How I Cope with Anxiety
I've had anxiety my entire life
and although I feel like it's actually gotten worse over the years, I've found that I have learned what triggers my anxiety. Although I still cannot prevent these anxious episodes, at least I am able to realize that they will end and I will feel better eventually. I'm not a doctor, nor do I take an prescription medication. I refuse to because I believe in holistic and natural ways to get better. That's me, though, so please listen to your doctor, I'm sure they know what they are talking about more than I do. However, if you're an incredibly anxious person, I would still suggest changing some things in your life to help prevent anxiety attacks.
My anxiety stems from multiple circumstances.
Sometimes it's crippling.
As in, I can't get out of bed because my heart is racing, I can't breathe and all I feel is impending doom. I have social anxiety and until recently, I had no idea that I was actually an introvert (I will write more about this in a different post). I don't like being in public places, and I especially don't like going anywhere alone. I need at least one person around me that I know. For some reason, that makes me feel safe. I am however, not a shy person. Once I know you, I will talk your ear off.
I hate going to amusement parks, malls, concerts and parties. I don't want to become a hermit and fall off the face of the earth, so the one major change I've made is that I communicate with the people I love. They understand my social anxiety and we either stand in a corner of a concert that is filled with less people, or we are closer to the exit, or we avoid malls during busy seasons.
Communication has been key on this road to coping with anxiety.
I still want to participate, and I do not want my anxiety to completely cripple my social life. I love talking to people in small groups, I just hate big crowds full of strangers. One thing that communicating my "fear" has really done is weed out my fake friends. Anyone who doesn't understand or who thinks I'm dumb for not being able to be in big crowds is no longer a part of my life. You know what? That's helped my anxiety, because I no longer am feeling judged. And the friends that know of my anxiety that stuck around? They are more aware of when I'm feeling uncomfortable and we either leave or they help me through it.
Another way to help anxiety is to get rid of your STUFF. Seriously.
You own too much.
I hate mess and although I'm not quite a minimalist yet, I'm working my way to being able to live out of a suitcase if I needed to. One way to remember some of the things that you may be attached to is to take a photo of it. Don't keep the physical item. It just takes up space and makes for a very overwhelming home life. Wherever your home is, even if it's just your bedroom, make it your personal oasis. Do not let clutter stress you out into an anxiety attack.
The one thing I never want to do is cut myself off from the entire world.
I want to be able to gain strength and conquer my anxiety,
so although I avoid a lot of circumstances, I still push myself to get through some seemingly tough experiences. One crucial culprit of my anxiety is my careers. I've worked in too many jobs where I am in customer service. I'm proud of myself for making sales on the phone, helping a rude customer with a problem and listening to degrading comments from absolute assholes. I'm proud that I've only cried 3 times AT my job and all were because someone made me feel so small.
One way to combat that work anxiety is to find a job that you actually enjoy. Believe me, I know it's hard. The weird thing about me is, I could be a performer, but I cannot be a salesman. There's something different about being on stage. Maybe because you feel like yourself and you're not actually talking to people and half the time you don't even notice the crowd. I'm not saying you shouldn't push yourself, this is how you grow as a person, but it's okay to admit that you'd rather work with dogs or in a library. Although I do think part of the reason my anxiety has grown over the years is because I've worked in too many of these social roles, I do think that it has made me proud that I was capable of getting through it. And it's also helped me realize what I never want to do again!
There are countless other ways to cope with your anxiety, like working out regularly, meditating, sleeping enough and eating healthy, but according to the internet world, blog posts should only be a certain length in order to keep readers interested. :) So I will leave you with one last thing.
Write. Write your heart out.
You may not be the best writer, and you don't have to share it on the internet. Just write. Writing is a great way to get out of some of those demons that store themselves in your body as anxiety. Write. Write it all out. I promise it helps.
What are some ways you help combat anxiety? Tell us in the comments below!