I’ve always had a hard time living in the present moment and for as long as I can remember, my condition has always been omnipresent in my life and has never really failed in holding me back. Whether it came to dating, going to parties, or meeting new people, my condition always bullied me into staying away, whilst also building up my stress. I’d lived a reclusive existence for years, until one day I decided that I deserved better and decided to stand up to my demons! I deserved to have the confidence to date and meet new people or go to bars with my friends without feeling anxious at the thought of people judging me or getting lost on the way. So, with this in mind, I decided to look into coping techniques that worked for me, which is why I want to share them with you!
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6 Things I do to manage my anxiety
It's time we learned how to control this illness!
1) I work out
Now, I’m not claiming to be a complete gym bunny, and you certainly won’t catch me in head to toe Lycra anytime soon, but I’ve definitely noticed the benefits of exercise when it comes to reducing anxiety. Whether it’s power walking, jogging or even yoga, spending half an hour a day focusing on my body’s need is crucial in helping me manage my stress. Moving around and burning calories are outlets for pressure and help my brain to refocus and forget about all those niggling thoughts that weigh me down.
2) Relaxation techniques are my go to
Have you ever heard of the 333 rule? Well, if you haven’t, this technique may just change your life and your relationship with your disorder! The 333 rule involves looking around when you sense a panic attack coming on, then you need to start focusing on naming three things you see. Then, identifying and naming three sounds you hear. Finally, you must move three parts of your body, including your ankle, arm and fingers, all whilst taking deep breaths. Trust me, you’ll definitely want to give it a go!
3) Meditation sessions are a lifesaver
Whenever feelings of anxiety invade my mind, I decide to disconnect and unwind with meditation. Spending time on myself and clearing my invasive thoughts is key in calming my nerves and reassuring me. Being able to cut myself off from the noise and focusing on myself is one of the best treatments for anxiety.
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4) I open up about it
I’m not exactly the world’s biggest socialite, but talking about my general anxiety disorder with my close friends always makes me feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Sharing my feelings with them has actually shown me that I’m not alone and that although on the surface it may not appear so, many others close to me are also battling with their own demons on a daily basis.
5) I establish my limits
Knowing what puts me on edge and increases my stress and anxiety is one of my biggest coping tools. Being able to anticipate factors that could lead to my symptoms coming on helps me manage my illness and makes me feel much safer within my own little protective bubble.
6) I seek medical advice at points
When we suffer from certain illness, we often try to brush them off and act like they aren’t there. In my case, I swept my panic attacks under the rug for years and put them down to me being weak… Over the years, as I’ve gradually built up the courage to acknowledge my health issue and even consult mental health professionals when I believe things were slipping out of my control.
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Editor’s opinion - Listen to yourself
Life can at times get really tough, and that means that many of us forget to listen to yourself and recognize our feelings. Whether we are going through a rough time at work or in our personal lives, it’s important to maintain a healthy relationship with our bodies and minds, so as to not suppress our feelings. Anxiety can be hard to deal with on a daily basis, but once we find what works for us when it comes to managing and controlling it, everything becomes so much easier and less intimidating.
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