Five ways to deal with anxiety.

I have been plagued with anxiety for as long as I can remember, and I have dealt with it in many ways, sometimes not always the best ways..

(remember this GIF?!)

With lot’s of practice and awareness I have learned how to manage anxiety with ways other than alcohol and chocolate..

anxiety

1. know your triggers- Whether it be a certain task at work, a family member, or certain relationships- figure out what triggers your anxiety and if you can change it, such as getting out of an abusive relationship, do it. If it is not something you can change you need to learn to accept it and quit placing a negative light around it.

Stephen Levine, who is a Buddhist teacher once said “Hell is wanting to be somewhere you are not.” 

Seriously, how true is that?

Anytime I long to be somewhere else I remember this quote and realize how  great my life is; I need to give thanks for it and cherish it, not wish it away.

2. See things for what they really are– Anxiety tends to distort our thinking. In other words, we see problems much bigger than what they are. When you feel it coming on try as much as you can to relax. (I have found that being aware of my breath has helped calm my nerves.) Think through what is giving your anxiety. Most of the time it is something that has a simple solution that you can work through.

3. Kick the negative thoughts to the curb- This is such a big one. The negative thinking will only make matters worse. It takes a conscious effort, but when you feel anxiety come on, block out any negativity and, as Peter Pan would say, think happy thoughts.

anti bad vibe

I was watching the Today Show yesterday and they were talking about something along the lines of how to achieve goals, and the guest mentioned a quote from an extremely successful athlete:

“Iv’e learned to talk to myself, not listen to myself.”

I know they are talking about reaching goals, but this works with anxiety too.

4. Accept the past and release that shit. Oftentimes people who deal with anxiety have had unfortunate life events happen to them. It’s extremely important to be aware of these things and accept that they have happened. You are who you are because of them, but they are weighing you down. Once you accept it, let it go. Some people even need a physical way of doing this such as writing a letter and dropping it in the ocean or burning it.

Whatever tickles your fancy, just release it to the universe so it is no longer weighing you down.

balance

5. Get active- Obviously, right? It could be going for a run or getting on the mat. It doesn’t matter what kind of activity you do, just do it.

I am not talking about a stroll around the mall. You need to Sweat. It. Out. This will release tension and make you feel good about yourself.

Feel free to get high off of as many endorphin’s as you would like.

Have a great weekend, friends!

Question:

How do you deal with anxiety?

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25 thoughts on “Five ways to deal with anxiety.

  1. I don’t have enough words to tell you how much I love this post! Dealing with anxiety myself, it took me until things got bad (last Spring) to take control. I knew I wasn’t myself, and I wasn’t the version of myself I wanted to be. I got help, and started seeing a counselor and started on medication. I started exercising. I signed up for a half marathon. I took my life back!

    I actually just wrote about anxiety the other day on my blog, because starting grad school definitely picked it back up a little bit from the more manageable level that I had it at since actually being diagnosed.

    Your tips are great! I can definitely usually calm myself with my breathing, and trying to think rationally but it’s definitely a battle! I have to tell my brain that what I’m thinking isn’t rational, even though it feels like the anxiety is right. Sorry for the long winded comment, but thank you so much for this post. 🙂

    • Girl, I love your comment. It’s great to know you are not alone with it, and I love hearing other peoples stories. I think I was so used to the feeling of anxiety that I didn’t even know what’s what it was! It was just with me, but now that I can recognize it, it is way easier to manage. I can only imagine how stressful grad school is, so I commend you for taking that step knowing you will have to deal with some uncomfortable feelings! Have a great weekend!

      • Absolutely! I know for me, I felt like I was the only one who felt this way, so hearing other people’s experiences always help you to feel that you aren’t alone. It took things getting to a really intensified level a few months ago to realize that this was no way to live life!! Thank you so much 🙂 I hope you have a great weekend as well.

  2. Personally, I don’t suffer from anxiety but my sister is a very anxious person. I love this post and the tips you have for dealing with anxiety. I especially love #4.. so so true! I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and we have to learn from our past rather than dwell on it.

  3. i am no stranger to anxiety and depression; in fact, i’m prone to depression ever since it was triggered after i gave birth (suffered from severe PPD for 2yrs) and the ONLY way for me to keep the darkness at bay is through exercise. i don’t want to live on pills so exercise is my pill. when i don’t workout for a few days, i can start to feel my mood dip which is why i workout 5-6 times a week.

  4. I tend to be an anxious person as well. I think it has something to do with my control freakish-ness. I have found “me time” and working out to be extremely useful. I’m still trying to figure out all of my triggers.

  5. I personally don’t suffer from anxiety but I do think #4 and 5 are extreeeeemely important. Everyone has gone through some hard times (some more than others) but it’s letting go of those moments and focusing on the present and future that really counts. And obviously exercise releases stress and anxiety like crazy!

  6. Such an important post — thanks for sharing, Heather!

    I’ve struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember, but thankfully it’s gotten a lot better since I started putting more effort into CONSCIOUSLY calming myself down. One of the biggest things for me was becoming AWARE that what I was experiencing was simply anxiety. The nervousness, the increased heartbeat, the cold sweats, the inability to focus — becoming aware of those symptoms and then taking the time to do some deep breathing really helped. I also think that a huge part of it is self-trust and the realization that you.will.be.okay no matter what.

    Great post 🙂

  7. I am soooo one of those people who retraces all of my actions in a situation I am iffy about and analyzes them. It just ends up making me more anxious about whatever it was I was already stressed over. I also tend to make up crazy future scenarios and over-think the way people interact with me. Especially with boys (although I do this mostly in my head and not directly to them). Oooops. Yoga has been a great stress releaser for me as of late.

  8. Great, HONEST post Heather! Thanks for sharing! I don’t have anxiety, but there are things that plague me, or bother me, or I can’t stop thinking about….and these tips work for those things too! When I find myself getting worked up over anything, I really try to take a step back and see the situation for what it is….I try to put it into perspective! Is it really something to stress about? Usually not really! Just gotta do a lot of talking to yourself!! –> crazy lady 😉
    -Sammy

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  10. Hi there! Just popping over from Running with Spoons and wanted to tell you how much I loved this post…so many great tips and amazing insight. I love that quote about hell – really puts things into perspective and like you said, helps you to appreciate what you have!

    • Thanks for stopping by, and I am so glad you enjoyed it! That is one of my favorite quotes, and I definitely go back to it on a regular basis when I am in a rut. Sometimes we just have to put our big girl panties on and be grateful for all that we already have. 🙂

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