Due to having a few years of experience with anxiety, I have come across a lot of different ways people advise you on how to deal with the disorder. Of course, it’s different for everyone because we all handle things in our own way and all of our bodies react differently, but for me, these have been the top 5 most helpful pieces of advice.
- WRITE IT DOWN & THROW IT AWAY
This is an every now and again kind of thing, but it worked wonders when I began to do it. A really simple, easy and private way to release your anxiety is to write down all of your thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper, essentially get everything out. No matter how silly you may think it sounds, if it’s causing you to worry then it’s important. Once you have written everything down, THROW IT AWAY! Screw it up, rip it up, burn it, ANYTHING! Just get rid of it.
2. TALK ABOUT IT
This one is probably the hardest, but the most effective. You NEED to talk about it! Keeping your feelings locked up is probably one of the key causes to your anxiety. Talking from my own experiences, it feels as if no one will understand or they’ll think you’re stupid for worrying about the smallest/most irrational things, but you have to break through that and find a friend, family member, teacher or even a therapist who you can talk. You don’t necessarily need to go to someone asking for advice, just for them to listen. The relief felt after telling someone how you’ve been feeling is incredible.
Now, this is one I found difficult to keep motivation for because it’s requires the most effort (which I don’t have a lot of after school!). However, I did manage to bring myself to get into running every other evening for a few months. I honestly didn’t realise how much exercise can clear your mind! It’s great. Feeling fitter and healthier is also an added bonus from this coping strategy.
Okay, so this seems pretty self explanatory but a lot of people don’t sit down and take time out of their day to focus on their breathing. Even if it’s only for 5 minutes, focusing on your breathing brings your heart rate right down and keeps you from feeling overwhelmed from an increased heart rate. Once getting into a habit of this, you’ll begin to be able to do it for a longer length of time and then do it naturally! You can do this anywhere, on the bus, in class, at your desk, in bed, wherever! Just relax and focus on yourself. (‘Calm’ is a brilliant smartphone APP to help with this!)
5. FIND A DISTRACTION
Whatever it may be that you enjoy to do in your spare time, do it! For me it’s reading or more recently I’ve been using Millie Marotta’s adult colouring books which are mindbogglingly beautiful. If that’s not your kind of thing then perhaps you could do some drawing/painting, play video games, listening to music, exercise, or even just go out with your friends! Try not to distract yourself with social media though, try to avoid that for this one. Social media is becoming a big cause for anxiety! You don’t want to create yourself more anxiety while trying to cope with it.
I hope this can help at least one person to cope with anxiety 🙂