I’ve always been a pretty calm person, but recently my anxiety has been through the roof. It’s definitely circumstantial. It seems like I keep adding shit to my plate, smiling, and pretending I can handle it all.
I’ve decided that I like the old me better- the one that says no and stays sane. While I am working on getting that version of myself back, I figured I’d share some tips on managing anxiety. I’m no doctor, and I’m not referring to clinic disorders; these are just things that work for me when I feel overwhelmed.
- Zoom out- The situation seems bigger, more important, more serious than it really is. I felt an anxiety attack coming on the other day, and then I just thought about the actual importance of the what has happening. It wasn’t going to effect me in a few days let alone in a few years. I was getting working up about something pretty insignificant as far as life is concerned.
- Practice meditation when you AREN’T in the midst of a panic attack- I think it’s pretty annoying to recommend that people “breath” to calm themselves down. Although it works, it can be pretty freaking hard in the moment. If you practice yoga or mediate a few times a week, you’ll find that you’re more equipped to calm yourself down. That’s because your body has already been trained.
- Write- I’ve kept a journal since I was 10. Literally, when I was a teenager I think I had an unhealthy amount of them stacked around my room. Not sure if people are keeping journals these days, but they will keep you more sane than you can imagine.You might feel silly at first, but just write freely. It’ll give you a chance to vent freely, add perspective, and give you a sense of control.
- Find something to control (in a good way)- Anxiety often comes from the feeling that things are spinning out of control. I don’t know, they might really be for you, so find something you can control. Obviously make sure it’s healthy and “normal”, something like starting a garden, beginning a workout routine, or creating a meal plan. It doesn’t have to be big- just something where you are calling the shots and seeing positive results.
- Add value where it’ll be appreciated- I’ve mentioned this before, but I see people running around all the time doing things for each other, but not giving each other recognition. If you feed your family, drive your kids around, stay late at work, but none ever says thank you than first of all- get your kids to shape up! But secondly, do something for someone who will appreciate you. It’ll remind you that you aren’t just spinning your wheels and kindness does pay off.
- Adjust giving what isn’t being appreciated- On the same note as the suggestion above- if you are going above and beyond and being taken for granted- then consider doing less or having an honest discussion about what makes you feel appreciated. Don;t continue to pour your fresh water into an ocean.
- Drink water- Does this one seem weird? I don’t know maybe, but drinking water is pretty my solution for half of my problems. Maybe it’s because I pretty sure most of us are really dehydrated and hopped up on coffee. Maybe it’s because it’s a healthy way to literally walk away from a situation and take moment to take care of your body.
- Relax your body- Focus on what your body is doing. Are you fists closed, are your muscles tense? Try to loosen up and stretch.
- Find the source and cut it out- Easier said than done right? If someone/something in your life is contributing to you anxiety or negatively effecting your moods- then be hones with yourself and probably them. Life is too short to deal with people/a situation that constantly brings you down. You don’t want to waste years letting someone control your emotions. Whether is an old friend, a ex partner, or a crummy job- you ultimately needs to do what’s best for your health.
Feel free to drop a comment if you have other suggestions for managing anxiety, lord knows we can always use them!