After an emergency room visit for what I thought was a heart attack (in my 20s!), I was given a battery of tests and diagnosed with anxiety. The next time it struck me, I realized I had to gain control of this debilitating and indiscriminate disorder. Here are my top 10 tips that I use to overcome my vicious anxiety.
1. Limit triggers
Alcohol and caffeine can notoriously aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks. Also, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Get offline and stop looking at other people’s Social Media/ as a comparison. Stop looking up your exes. If something doesn’t make you feel good, don’t do it.
2. Get active
Get out of your head and go for a scenic walk or an adventure to distract yourself. You can download the app Run Keeper or get a Fitbit (it doesn’t have to be a brand name!). I recommend creating a killer playlist and taking it with you – even if it’s podcasts or meditative guided breathing. Disconnecting with your surroundings and connecting with fresh air or nature always helps me to reset my energy and get my heart rate up.
3. Find support
Not everyone will understand your anxiety, and some people who don’t experience it might not be supportive. Determine who will be empathetic to you and stick to them as your key players. It’s real, and you deserve support.
4. Natural solutions
My sister works at a Naturopath Clinic, and she hooked me up with my new obsession RelaxMax. It’s a magnesium-based powdered drink mix that tastes like Kool-Aid (I get the Cherry Flavor and I really, really recommend it). It’s notorious for its Neurotransmitter & Hormone Support that does an EPIC job of promoting Stress Resiliency.
5. See a professional
Go see a doctor to assess if it’s situational anxiety (such as job stress or a breakup) or chronic anxiety (which may need medication or therapy treatment).
6. The art of pivoting
You can pivot your thought process instead of succumbing to rumination. Constantly going over thoughts in your head or having negative self-talk can lead to dark spaces. Even if it’s just a 2-minute distraction- look at a dog page or saying a mantra (ex. saying-out loud- “I love myself” over and over and focusing on your words- or your breath instead of your thoughts). I love painting or drawing as my mind is so fixated on the task at hand.
7. Talk to a therapist
Talk to someone to work through your emotions and identify triggers. Discuss your thoughts and emotions in a safe space without the need to edit. Get honest. There are affordable online therapy options from the privacy of your own home such as BetterHelp.com.
8. Train your mind
Look up meditations. There are walking, breathing, visual, and guided meditations. There are 5 minute and 1-hour meditations. There is also Yoga. Just learn how to focus your mind and how to focus on your breath when you start spiraling out.
9. Deflective language
Socializing can be a debilitating trigger for people with anxiety. It’s important to have a script of deflective language on hand. Such as; “I don’t discuss that,” “I have plans that day,” “Tell me more about <insert topic about them and not you>.” Write down the questions you expect to be asked and rehearse your answers to deflect away from unwanted topics. For my recent breakup, I’ve been using “irreconcilable differences, but we’re still friends” at parties.
10. Identifying the symptoms
Acknowledge the symptoms when they’re happening so that you can take action. They include: palpitations, sweating, shaking or trembling, feeling shortness of breath or smothering, the sensation of choking, chest pains or tightness, nausea or gastrointestinal problems.
If you or a loved one you know is having any mental health struggles, please do get the help you need. If you need to talk to someone now, you can talk to one of the many fantastic therapists at Better Help by CLICKING HERE.
This post was created with the help of Grammarly.
Photo Credit: Sean Mason