So I have dealt with anxiety for quite a while now, and there has been a lot of things that I have learnt because of it, mainly on how to deal with it. So I thought I would give a couple of tips that have helped me to cope, to help out anyone else who may be struggling. If you struggle with anxiety, I hope these can help you out!
1. Acknowledge the anxious thoughts.
This was a huge one for me. You might think, “Why would I want to do that? The last thing I want is to think about the things that give me anxiety!” But think about it. If you were sat down and told to sit still for five minutes and not think about purple elephants, chances are, you are going to be thinking about purple elephants.
Whenever I used to get anxiety, I would try to push the thoughts away. But that made it even worse. So what I started to do was come up with this system of breaking down each of my anxious thoughts, acknowledge them, replace them with a positive one, and then imagine that I was pushing the thought out of my mind.
BREATHE BREATHE BREATHE. This is so important. When my counselor first told me about doing breathing exercises, I didn’t think it would help me out whatsoever. But it helps out so much!
To do this breathing correctly, you need to take a deep inhale through your nose, hold the breathe for a couple of seconds, then slowly exhale through your mouth. I would do this breathing whenever I would get anxiety, and it really helped me to calm down.
One big thing that helps is to accompany the breathing with phrases. I’ll imagine “breathing in” a positive phrase, then “exhaling” a negative one. There are tons of phrases I’ll use, but the ones I use the most is reciting with the breathing, “breathing in positivity, breathing out negativity.” And, “breathing in peace, breathing out anxiety.” You can use just about any phrase that works best for you!
3. Take care of yourself
You might not realize how connected the body and mind is, but they really are. If you struggle with anxiety and eat a ton of junk food, lie around all day and not get enough physical activity, and not get enough hours of sleep, your anxiety is just going to increase.
Doing the basics of taking care of yourself, like eating healthy, doing physical activity, and sleeping enough will help ease your anxiety.
Exercise helps so much. I never used to think it did, but it really does, and not just with problems like anxiety! It can help out with many others, like depression.
One physical activity that helped me was doing some yoga I found off of youtube. Even though it wasn’t that physically intense, it really helped to calm down my mind and body. Another thing that helped was doing some meditation videos that I also found on youtube, that were specifically for anxiety.
4. Get help
If you struggle with anxiety or suspect you might be, the first thing you should do is tell someone. The best person to tell is a parent, or someone else you trust who can do something about it. Anxiety is way to much to carry on your own, trust me.
Counseling/therapy is also an option. You might feel ashamed to go and talk to someone about your problems, but counseling can help so much. For me personally, counseling was one of the best things to ever happen to help my anxiety. I honestly don’t think I would have gotten to the place I am now if it weren’t for my counselor. And I know some people are against counseling, or are iffy about it, but I would say just try it out! It might help you in more ways than you may think.
5. Encourage yourself
I used to beat myself up about my anxiety all the time, and used to think I would never get better. But ENCOURAGE yourself. Tell yourself you are brave, you are strong, and that you can get through this. I’m a firm believer that God would never allow a struggle in someone’s life if they could not handle it. In the beginning, I felt really overwhelmed with my anxiety, and kept on questioning God why He’d allow it to happen to me. But if you try to stay positive, and realize you will be so much more stronger coming out of this, you’ll be on the right track. Anxiety gets better. Struggle is temporary. You can’t necessarily control anxiety coming into your life, but you can control on how you deal with it. Lift yourself up. Tell yourself you can do this. One thing that helped me, at the recommendation of my counselor, was to keep a journal and write down a list every day of either what I was thankful, for or what I liked about myself. Doing that helped me have a more positive outlook on the whole situation.
So that’s it! I have a ton of other stuff that I have done to help me better manage my anxiety, but I would say those are my best tips. 🙂 If you have any ways or tips that you use that have helped you out with your anxiety, feel free to leave them down below! 🙂
Remember, you’re never alone. You can get through this! xx