Since Anxiety has been a running theme for me recently, I thought I might accent some tips to help others combat it before – or coupled with – resorting to medication
- Make a List
This might sound silly, but one of my worst recent anxiety attacks was due to being overwhelmed with my projects for school, work, and personal life. I didn’t think I had enough time to do everything, and all I felt I could do was crumble onto the floor and weep.
However, that wasn’t an option.
I sat down, made a list, numbered each item by importance, and then approximated how much time it would take to do each thing.
What I found was that a) My list was nowhere near as daunting as I had originally thought – only five items. b) The time it would take to do each item still left me time in the day to breathe, and I would be able to accomplish everything within a few hours.
Seeing all the things worrying me written out, put them in a different light, made me realize they are just everyday tasks that come the following day would not matter. At this point, they were just actions that were represented by lines on the paper. Nothing more.
I know, it’s cliche, but it works. Taking three-ten deep breathes helps get oxygen to the brain and gives you something to focus on other than the panic that’s creeping in. When I say taking deep breaths, I don’t mean breathe in quickly and deeply then exhale just as fast.
As you breathe in, envision the air going into your lungs. Draw in slowly, at least 3-5 seconds long per inhale, holding the breath for just as long, and exhale in the same amount of time. This, as I said before, gives you something to focus on, and is an exercise in control over your body as well.
- Bach’s Rescue Remedy Gummies
These things are awesome. My sister gave them to me when I was experiencing my first severe bout of anxiety a few years ago, and I swear by them. You can get them at any herbal/supplement/natural store. I have gotten them at the Co-op, at an herbal store, at Super Supplements, and have even seen smaller packets of them in some gas stations.
For me, the gumminess of them gives me something to focus on, they’re kind of a task to chew on. But as you do, they slowly release relaxation.
They are natural, calming, and tasty.
Do be warned if you get the black current ones – don’t eat too many. Black current is a mild laxative. Just one should do. The good news is, they also have other flavors as well.
I know, no one wants to hear that. I certainly don’t. However, it helps to get out that energy that builds up with anxiety, giving it a direction, and also helps release those good endorphins. Start out easy, don’t overwork yourself. Go for a walk, then maybe a run, or swim laps, or – my personal favorite – go dancing.
- Distract yourself
Easier said than done, believe me, I know. However, I found that taking up a hobby which distracts me from my source of anxiety has been helpful. Hula-hooping has been a good one, as it also works in the exercise and breathing factors, but I’ve also taken up knitting (of all things), and I’ve found that the repetition of the movements is somewhat soothing. While it doesn’t distract me fully, it does allow me to focus on something while mildly contemplating the source of my anxiety, which let’s me work through it. Puzzles, painting, painting figurines, woodworking, foraging, cheese tasting, restoring arcade games – whatever. Find a hobby (but maybe avoid Hobby Lobby).
What have you found works for you?