Living with Anxiety…
So, I’ve delved into many topics of weight-loss, exercise, time management and life in general, all touching on Anxiety but never really going in deeper on the incredibly difficult issue.
I have always had anxiety, as a kid I didn’t really understand what it was, before a test or any type of public speaking I’d be in the nurse’s office feeling sick to my stomach. The nurse would call me over-dramatic which made me feel pathetic. My parents would get angry with me over my less than perfect grades telling me to try harder, causing even more anxiety. High School was difficult with everyone around you making fun of the way you looked, just getting dressed in the morning caused me anxiety. Then college, trying to juggle intense classes, homework, a job, long-distance dating, health and a social life. If i did ONE thing wrong like get a bad grade, forget to call my boyfriend, offend a friend, etc. I would get such anxiety that I would shut down, close my door and lay in bed to cry myself to sleep. Now in my adult life, the anxiety doesn’t get better. Sometimes waking up in the morning is difficult. I’d have nightmares (the same I always get when having anxiety episodes) of all of these tiny tv screens displaying hundreds of images all forming together into a giant ball and chasing after me till I fall which wakes me up. Having a dream that your falling is the scariest feeling. I’d wake up exhausted. Stress at work, I remember when it was lay-off time I would literally sit at my desk shaking. Relationships and dating, everything about dating gives me anxiety, from trying to impress, to waiting for replies to the actual date itself. Over reacting and over-analyzing every little thing made me physically sick. Friendships, if someone was mad at me I would play back everything I have said and done from weeks ago, my head goes crazy. Bills, everyone stresses over this. I double and triple check my finances during the week just to feel safe. Being in crowds, meeting new people, formal social gatherings, everything makes me feel like my world is crashing down. Sometimes my anxiety gets so bad that I just want to go home and lay in bed. Cancelling plans, making excuses for why I don’t want to go out and leave my bed. It causes depression. Anxiety makes you depressed, it physically tears you down till your life-less and sad. It’s taken a long time for me to be able to manage my anxiety, I still get it, but now I have the right tools to get myself out of it before I become depressed, or if I get depressed I know how to get myself out of it fast.
First of all, STOP. Stop what you are doing and walk away.
Say you’re in a situation and you feel yourself getting crazy, sick to your stomach, fidgety. Go to the bathroom, go outside, walk out of the room. Just get yourself away from whatever situation it is and be alone. Whether it’s only for a few minutes or for a few house, just get away till your able to calm down.
Don’t over-react, don’t over-analyze.
Think about what caused your anxiety and tell yourself it will be ok. Only you can calm yourself down. If you still don’t feel relief and you can’t seem to stop your mind, call a friend, parent, professional, call someone to just spill your guts and find a resolution or find a way to relax the crazy thoughts.
Do you get Fidgety?
I always fidget in social situations. Whether it’s with a straw wrapper or a napkin I just like to rip paper. I organize things too, if I am at the grocery store I like to organize the shelves while waiting in line, keeps me calm. If I am at dinner with friends feeling comfortable, with NO reason to be anxious, I still fidget. My friends think I am crazy for doing it but it’s become second nature. Instead of ripping up paper, get one of these keychain toys. They work great. I use the spinner, but like the cube too. Just helps calm myself when I am out of my comfort zone. I’ll play with the spinner under the table so no one knows but I feel better and more focused on enjoying myself. Here’s some Fidget toy’s that may help you out.
Let it out. Let your anxious feelings and thoughts out.
Again, talk to someone, don’t let your thoughts eat you alive. If you don’t want to talk about it then write about it, or work it out. Go to the gym, go for a run, hike, go punch a boxing bag. Do something active, sweat out the anxiety. Do something that will take your mind off everything. I like to read or go for a walk. Laying in the sun helps too, something about the warm rays make me feel calm. If all else fails I take a nap. Put on some music, drown out my thoughts and fall asleep.
Lastly, if you ever feel your anxiety is too much and you’re starting to think bad thoughts, or start to get depressed to a dangerous point, PLEASE call your Doctor as soon as possible. Do not let your anxiety get to this point. If you are seriously considering doing something extreme to yourself or someone else PLEASE call for help right away.
Anxiety is 100% preventable with the right tools and therapies.
Take care of yourself before it gets that bad.