Just like so many people out there, I suffer from anxiety. When I was younger it was mostly just social anxiety. I hated anything that involved large groups or people I didn’t know. Thankfully, I’ve managed to tackle my social anxiety a lot better. Although lately, I find myself often getting some pretty sudden anxiety/panic attacks. When it first started happening about a couple years ago, it terrified me. Not being able to breathe, irrational thoughts, shaking, irritibility (sorry, mom.) It can be rough. At first, I thought I was just going crazy. Now, I’m able to recognize what’s happening and I have several steps I take to try to calm down.
- Breathe. Stop whatever you’re doing and just focus on your breathing. Slow it down. Breathe in, breathe out.
- Talk it out. I often feel so lonely and as if I have nobody. I’m lucky to have friends I can talk to when I’m feeling this way. They reassures me that this is not true and I’m doing great. Having somebody to calmly talk to you and reassure you when your feeling this way is so important.
- Write it down. I do my best thinking when I write so I like to write down all of my thoughts going through my mind at that moment even if they’re irrational. For example, included in my list might be, “I have no friends.” to “I’m not successful.” I’ll come back later and make a note next to “I have no friends.” saying “Yes you do!” then list off the friends I have. Under “I’m not successful” I’ll write down everything I’ve achieved. This is very beneficial to look at when I’m feeling all of those negative emotions and it reminds me that my thoughts are just at an irrational state.
- Read/Write Positive Affirmations. I have a list of positive affirmations that I wrote when I was feeling good. Reading this list when I’m in a negative head space really helps. Here’s a post of positive affirmations that includes a printable version!
- Stay away from the coffee. Sometimes I will wake up with anxiety. It’s a horrible way to start the day but I know from past mistakes that I need to stay away from coffee or caffeine in general. The caffeine increases your heart rate making the panic worse.
- Light a candle and run a bubble bath. This is probably my favorite thing to do when I’m dealing with anxiety because I love baths in general. I like to light a candle or two, run a bubble bath with some lavender essential oil, then turn off the lights. While I’m in the bath, I’ll practice on my breathing and watch the candle flame. Breathing in the lavender oil and focusing on the flame really helps me to relax.
- Sleep. Even if it’s in the middle of the afternoon, I’ll go to sleep early. Naps are the best. I usually feel better and more like myself when I wake up.
These are all things I like to do in the comfort of my home. Right now I don’t take medication or attend therapy. I personally like to try a natural way around things before turning to medications. Although, everybody is different so please do what works best for you. There’s no shame in taking medications or going to see a professional. ♥
Remember, you’re never alone.