After a few weeks of feeling calm for the majority of the time, I have had a few anxious days which terrified me. The thought of relapsing further exacerbates the panic I am feeling and leaves me with a constant fluttering feeling in my chest. However, when I woke up today and still felt nervous I decided I was going to do something about it.
Do Something Fun!
This might seem basic but if you are really anxious you won’t want to do anything – even if you know that it will make you feel better. However, getting up and doing something because you have time to think about it is called behavioural activation. It is extremely difficult when you feel low to be productive, even if you know it is of great benefit, so a great tip is to just force yourself before you have time to back out of it. It is recommended that if you are suffering from anxiety or depression that you do one pleasurable activity per day. It’s understandable to believe that nothing will make you feel better, but just try and do something happy everyday until it feels fun.
I hate exercising and I don’t do it often (this is something I’m working on) but it is amazing for anxiety. Moving around uses up all of that anxious energy stored within you and distracts you for the time being. After I exercised today, I felt exhausted which I would rather be than anxious. Going for walks are a less strenuous idea, which I much prefer, and you also get fresh air and to feel the wind on your face.
At first, I found meditation strange and I wasn’t sure if I was doing it correctly but after I did it a few times I noticed it really relaxed me. And after two weeks of meditating most days, I found myself taking deep breaths and regulating my breathing whenever I felt stressed. When you feel anxious your breathing becomes quicker and by slowing it down you are sending a message to your brain saying that there is no need to panic and your anxiety starts to dissipate.
I admit that once I was feeling better, I stopped practicing meditation because I simply couldn’t be bothered. However, today when I woke up feeling anxious I remembered how much it used to help me and I immediately did a 15 minute session. I do guided meditation as I find it a lot easier and it’s also very good for beginners, as it teaches you the basics of meditation. A YouTube channel “Boho Beautiful” has loads of meditation videos; she has a 10 day program and also specific videos for stress relief and healing, so if you are interested try one of her meditations. This is a link to her channel: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCWN2FPlvg9r-LnUyepH9IaQ
Discover what’s stressing you
With anxiety, you might not always have a clear-cut answer as to why you are so worried, but normally when I have severe anxiety there is something bothering me – even if I don’t realise it. It might seem redundant, but writing down your anxious thoughts and how they make you feel (anxious beliefs) will reveal a lot. For example:
- “I’ll never get better”
- “They all hate me”
- “I should have done better”
- I’m hopeless
- I’m not liked
- I’m a failure
Therefore, if you work out that you are feeling anxious because you aren’t liked then gather evidence against that belief! Look at how many people you have in your life who make an effort to spend time with you. Or if you think you are a failure then list all of your accomplishments (and yes living with anxiety is definitely an achievement).
This is something most people hate to do, me included, but sometimes it is necessary. Yesterday, I knew if I went out that my anxiety would only increase so I made the decision to stay in – it wasn’t much of a decision when I was extremely nauseas and overheating. Sometimes you may feel you can’t cancel plans, I felt locked into going out last night as it was my friend’s birthday, but if they are your real friends they will understand and not blame you – just try and not feel guilty!
In conclusion, if you are having an anxious day do everything you can to make yourself feel better. Yesterday, I did nothing and instead just sat with my feelings which only made me feel worse. Even if these things don’t soothe your anxiety, they will make you feel better for trying. Something I have been meaning to try for my anxiety is this weighted blanket, some people swear by it!