It occurred to me that there’s enough accounts on the interwebs about what anxiety feels like. Google living with anxiety and millions of articles and blog posts will pop up on the subject. Odds are if you’re Googling it, you have it and know exactly what it feels like or you know someone that struggles with it.
In case you don’t know how anxiety feels, that photo basically sums it up.
Unlike my other diagnoses (depression, migraines, fibroids, etc) anxiety is an aggressive beast. It doesn’t care where I am, or what I may or may not be doing, it will rear it’s ugly face right into my life and bring it to a screeching halt. It brings this indescribable, paralyzing fear and panic like nothing I’ve ever felt before.
I’ve only been diagnosed for a little over a year now but I’ve come to learn what does and doesn’t work for me. Like my migraines, I’ve come to recognise when an attack is coming. Instead of writing about what my anxiety feels like, I decided to share the ways I cope with it. Anxiety is different for each sufferer of course; mine may be less debilitating than others, but these are things that work for me. Maybe they’ll work for you as well.
- Immerse yourself in things you love.
Reading, music, indie flicks, writing, window shopping at antique shops… Those are the few things I enjoy that help get my mind off of the impending doom cloud that anxiety brings.
Sometimes when I’m about to have an attack I like to joke around with friends and family. Humour has always helped me cope with whatever I’m dealing with.
- Hang with friends and family.
Sometimes all you need is a little love and connection from those you care about. A hug or simply having someone sit there in silence with you does wonders. Knowing someone cares and is there for you can change your life.
Whether writing down and putting your thoughts into the public domain, or journaling those thoughts in private is your thing… write. Write down every ridiculous and scary thought you’re having. Put it out into the universe and then let it go.
Vent to whomever will listen. If they truly care about you, they won’t mind. True friends will be there through your happiest and saddest moments; trust in them.
- Have an ugly cry.
Scream, cry, break things, put some music on blast and just go bonkers for a bit. Whatever helps get the sad our.
- Ask for help.
From friends, family, a therapist, someone you speak to anonymously online… Whomever you feel comfortable with. Someone can help you if you cannot help yourself, you just have to reach out.
- When all else fails: try medication.
Sometimes you just have to because it’s all too much and nothing else is helping. That’s okay. Medicate yourself, have a cry, and pick yourself up.
The biggest thing to remember about coping with anxiety is it’s a liar. It will make you feel inferior and like there’s no point to anything. You’re not dying, contrary to what the anxiety is making you feel, everything will be okay. Trust me, I’m still here. You’ve just got to find what works best for you. Try it all, try anything.
You will get through it because you’re stronger than you think.