How to deal with anxiety
Anxiety. It’s a word that’s thrown around a lot, but what does it mean?
Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as palpitations, sweating, and feelings of stress.
There are a variety of symptoms that indicate anxiety disorder:
- -Excessive and intrusive worrying that disrupts daily functioning.
- -Difficulty concentrating
- -Tense muscles
- -Trouble sleeping.
Anxiety isn’t rational, it isn’t logical and it’s a damn pain in my arse. You feel me?!
There comes a point where you have to learn to live with it, you can try to research what it is and figure out why you now have a mate inside your mind telling you that you’re legs wont work if you stand up to go for a wee in a restaurant when you don’t know where the toilet is or that your airways will close up if you dare speak up.
I want to offer some techniques that I’ve found work for me when I get in a floury, when my chest feels tight and my airways feel like they’re closing. I want to offer a a few ways to try to decrease the panic and try to get on with your day. Not necessarily functioning at 100% but at a level to get through that day and worry about tomorrow when it comes.
- Relax your jaw, move your tongue around, roll your shoulders. Become aware of the tension in your body that’s amplifying how you’re feeling.
- If you can – close your eyes – if not, it’s okay take a few deep breaths – as many as you need – imagine filling your lungs with air like a balloon and it shrinking when you breath out. This visualisation will also help you take your mind off of how you’re feeling.
- If you can get fresh air or change your space for a moment do it – even if it’s to the toilet – get up and get the blood and oxygen moving around your body.
- Limit the negative chat in your mind – even if it’s hard to believe the positive things you’re trying to tell yourself. It’s important to give it a go, anxiety can be a bastard, unfortunately if you suffer then you have to find ways to deal with it to make each day more bearable. And being kind to yourself is a small step in the right direction. So tell yourself, this feeling will pass, you’ve got this and you’re so capable. Because even if you can’t fully believe that right no that’s okay, but trust me you have got this. No matter how dark you feel or it gets – breathe and try to tell yourself you’ll be okay, it will be okay. I like to say it will pass, this situation will end, ‘I am not my anxiety’ time has to move on so even if it goes terribly it can’t last forever.
- Don’t beat yourself up – dealing with anxiety is hard, there isn’t a miracle cure – you can take meds if you want – there is no shame in needing help in the form of tablets. Alongside medication you can use techniques as well, or use techniques as the sole way of dealing with your anxiety. From each ‘bad’ situation you learn a little bit more about yourself, about your emotions and it all helps to learn to deal with it.
Acceptance that it’s okay if you can’t cope with your life every now and then is okay.
Taking each day as it comes, with a little more kindness and compassion.