Brigid Hannon shares her tips and tricks on how she copes with anxiety…
Living with anxiety is a challenge, but I have found many tips and tricks to get myself though difficult times. Some are silly things, like sitting in front of a fan that is blowing full blast, and some are serious, like calling a helpline when I am feeling particularly stressed. Here are my five suggestions for those dealing with anxiety:
● One Thing at a Time
I hate to break it to you, but we are not going to accomplish everything we put on ourselves all the time, and that’s ok. I divide my projects into small, doable portions that I can accomplish without feeling too much pressure. Pretty soon I see a project come together before my eyes, and find that it was done with far less stress than if I tried to encounter the problem as a whole.
● You Are Your Own Worst Enemy
I have a little voice inside, most people call it their conscience, I call it my sane self. My sane self is the one that tells me that no, everything I write is not garbage, even though I think it is. It tells me that my friends are not talking about me behind my back, that my husband loves me dearly, and that the little noise I heard in the engine of my car was just my mind playing tricks on me. My sane self is not as loud as my anxious self, but our anxious selves are liars, and that must be remembered.
● Take a Break
This should be obvious, but when we are in panic mode it’s hard to remember. Sometimes you just need three deep breaths. Sometimes it’s fifteen minutes with your favorite song on repeat. Sometimes you need to excuse yourself to scream in a pillow. If you feel yourself about to explode, remove yourself from the situation and take a break.
● Ask for Help
I am notoriously bad at this. Usually by the time I am asking for help I have already gone into full panic. I constantly think I have things under control, until I don’t. I hope you are not as stubborn as I am, and are able to reach out to a trusted friend of family member when you are feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes they can help. Sometimes just talking it through with another person makes all the difference.
● Therapy is Your Friend
If you think you have anxiety disorder and feel you have trouble controlling it, you should seek professional help. Some people use medication to handle their anxiety, while others use talk therapy and support groups. Some people use all these methods. The truth is that anxiety disorder is the most common mental health disorder in the US, and nearly 40 million people are affected by it. You are not alone, by any means.
Brigid Hannon is a writer from Buffalo, NY. Her poetry and short fiction have been featured in various online journals including the San Antonio Review, Ghost City Press Review, Soft Cartel, and Queen Mob’s Teahouse. Currently, Brigid can be found asleep at her desk or online at hamneggs716.wordpress.com and on Twitter and Facebook @hamneggs716.
If you enjoyed this piece you can find more posts by Brigid on our blog