Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace.
Happy Thursday everyone! I am bringing you my 3rd blog post featuring the Self-Care Tool Kit and I am going to be talking all about the topic of ‘anxiety’ and how it can control your life but it can also be put under control. From a very young age, I have struggled with anxiety. It has controlled me in many ways and it’s something I am very familiar with. Sometimes I don’t always know what triggers my anxiety and I am not always aware of why I feel a certain way about something. All I know is that it’s my mind that creates these feelings.
However, not everyone will experience anxiety and it can certainly feel different for everyone. Anxiety is what we feel when we are worried, tense or afraid. We may experience these feelings when we think about the future or we think about a particular event. However, anxiety can creep up on you and grab you, for no reason at all. Anxiety is a natural human response, it can occur when we perceive that we are under threat. It can be experienced through our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations. It’s normal and it’s a true indication that your body is aware of your actions. If anything, it’s a very connected feeling within yourself.
Anxiety makes me sweat, it gives me pins and needles, it makes my heart race, it makes me hyperventilate and it makes me cry. I can experience this daily, or I can go days without experiencing anxiety at all. My anxiety became uncontrollable at the beginning of the year 2017 and it actually led me to experience depression. Suffering from anxiety daily can weaken your immune system and can make it incredibly difficult to sleep and engage in relaxing activities. That’s why it’s important to have faith and control these feelings that make you feel a little ‘strange’.
You can do anything, but not everything and that’s ok.
For the observer, it can be hard to know why some people experience anxiety as a mental health problem and others don’t. If you worry most days you can almost feel like it’s part of your personality. Some people find it hard to understand anxiety, but how can we expect them to know when they haven’t experienced the feelings of it? However, if you have the right ones in your life, they’ll always find a way to support you. Whether they truly understand or not. These difficult situations can filter our friends and family and they can help us see more clearly in relationships, I promise.
When you experience the feelings of anxiety or even the smallest of tasks seem daunting, don’t forget, you’re not alone with your thoughts. There are many people out there that feel the same. Your body is re-adjusting, it’s re-analysing and it’s a process of healing.
However, anxiety can become uncontrollable and it can certainly take over your life if you don’t become aware of the thoughts. Throughout the years, I have experienced some tips that have helped me. They haven’t cured my anxiety, but they make it less severe and have helped me calm down during an anxiety attack. What works for me, may not work for you.
Feelings are just visitors, let them come and go.
A little note from me to you about anxiety… Just when you feel like giving up, don’t lose hope of the light that is in sight. Although things may seem a little foggy at the moment, I promise things will become clearer soon and this process you’re feeling, it’s normal and it’s ok. Embrace the feelings, tell yourself you’re strong and breathe through the emotions. You are going to be ok. Don’t blame yourself for feeling overwhelmed or upset. This will only make matters worse and won’t help the process of recovery.
After you have experienced anxiety, you will feel tired and you will feel low on energy, but that’s ok too. It’s normal. Take some rest, have something warm to eat or simply do something you enjoy. The feelings of anxiety can be overwhelming and sometimes I have masked my feelings for days and eventually, I erupt and explode.
So please, talk to someone when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Don’t let it control you.
- Have something warm – whether this is food, a warm drink or holding a hot water bottle. The feeling of warmth can sometimes help me if I am feeling anxious. Of course, if you experience an anxiety attack you can feel warm and sweaty. However, if you realise your feelings at first, you can combat some of the anxiety by placing a hot water bottle on your stomach or on your lower back, wherever you desire the feeling of comfort.
- Write it down – yes, you have probably heard this before but it can sometimes help to write down your feelings or to track the feelings of anxiety. When your feelings of anxiety appear again you can read back on how you coped with the previous feelings and how long they lasted for, this way, you’ll know they will soon pass and you will feel ok again. Also, writing things down is a wonderful vent to release tightened emotions and it can be a huge stress reliever.
- Try a breathing exercise – when I have experienced anxiety, my breath can become uncontrollable and sometimes I forget to breathe. This is usually forgotten during panic attacks. However, it takes some practice… But if you re-channel your thoughts… Try to gently breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, keeping the pace slow and regular. Don’t get annoyed if it becomes challenging, just keep trying and if you get angry, that’s ok too. Just keep trying.
- Shift your focus – for me, this sometimes helped. It may help for you to distract your thoughts when you are feeling anxious, listen to music (scream and sing to your favourite song!!!!), read a book – The Four Agreements is a personal favourite of mine and always makes me feel instantly calmer! Bake or cook something delicious, even if you don’t eat it, you can take it to a friend or use it for work the following day. Be creative and disconnect from the feelings, for 5 minutes, for an hour or for as long as you need.
- Reflect on how far you have come – During your anxiety attack, this may be the last thing you consider. However, whenever the slight feeling of anxiety creeps upon you, think about how far you have come and be positive. Don’t be harsh on yourself and be mindful. You can also think about this when the anxiety attack has passed, it will ease the pain and it will allow you to channel your focus elsewhere. Did you do some ironing today? Did you cook a delicious meal? Did you pass an exam? Have you received a promotion? Have you built a wonderful family? Our achievements come in many sizes and they should ALL be celebrated equally. Please don’t be so hard on yourself. Remember, we aren’t robots. We are human beings that have feelings and are riddled with love and creativity. Don’t ever mask that.
How do you cope with anxiety? What are your top tips? Did this post help you?