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Anxiety is a serious mind killer, and a really bad bout of anxiety can end up harming you in ways that you didn't even know were possible. Bad anxiety can make you lose your job, alienate yourself from friends, and even cause health problems.
As an anxiety sufferer, I find that there are certain things to remember when you feel anxious—things that can help you. The more you remind yourself of some of the simplest facts in life, the easier it is to ride out certain negative feelings.
Don't let yourself spiral out of control. Use these gentle reminders to help you get anxiety under control and continue living your life.
You're absolutely, positively not alone.
Over 40 million people have been clinically diagnosed with anxiety in the United States alone. That means that you are one of many, many people who has an anxiety disorder or experiences anxiety attacks.
Even emotionally healthy people can struggle with anxiety, particularly during hard times. You're not a freak for having anxiety, nor are you alone in knowing how bad it can get. There are others around you who have it, and help is always available via a help line.
This is one of the most comforting things to remember when you're feeling anxious.
Most people don't take time out of their day to criticize you—and those who do are sad people.
I cannot name how many people I know had a panic attack over what people "could think" about them. It's normal to want to have peoples' approval, and also fairly normal to worry about people disliking you.
What I have found is that most people who you worry about thinking ill of you don't really care enough to actually think of you. The vast majority of people have better things to do!
The people who actually spend time and energy hating others or dragging others down with harsh remarks are generally not happy with their lives. In most cases, they do it to make themselves feel better about themselves.
You can always try to do something to make things better—and if you can't, you can at least rest assured that you did what you could.
Most people will tell you things like "this will pass" or "everything will be alright." I'm not going to bullshit you though. Sometimes, things aren't going to be okay. Most times, though, they will be.
The best way that you can help yourself feel like you have control of your life is to focus on the things you can improve. If you're anxious about money, take up some side jobs. If you're anxious about love, hit the gym to become more attractive. If you're anxious about someone's health, help by being there for them.
This is one of those things to remember when you're feeling anxious that make a huge difference in how you live life. At the very least, you can say you did what you could.
The feelings of anxiety will eventually pass.
Even if you have the world's most stressful job and are dealing with a ton of personal problems, your anxiety will not last the rest of your life. You've probably handled panic attacks, negative thoughts, and feelings of anxiety before. You can handle it again.
Trust that you got this, because you do.
Worrying is not going to change the outcome.
This is one of the hardest things to remember when you're feeling anxious, primarily because your mind is probably going in a crazy cycle of negative thoughts relating to your worries, eventually having you worrying about being worried. However, if you can remember it, please do.
You can worry all day long, but that will not change the outcome. Action might change the outcome, but worry alone? Nope, unless you want more wrinkles.
You can find help.
Anxiety has a weird way of messing with your mind. It makes you feel like you're alone, even when you're not. Believe it or not, there are people out there who do care about you. Good people who are willing to help do exist!
I've personally had complete strangers offer to help me out in very dire situations. They cared, even though they didn't know me. People out there will do the same for you, but only if you reach out!
Watch your breath, and get moving.
One of the best ways to handle anxiety is to help your body calm down. When you're nervous or anxious, your body will go into "fight or flight" mode. Your breathing will get rapid, you will freeze up, and you might also break into a sweat.
The best thing to do when you're feeling this way is to get some exercise or try some deep breathing. Both practices help your body register that you're safe, which in turn, eases out your anxiety.
Certain health trackers come with built-in breathing exercises that are known to help you get out of your body's anxious mode. BellaBeat, for example, has an anxiety tracker that comes with breath exercises, too.
Most of the time, things aren't as bad as they seem.
If you have an anxiety disorder, you're probably seeing life in a pessimistic way. Everything feels out of control, your mind races to the worst possible outcome, and you don't know how things will work out.
Bad as things seem, most situations aren't as bad as you think they are. They are fixable, given time and effort, and it's okay to feel the way you do for now. Even if you do have a major loss, you can always rebuild.
It's okay to vent.
This is easily one of the top tips for dealing with an anxiety disorder. We often assume it's not okay to tell people how we're feeling or to let our feelings show. One of the things to remember when you're feeling anxious is that letting it out can help you let things go—and that includes those negative thoughts.
Venting is actually really healthy for you, and that's why you should consider booking a therapy session. If you don't want to do therapy, writing thoughts down in a journal can be an amazing way to just get things off your chest enough to let it all go.
You might want to listen to your body.
Your body's reaction to anxiety, particularly anxiety that seems to be attached to certain people, is partly instinct. We evolved to have anxiety as a way to alert us to the danger around us.
One of the things to remember when you feel anxious and you normally don't feel that way is that you might need to take a moment to ask what's going on, especially if someone's putting you on edge. That could be a sign you need to back away from a person or a situation for your own safety.