Most of the time I feel anxious, and what’s worse is that there’s no clear reason behind it. Nothing especially terrible has happened to me – it’s just a persistent, feeling of dread and restlessness. I finally realized I needed to do something about my anxiety outside of medicine, and this is what I did:
Take Sleep Seriously
Getting enough sleep is first on this list for a good reason. When I don’t get enough rest, it affects me in all sorts of ways from being more irritable, to having constant junk food cravings, all while being low energy with a general sense of unease. My bad days have all been on days when I didn’t get enough sleep. Make it a priority and notice the difference the next day.
Ask Myself, “What’s the Worst Thing That Could Happen?”
This is about gaining perspective in the moment and realizing that I’ve already survived 100% of my worst days. This is just a feeling I’m having and it will pass. Taking a moment to realize that even though I think something horrible is going to happen, it’s just my anxiety; I’m here, right now, and I’m OK.
I have a lot of good in my life – a loving boyfriend; supportive family and friends, among many other things. I take a moment everyday to acknowledge all the good in my life; and in less than ideal situations, I’m always able to find the silver lining. Using my gratitude app has made a tremendous difference in how I view my experiences on a day-to-day basis and has turned me into a more positive person as an added benefit.
Let It All Out
This is a very helpful technique I’ve been using to manage my anxiety lately. I give myself 10 minutes to just vent in my journal. I don’t care about spelling or grammar – those are just details. I let everything flow out of me naturally and I just write about anything that pops into my head, without overthinking. After this exercise, my head always feels more clear. I feel less anxious because it’s as if I wrote down the running dialogue in my head and acknowledged those thoughts.
Clean My Room
I’m a pretty messy person and although things might look disorganized, I know where everything is! However, when I feel anxious, I find that being in a calm, clean place makes me feel more at ease. When there isn’t clutter everywhere, my mental state just seems to declutter as well. Plus, it helps me burn off my restless energy.
Talk to a Friend
This is how I get out of my head if everything else hasn’t worked. I focus all my attention onto someone else and in this way, I distract myself from my bad feelings until they pass. Ask them about themselves, maybe their work. Maybe they’re going through a tough time but because depression and anxiety really suck you in, you might not have noticed. This has also, on occasion, helped me put my own problems into perspective. Regina Brett says, “If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.”
I always feel amazing after a great yoga session. I simply watch a yoga video on YouTube and I’ll workout on my bedroom floor. I lift weights regularly but sometimes it’s happened where I’ve felt really down with no energy. I push myself just enough to start the video for the stretching and I normally end up doing the whole hour. Yoga clears the mind because you’re so focused on the postures and your breathing, you don’t have time to feel anxious.
This is pretty straightforward – the caffeine in coffee or soda will increase your heart rate and in turn, will make you feel more anxious. I love my regular coffee but on those days I’m feeling stressed – I steer clear.
I hope this has given you a few tips on how to manage your anxiety. If there’s anything that works for you that’s not here, please let me know in the comments. Thanks!