut out and confused. Above all, you can focus on these tips to help you work on what you can control.
These are the ways that I personally have been able to find calmer waters in the midst of the storms anxiety brings on. What ways have helped you deal with anxiety in a healthy way? I’d love to hear about your experiences!