This week I received an anonymous submission from a reader on behalf of their brother who is a sufferer, asking how I cope with anxiety. So, as promised I am going to create a post dedicated to this well known yet misunderstood mental illness. Yes, I’ve chatted about this a few times here on LFTN but I wanted to focus on how to cope with anxiety from the outset.
WHAT IS ANXIETY?
According to Mind, anxiety is a word that is used to describe unease, worry and fear. Feeling anxious is a common occurrence when you are nervous about a life changing event. But when does it become a mental health problem?
- When you’re worrying all the time about things that are a regular part of everyday life or about things that aren’t likely to happen – or even worrying about worrying.
- You might regularly experience unpleasant physical and psychological effects of anxiety such as panic attacks.
- Depending on the kind of problems you experience, you might be given a diagnosis of a specific anxiety disorder.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK YOU SUFFER FROM ANXIETY
Are you feeling worried all the time and you’re not sure why? Scared to leave the house? It may be time to see a doctor. It’s a pretty tricky step to make but instead of worrying to see if you have anxiety you may be able to receive some closure and further advice from a medical professional.
From my experience of having anxiety there are some things you can do to make yourself slightly more at ease.
Breathe – One of the main things people forget before and during panic attacks is to breathe, which can cause more panic. Slowly breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly.
Try mood boosting foods – I have shared some foods I have researched that will naturally increase your mood.
Focus on something else – Many people find something else to concentrate on instead of the worry. I personally find reading takes my mind of reality and calms me down immensely. Also, my husband tends to take me out to see friends (at their home) so I can be surrounded by pleasant company.
Exercise – Naturally exercise releases endorphins which will make you feel happier and more calm. It’s also a great opportunity to think things through on your own and get out of the house.
Talking – Seems to easy and simple, right? But I guarantee you are not alone. There are others out there who have faced similar feelings to you so will understand. A trusted friend or family member is the best person to discuss any feelings of self doubt or anxiousness. There are also support groups that could help such as Anxiety UK.
Write it down – I always find writing (not typing!) can help you in expressing your feelings without the pressures of having anyone understand or give advice. Another amazing thing to do is write down your achievements in your journey to coping with anxiety.
Listen to music – Create a positivity playlist something that makes you feel upbeat and happy.
Books – Books such as Overcoming Anxiety provide techniques to help you in overcoming anxiety.
Therapy – Your GP will be able to recommend the best form of therapy for you. Visit your doctor and they will be able to determine whether you suffer from anxiety and which type you are experiencing. Yes, there is more than one type of anxiety. I saw a therapist on two occasions to discuss my anxiety and depression. It personally wasn’t for me. I found self help worked best!
Anxiety Medication – There are a range of medications that help suppress anxiety. But remember, it can never be cured by chemicals. Dealing with the problem straight on and dealing with the cause of your anxiety is what will help.
You can see more of my posts about anxiety here. Remember that you’re no alone, and you will make it a little bit at a time. These things don’t get better overnight.