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Suffering from anxiety myself, I too, feel the struggles of everyday life. Simple things make me anxious, ordering coffee, seeing my lecturer, driving, writing on Vocal (I have made myself anonymous so people in University cannot find me), and even walking into my front door.
Luckily, I have medication to combat this, sertraline is a wonderful drug.
So I have included some tips that could help you:
A: The 5 Things Rule
This is my favourite thing to do if I feel an anxiety coming on. What I do is look at my surroundings and find 5 things I love, whether it be a colour or an object or a living thing. Then 5 reasons why I like them. I then work my way down to 4 things that I can touch, then 3 things I can smell, 2 things I did in the situation, when I was young, and 1 thing that makes me smile.
So an example would be a park:
5 Things I Love and My Reasons Why:
- Trees - I love them because the leaves are the colour green, which is my favourite.
- Dogs - They're always so fun to be around and have the best time.
- Water - I love being submerged in water and it's always so beautiful.
- The open space - I have so much room to be free.
- Children Playing - Their laugh and innocence warms my heart.
4 Things I Can Touch
- The water
- The dogs
- The trees
3 Things I Can Smell
- Freshly cut grass
- Dog poop (ew)
- The flowers
2 Things I Used To Do
- Play on the swings
- Roll on the grass
One Thing That Makes Me Smile
- The laughter of the children.
This method helps me through almost every situation. If you don't like the structure, you can always change it depending on where you are, so say you're in a meeting, think about the 5 step rule: How many people are there? The number of blondes to brunettes to redheads? What's the colour of their eyes? Etc.
B: ALONE TIME!!!
Alone time is a must, you need to have time to decompress. Every day I come home and go straight to my room to spend time with me. I watch my fish swim, I listen to music, I write music, anything to distract me from the days events.
When it comes to bedtime, instead of overthinking everything that happened that day, I create happy stories in my head. So, for example, I would create a story where I would save the universe with my pet unicorn who shoots rainbow lasers out of his behind. As ridiculous as that sounds, it certainly cheers you up, giving you a better sleep and better state of mind and even gives you a chance to laugh about it with your friends.
C: Tell someone.
Don't be afraid to let people know that you have an anxiety disorder. If they shun you for it, then there is no need for them to be in your life.
I have two people in University who I turn to whenever I have a serious attack, they are always there to help me and know how to cope with it. They never judge, nor do they ever do anything which could trigger another attack. A buddy system is great, but from a personal experience, try and avoid others who have anxiety in this instance, as they may set you off or vice versa.
D: Have fish...
Right, you don't really need to have this, but watching fish for hours and hours on end really soothes me. I don't know why, but it's just something about the way they move and all the bubbles that relax me.
E: Avoid the news.
It's hard, especially in this day and age, to avoid any news, but the news is very dispiriting. It causes you to worry about things that don't even concern you. Yes, I know its harsh, but at the end of the day, the only person you need to worry about is yourself. I barely ever read the news, I only see it if I come across it accidentally, whether it be through social media or the radio, for instance. I don't want to know what's going on, I always get the same old phrase "But it's important to know what's going on around the world" Yes, but at the end of the day, I don't particularly care, as it doesn't harm me or my family.
So that's all I have, for now, I know it got a bit sinister towards the end, but at the end of the day, I don't hold back.
Good Luck and Peace Out