Hi guys and welcome to my place!
Let’s continue with my tips about anxiety shall we? As I told you, these are things that I did and worked for me… It does not necessarily means that all of them will work with you (heck they even didn’t work with me all the times!), however if it helps one person, well I’m happy with that 😀 I recommend you to try some of them and see if they work with you, if not, well try another ones and try to get your own strategies 🙂
Now, as I told you, I’m going to write these posts taking into account the Level of anxiety I was facing at the time (because my strategies changed), this time I’m going to talk when I was always with a high level of anxiety. It was in the beginning after my first panic attack… However this is not a post to tell you how I coped with panic attacks (that one you can read it here)… No, this one would be when I was feeling that a panic attack would come sooner or later, but that I had some kind of control.
First a disclaimer (as always): I am not a psychologist nor a doctor! Second the tips I am going to give resulted to me, it may not work with you! You will need to try it out and see for yourself the ones who work or not. Please if you are reading this probably you suffer anxiety and are looking for some help, this way I strongly advise you to go to your doctor to start treatment ASAP.
Ok, now with that out-of-the-way, let’s start. First I’ll give you the general ones that you will see in every type of help with anxiety. Although cliché, they are important!
- Sleep well – Healthy people feel more anxious and under the weather when they don’t sleep the amount of hours they need, so what could you say about us, the ones who feel anxiety. It’s extreme important to have a healthy sleep schedule! And you say! Yeah Arthis (Yes, you can treat me by Arthis :P), but the problem is that I can’t fall asleep that easily… Don’t worry I’ll talk about that later 🙂
- Eat well / Do exercise – I know that when we think about our brain we always go to the psychological part of the thing… But you know what? The brain is also an organ! Everything you feel, think, do has a chemical explanation that your brain do, this way it’s extremely important that you take care of it! To be honest, for me this one was not that important as sleeping though.
- Meditation – Everyone talks about meditation or some sort of activity that relaxes you… Can I be truly honestly with you? This one didn’t work for me in a bit. Why you ask? Well, in this phase I was not able to stop and relax without starting thinking in everything and basically end up with anxiety. Other thing is… To do this sort of activity you need to control your breathing… Well, I dealt with manual breathing for a really long time, so something that made me focus on my breathing was a NO! But as I told you… It didn’t work for me but it could work for you 🙂
Now that the general advices are out-of-the-way let’s go to the ones that are not so… Hmmm… “Normal” Let’s say xD Some of them are pretty strange to be honest, but bare with me. I was getting a little too much desperate…
Let’s start with ways to stop your brain from thinking about fears you have that most probably it won’t happen anyway… I can’t count the times I was afraid that my mother would die, or I would die, or someone would die, or someone would get an illness… Well… You know the drill… So I had to arrange things to just shut my brain off!
- Write things on a paper and let it be: Basically, you have a fear and you write it on a paper and make the mental exercise of “I don’t need to think about this anymore, if I want to remember I’ll just come back and read it” – this one take a while before your mind really start to understand this and stop thinking on the things you wrote. What I would do so my brain would start to understand this was, if the fear came again to my thoughts I would just grab the paper read it and think to myself “see? I don’t need to think about this, I have a note so I don’t forget about it!” – Strangely enough it worked sometimes!
- Write things on a paper and rip it to pieces: Completely different from the last one. Basically here is a different though. You write your fear in the paper, read it to you some times so you really knowledge that fear and then, when you feel you are ready (which you will) you torn the paper as like saying “let’s stop thinking about this, I’ve already acknowledged this fear!” (of course the fear will not get away forever, it will come again and you need to do this again – Strangely enough, this one also worked for me! Basically seeing you ripping your fears written on the paper makes you feel that you have somewhat control (?)… Makes sense? Probably no, but hey! It helped!
- Go do something that needs your focus 100%: At that time I was completely addicted to League of Legends and that’s what I would do to shut my thoughts… I had to be completely focused on the game and soon enough my thoughts would just be about last hits and ganking.
About thoughts I would just go through these three… It is said that talking also helps… I tried… I talked a lot… And to be honest it was the one thing that had the less results (in my case, of course).
Other important thing is:
Don’t put yourself in situations that you know that will trigger your anxiety (Unless you can’t escape it, of course)
I mean, if you have social anxiety you still need to get out of the house, you can’t just shut you up inside your house forever and don’t… Well, live! But let’s say that you need to go to a place and you can go by walking or by bus… Which one are you less uncomfortable with? Do that then!
Basically for me, this part was about food in general. I had a lot of fear of dying, so I feared the heck of food that didn’t go from the frying pan directly to my plate! To be honest even eating was difficult because I had this fear of chocking. Well of course I didn’t stop eating! You need to eat for you to live, so in the last one I just beared with it and when I started to get better eating also became easier (the problem was that I was over thinking all the eating mechanism, something you normally do unconsciously).
Now, for the first one… If any type of food fell in the floor or even in the balcony I would just not eat it… It would go directly to the trash… No 5 seconds rule to me! Of course that if I ate it wouldn’t do any bad, but at that point that was the way to go… Later I started to challenge myself, but I will talk about that next week 🙂 Don’t get me wrong… I hate, but HATE to waste food and I wasted a lot when I was with this level of anxiety, but… Well, I already had enough in my plate (see what I did there 😉 ) to throw even more anxiety in my life where I had the control.
It’s ok not to be in the control
Something which also made me develop my anxiety is the way I wanted to control everything to have a perfect life… Let me explain you, for me to have a perfect life, my family, closest friends and boyfriend need to also have a perfect life… Guess what? Not everyone will do the right choices to be happy! And I would get anxiety because of that, why? Because the only thing I could do was talk to them and advice them, which normally didn’t do anything… So I had to learn to step back and learn to happily live knowing that I’m not going to have full control of life. This one is yet a struggle and I think only some months ago I was able to almost completely shut off this controlling thing, however it IS still a work in progress.
Being able to fall asleep
I had an enormous fear of dying and at the same time I was experiencing manual breathing which seemed to occur ALL day, so being able to fall asleep was really difficult… Why? Because I would not be able to manual bread while sleeping and eventually die of course! Sounds stupid, but it was what happened most of the times. So how was I able to shut my brain off to the point of being able to fall asleep?
Youtube Videos! Yeap, and I do this until this day! Basically it is my way of getting my mind out of things and stop my thinking (because even if they are not anxiety provoking I will think a lot about everything when I try to get asleep if I’m not doing something at the same time)… Is it the healthier thing to do? Probably not, but it works for me, that’s what is important.
Now, the videos need to be interesting enough, but not so interesting that don’t let your brain fall asleep. At that time I would watch League of Legends tournaments, nowadays that I’m cured from the League of Legends disease, I watch KPOPP gameplay videos! And I love her, if she knew the help she have gave me without getting out from her house she would surely feel blown away! 😀
I need to talk about this since it was something that followed me many months and I remember going through some forums and a lot of people were desperate because of this… Well, the thing people normally say is “Just don’t think about it!” LOL how the hell is that going to help? I need practical answers! I used two ways to help me (although of course they were never long-term):
- Getting my mind of it playing League of Legends or something like that: the idea is the same as I told you to shut your brain off about thoughts.
- Exercise – Push-ups to be more exact: Basically, when I do exercise my breathing starts to become automatic (I’m thinking more about doing my best to not faceplant the floor), so yeah it worked!
Other thing is, sometimes you start to overbreathing, but you are not yet in a panic attack, so I also had some ways to easy that off, sometimes it worked, others not so much, but if it made me have less 10% panic attacks, well I’m glad to have done then:
- Thinking that the maximum overbreathing can do is to make you pass out: Ok, not the best thing, but you know what happens when you pass out? Your breathing just regulates itself, so it’s not really that thing of life and death that it feared me so much. Of course try to be in a place that if you pass out you don’t hit your head in something that can make you go to the hospital.
- Push-ups: Again, you can’t really do push-ups while overbreathing (the way you overbreath when starting a panic attack)… Basically your body will start slowly to start breathing to match your efforts and while doing this, it will relax you!
And I think that’s everything! probably when this post comes online I will remember something that I missed, but these ones are the main strategies I used. Are you going to stop having panic attacks the moment you do this, probably not! Are you going to get better in a matter of days? Nope… Anxiety is not easy, if it was I would not be addressing it and you probably would not be reading this finding ways to cope with your own anxiety. It takes time and a lot of effort, but it is possible to get better!
I’m not going to end this telling you to be happy, or to do your best to be calm! Let’s face it, if you are experiencing high levels of anxiety most of the days you will be to stressed out to even take into account the small things in life that makes you happy… Most of the time you will feel horrible and that you just want to everything go away… BUT I would end this saying:
Don’t lose hope! It’s possible to get better (I’m a living proof of it), it takes time, it’s hard, but let’s face it you are a fighter (even if you think you are not) and with time the anxiety levels will start to get lower and you will again start to get control over your brain again 🙂
If you need to talk with someone you already know! You can find me on Twitter @Arthifis or you can just use my contact page! I’ll be more than happy trying my best to hear you and help you!
Fight that b*tch like you never fighted anything before for me will you? 🙂