Note: A Very Long Read.
This following quote perfectly describes me when I get anxious or stressed about things. I become silent. And, silence I believe, is the most powerful scream.
“My anxiety is silent. You wouldn’t even notice a change on the outside but I’m honestly so stressed I can’t even manage simple tasks. People call me lazy when, in reality, I’m just overwhelmed.” – unknown
Anxiety is universal. It’s so common that many people may view it as just a normal part of life, ignoring it rather than addressing it before it gets worse. But that’s a major problem: If left untreated, anxiety can be crippling.
It’s unfortunate that some celebrities have taken their own lives (I think I’ve heard about more deaths this year than ever), although it has opened up dialogues about mental health awareness the past few months. My hope is that the awareness becomes even more widespread and people with anxiety will decide to open up and find freedom within, instead of choosing death as their only option.
People are still afraid to talk about their fears, talk about depression and anxiety. These things need to come out and be spoken or written. Words soothe too, as much as they break. Trust me, you’re not alone in your battles.
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Coming back to our topic, I wish you use one of these Self-Help tips to make it through a tough situation and return to a state of calm the next time your mind gets stuck on anxiety:
- Breathing Exercise:
Breathing exercise has been my number one go-to anxiety reliever. I can do this whenever I’m in public or in the privacy of my own home. To do the breathing exercise, inhale until you feel your belly is full with air that you can’t inhale any longer. Hold the air in there for 5 seconds. Then gently exhale all of the air out of your body and wait for another 5 seconds before repeating the process again. It’s basically breathing in slowly and in a controlled way.
Write down all your feelings and what happened. Journaling is very therapeutic and it is good to reflect on what triggered your anxiety.
When I was in middle school and high school, I was journaling. I didn’t know that it was helpful for my mental health. It had helped me get my feelings out and not bottled in.
- Unfollowing People In Real Life: Social Media can cause pressure and have an impact on our mental well being. Just as all different forms of social media have an unfollow and block option, we need to stop listening to people in real life or letting them affect us when the emotional point is reached. We need to understand that whatever people say, might be a good advice or not, in the end, it’s only your battle and you know what you have to do. Trust your gut. It never lies. Unfollow toxic people and relationships in real life. Your mental health is your priority. You deserve every bit of peace and calm and this world needs you here. Trust me – you are important.
“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
According to Research Gate, meditation is known to help reduce the symptoms of anxiety1. It lets you focus on being present and away from your anxiety.
In the past few years, meditation has been a big part of my life. Whenever I feel anxiety and the breathing exercise hasn’t helped, I meditate. It has kept my anxiety at bay.
Words are powerful. What you say and think is your reality. Affirmations are not magic pills. It doesn’t instantaneously make you feel better or change everything around you. Rather, when you do affirmations daily it reprograms your brain and as a result, changes your actions.
Whenever I feel like I don’t have control over my anxiety or actions, I say affirmations to help me regain my senses and the right perspective. Sometimes I have to repeat a few affirmations to let it permeate deep in my heart and mind.
“The only thing that could spoil a day was people. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.” ~Ernest Hemingway
- Talk to a friend or partner:
Sharing about your anxiety can be unnerving. Share your experience with whom you trust. Letting it out can not only help them understand your situation but also make you feel less alone.
For most of my life, I rarely talked to anyone about my anxiety. It was an extremely lonely place to be. On the exterior, I looked happy but inside I was dying. It wasn’t until I spoke with my family when I fully shared my anxiety with someone close to me. It was freeing and comforting to have someone care and love me despite feeling I have a big chip on me. They have been my source of strength and have helped me get through tough situations.
Drinking more water: Listen, it’s not really a secret that I love beer and wine more than I love almost anything. But being constantly dehydrated was killing my focus and killing my skin quality. And feeling completely unfocused and insecure about my skin just heightens my anxiety. So I’ve been aiming to get those 8 glasses in every day. Not loving how much it makes me pee, but the rest is fine I guess.
Allow yourself to feel anxious:
Yep, you read that correctly. Sometimes the more you fight it, the worse it gets, Howe said. Instead, acknowledge that you’re feeling anxiety and give yourself permission to feel uncomfortable.
“I know this sounds scary, but anxiety stays anchored into place when we resist its presence.” “It can literally move through and beyond us the moment we decide to allow it.”
“Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment.” ~Grenville Kleiser
Take stock of your surroundings:
Not thinking about your symptoms entirely is frivolous advice. (How can you not think about feeling as if your world is crashing?) That said, distracting your mind by focusing on something concrete in front of you can help you to avoid spiraling out of control. Count different colors, numbers or items in a room. If you’re feeling panicked, this can be a way to ground yourself and manage distress and anxiety while also not checking out.
Put your anxiety on ice:
Okay, this one actually helps. I knew about this when I read online that Sheri Heller, a New York City-based psychotherapist, suggested literally dousing your stress. She recommends plunging your hands into ice water or splashing some on your face. “Sensorial stimulation with cold water can break through dissociative feelings that often accompany anxiety and offer immediate relief from heightened cortisol levels,” she explained. It helped me a great deal.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, exercise help relieves anxiety2. Not only that, exercise improves the mood and help you get in better shape.
I haven’t been exercising much lately because I’ve been lazy (just being real). But one thing that has helped me is going for a walk. Whenever I’ve been stressed and full of anxiety, I get up and go for a walk even if it’s just 10-15 minutes. Usually, after that walk, my mood is better.
“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Drink tea:
Drinking a calming tea like green tea or chamomile will let you feel more relaxed. Don’t consume caffeinated drinks and teas as they will cause your anxiety worse.
My favorite tea to drink is the simple green tea with honey. I love it and it soothes my mind and body especially on days I feel distressed.
- Coloring book:
Do you remember coloring a color book when you’re young? Now, there have been a lot of adult coloring books in the market! These coloring books can help you be a kid again and be in a state of relaxation.
- Be patient:
Last, but certainly not the least, be patient with yourself. Doing any or all these won’t be an overnight success. You need to take it one day at a time and celebrate your victories. Some days it will work and others days it won’t. When it doesn’t work, don’t give up completely but understand why it didn’t work and what you can do better next time.
“The largest part of what we call ‘personality’ is determined by how we’ve opted to defend ourselves against anxiety and sadness.” ~Alain de Botton
Final note –
I hope this list of tools has given you ideas on how to manage your anxiety better. Try one or two or all of them and see what sticks with you. It’s always good to have tools handy for future instances. I believe in you and I’m rooting for you!
I hope you found this list of tips useful. ♥ Feel free to ask any questions or share your ideas in the comment section below. Alternately, I’d really appreciate for you to share this content on your social media platform if you found it useful so that others can benefit from it too. If you have any doubts or want a personal clarification, send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Instagram and help me reach my target of 10k followers! Just a few hundred left!
Happy Blogging! ♥♥♥
Thank you for reading. Love you for that!
—–Have Hope. Keep Faith—–
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