About two years ago (has it seriously been THAT long already!?) I wrote a post on dealing with anxiety and my own experience with it. I got an amazing response, even more than I had expected, and it just shows that it’s a topic people want to hear more about. It’s absolutely true that mental health is getting more attention than previously, and people are definitely taking it more seriously. And rightly so – it SHOULD be taken seriously! My journey with anxiety hasn’t always been an easy one, it can still be crippling and awful, and easily make me want to run away and hide sometimes. Over the past couple of years though, I have learnt new ways to deal with it and I’ve certainly felt myself anticipate when it’s going to be the worst, making it easier for me to limit the side effects or out breaks. I’ve spoken to many people who deal with anxiety as well and something that comes up all the time is a desire for sharing tips to deal with it day to day, or when it gets particularly worse than usual. I saw a tweet recently saying that anxiety shouldn’t be confused with a bad day now or then, which I completely agree with. But on that same note, for those experiencing proper anxiety frequently, maybe these tips can help.
I just want to mention that I’m no professional, and my tips are purely things that I do that personally help me. If you feel extremely anxious, it’s always best to reach out to someone who’s qualified to help you.
- Put things into perspective.
When I’m having a particularly difficult time I always try and put things into perspective. This isn’t to say that your problems are less valid than someone else’s, but it’s always good to recognise your situation and the good things in it. I’ve been having a hard time dealing with changes that are happening in my life right now, but each time I start to feel overwhelmed, I’ve really been trying to think about what it is that’s getting to me and how I can turn that into a positive by looking at it from someone else’s view. It may not take away your feeling of anxiety, but it definitely helps in realising the small blessings we may easily miss.
- Changing your “why is this happening to me” sentiment to a “what is this trying to teach me” sentiment.
This is linked closely to number one, but it’s something I read as well last week. I had seen it many times before, but never have I actually said out loud “what is this trying to teach me”. It was such a revelation when I actually spoke those words out loud – it made such a difference than just thinking them. I promise you; give it a try and see for yourself. Whether you are dealing with something extremely difficult at the moment, or even something small, trying to find the lesson behind it is very up-lifting. I know you’ve heard this countless times before but really try and channel this thought process sometime – I speak from experience.
- Speaking about it.
Isn’t this one so obvious? It may seem so, but man, it’s harder than it sounds. I think there’s such a fear when it comes to opening up to someone about anxiety, a fear of looking weak, a fear of being deemed as over dramatic or unnecessary. I know because I’ve had these fears; I still do. Although, I’ve opened up quite a bit lately with what I’ve been feeling, and it takes a huge load of the weight off. It’s nearly like you’ve been lugging around this massive suitcase of nerves and anxiety, and as soon as you open up to someone close to you, they take the other side of the suitcase and carry it with you. It makes you feel less alone and more like you’ll make it to your destination. If you are too afraid to speak to a friend or family member, speak to a professional. They know how to deal with literally everything. Sharing is truly so important. And on the same token, asking others around you how they’re doing, being the person that someone can open up to, is just as important. Reach out and become a safe place for someone.
- Put down your phone.
This is particularly difficult as a society that is so dependent on their phones. I am a huge culprit of having my phone in my hands most of the time. I use my phone for my blogging passion: scrolling through Instagram, commenting on other blogs, finding inspiration on Pinterest, having a peek at what everyone’s recommending/thinking on Twitter – you get the picture. Even though my phone is basically my biggest tool, it becomes such a quick habit to pick it up, whether I actually need to do something productive on it or not! I have learnt however, that leaving your phone when your anxiety hits is one of the best things. Yes, it can be a distraction, but more often than not, the things we see and even share ourselves on social media, are only snippets of the good moments. The bad ones are very scarcely seen online! So instead of making yourself feel worse by seeing others ‘living their best life’, put your phone down for a bit and find other ways to focus your energy.
If you have ever experienced any form of anxiety in your life, you will be no stranger to the crippling, debilitating, discomfort that comes with it. I hope these tips give a little bit of an idea to anyone who is looking for some ways to cope. But as I mentioned, if your anxiety is at a level where nothing is really working, someone who is certified to help you will be your best option.
It’s a tough world and this is a tough thing to deal with! So, let’s rather all be kind to one another – because you really never know what someone is going through. Please share your own tips with me below!