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3 Ways I Cope with Anxiety

By Maryam

Photo by S.Hassan

Anxiety. Many define this as, “a feeling of nervousness or extreme worry and unease about an event with an uncertain outcome.” I define anxiety as an interference to living my life normally, and constantly feeling like I’m falling into pavement ground over and over. While I haven't quite found a well-defined way to completely rid this disastrous feeling, I have some methods that help me cope—key word being "cope." These are personalized to me and though it isn't a surefire way to be less anxious, I am sharing this to help someone who may be in the same position as I am. The following are three ways I cope with anxiety.

Taking Walks

I find that taking walks in places, especially in places unfamiliar to me, help to distract my mind and I focus more on what I am surrounded by. My anxiety is something that tends to find its way into my mind in moments when I’m not occupied at all, so when I’m walking I find a balance that I could work with. I walk in busy areas to look at buildings around me and wonder how any human being can be up so high without thinking about the wonderful concept that they’re pretty much flying. I walk in areas of calm and quiet so I can admire nature and remain in awe of it’s beauty. This method may seem super duper cliché, however the simple idea that I’m free from any responsibility other than caring for myself puts me in a state of ease and allows me to regain control of my anxiety and dark thoughts. So when I take walks, I’m practicing this self-care and it works. This can be extended to walking alone or with a close friend. Walking with a friend helps me when I need that extra hand of support or a lent ear, because it further distracts my mind. I use the word distraction a lot because that is what I literally try to do, the more I push anxiety to it’s dark little corner, the better I feel. As they say, ignorance is bliss.

Exercising

“Go to the gym,” is what I tell myself when I start getting irritated and agitated. I feel that when I keep my body physically active and energized, it translates to my mental awareness of things, and creates a more steady environment for me. On a day that I wake up earlier and have a workout, I find, is a day I feel better than days I may not work out. This varies from a ten minute session all the way to an hour. It all depends on what I feel is right for me that day. Try a workout even if it is once a month, and use it to keep your body alive in hopes of keeping your mind alive as well. When I work out I feel a sudden rush of positive emotion all throughout me and it makes me feel alive. The "feeling alive part" is really important to me because a lot of time when I feel anxious, there is a also a numbness that gives me hopeless thoughts. When I am anxious, the feeling of falling into pavement or something really hard repeatedly has begun to be a very numb experience, as well as a negative one. When I feel anything else, it excites me. Any other emotion or feeling will put me in a different and new place and that makes me feel more human, it makes me feel more whole, and more real. So I work out. I exercise to give myself room to cope and room to live with anxiety; because I’ve accepted it isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Carrying a Journal

One of my favourite quotes, which Christina Baldwin beautifully said, “Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.” When I keep a journal with me at all times, it gives me easy access to a place where I can store my thoughts. It is an incredible outlet in which I am able to allocate everything from my most dark thoughts to my hopes and dreams. Writing is the gateway to my soul and when I harvest this passion, I grow beautifully. I’m able to transform my anger, anxiousness, sadness, depressive states into a written masterpiece and I let that keep me alive. When I see myself on a piece of paper, it does a fascinating thing to my whole state of being, and it calms me for a period of time. I can’t control when I am able to make beautiful written art, however when I give myself the access to a journal in case I am able to calm the beast for a period of time, I thrive. Thriving, growing, and coping. It is what I try to do everyday because I go to battle every day. This just prepares me for that battle a little bit.

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