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How To Cope With Anxiety


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  • Elites

I do have anxiety, it is usually worst on sundays and early mornings before work(or school when I’ve been in school). I like to listen to calm music specifically Dodie if I’m feeling anxious. If I’m only a little anxious I’ll listen to hype music but that’s only if I feel it won’t overstimulate me. I like to just zone out with my headphones in and relax. Sometimes finding som*thing productive to do will help me- like cleaning or cooking. Sometimes taking a shower will help me. Meds are always an option- over the years I’ve been on and off them because it’s hard for me to tell sometimes which I prefer. Everybody and every body/brain is different. 

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I had anxiety before I met my ex wife. She caused me to have severe anxiety and panic ******s a few years into the marriage. Some days my anxiety would be so bad that I'd vomit several times. 

I got on m edication and saw a therapist  to help with my depression and anxiety. It only helped so much. 

Funny thing is. That all disappeared when we separated and I moved into my own apartment. Not having her around made stress levels very very low. 

 

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  • Mod

Yes honestly hot showers really help (so relaxing omg) or sometimes I'll watch one of my favorite shows or even just listen to my playlist just to jam and calm down a little 🙂 

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  • Elites

6 years ago I had the same question, and I went to Reddit, and I saved this in the Notes of my phone.

It has helped me on many occasions. I hope it does the same for you.

 

"You can't control emotions or other people. You can only control your own actions. Break down anxiety by taking a big thing and making it a bunch of smaller things that you can use to toward an end goal.

For anxiety a**acks, I do something small and immediate that requires my time and attention. This is a list of things I have done to end an anxiety a**ack:

Smoke a cigarette (my a**acks are infrequent and I only smoke when I'm panicked, so it takes me more than a year to go through a pack).

Had a lollipop (when I was pregnant and couldn't smoke).

Poured and drank a glass of water in small sips.

Played a round or two of Candy Crush or Tetris.

Made a meal if I was hungry.

Made someone else a cake or cookies if I wasn't hungry.

Washed the dishes.

Folded Laundry.

Tidied up the house.

Done some work on a project that required the use of my hands.

The idea is to distract myself from the anxiety and get myself into a mindset to actually deal with the problems. When I'm not in the middle of an anxiety a**ack; I then focus on the actionable parts of the things that are causing me anxiety.

For preventing anxiety a**acks, I learned to recognize the signs of stress; and then I start shutting down the avenues of anxiety. I do that with several different coping methods that work well for me.

Setting Boundaries. I make the time to talk to the people whom my anxiety is likely to affect - my husband, my colleagues, my friends, my co workers, my boss - and I let them know what I will be able to do and won't be able to do. If I'm getting stressed about a project at work and people are pressuring me with deadlines and trying to add on extra responsibilities, I politely but firmly tell them that I cannot handle the extra workload at this time, and if they want me to do additional work it will either come at the expense of my current project or whenever my current project is complete. If I'm stressed about issues in my family, I tell whoever is involved that I can't provide them with support right now as I'm dealing with problems of my own, and I tell them I'll reconnect when I'm done. Any attempts to cross that boundary is met with a firm, but polite refusal, and occasionally suggestions as to what might help them out.

Three Days and Fifty Miles. When I was young and single and free I lived by this rule. Any time I was stressing out to my limits I would take a three day weekend and go somewhere at least fifty miles away from my current problem - far enough away that it was an inconvenient trip to return home and deal with it. Three days would give me a chance to catch up on sleep and get some perspective. Since I was living in Dallas, TX, some of the places I would go to would be Austin, Austin, San Antonio, Tulsa, or New Orleans. Sometimes I would tag along on my friend's camping trips and just go out in the middle of the woods. If I had the cash I would splurge and fly out somewhere further away - St Louis, Atlanta, Albuquerque. This isn't feasible for everyone, but it worked well for me because I was single and didn't have a lot of responsibilities, and was fortunate enough to work a job that paid well enough that I could take those breaks.

Take on a big, singular project. Sometimes I couldn't go away, so I would take the time to focus on projects that needed doing. Sometimes it would be things like learning how to sew or teaching myself how to bake. Sometimes it would be long term things like taking dance classes. Sometimes I would enter competitions like bake offs and chili cook offs or recipe contests - something that would require thought and attention. Sometimes they would be big, sometimes they would be small. But it was always something attainable that I had to put focus on that wasn't my problem. One summer I lost my job and my boyfriend dumped me and my roommate left so I lost my apartment. That summer I taught myself how to bake cookies from scratch and delivered them directly to people in my life that had c*ncer. One time I organized a fund raising drive for a volunteer organization I worked for and baked 144 cookies for the winner.

Focus on directly actionable things. It's easy to get anxious about big things that can easily overwhelm every aspect of your life, and get so caught up in that big picture you miss out on the details. In those instances its easier to focus on small parts of the issue that can help make the overall issue easier to deal with. In school we had a big report due every semester; and instead of worrying about the mountain of work that a big report involved, I would focus on the small things that made up the mountain. For learning how to bake over the summer, I went out and bought a few good books on baking. Then I sat down and read them cover to cover. Then I went out and got my ingredients. Then I made one recipe following the instructions precisely. Then I would do that over and over again, until I got an understanding of how the process worked. Then I started manipulating the recipes to test out how they worked in different ways. How to make a chewy cookie or a crunchy cookie. How to make cookie bars vs skillet cookies. How to substitute ingredients when I didn't have what I needed. One step at a time. One checkmark in a list. Which brings me to...

Make lists and cross them off. Making lists makes a seemingly insurmountable problem quantifiable. I get paid once a month so sometimes the end of the month can be a little lean and stressful food-wise. So I sit down and make a meal plan and figure out what I'm going to eat. This is the meal plan I was working on for this week. I have a reasonable idea of what what we have for everything involved and I have an idea of how long each thing will last us. It will be enough to get us through the week. Even though it's repetitive, it's consistent, and it removes the anxiety that comes from me not knowing what we're eating for the short term. Next week I'll put together another meal plan that accounts for what we have in the house, and so on."

 

Hope this helps.

~Xox

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