Do You Suffer From Anxiety?
Growing up, I suffered from anxiety. All types of anxiety. I would get social anxiety, anxiety from the unknown, anxiety before tests in school, etc. Sure, these all seem like normal situations to get anxiety over…and they were…but the level that my anxiety was at always seemed and felt a little bit higher than “normal.” I would let it take over how I felt entirely and I would literally make myself sick.
I recently hung out with friends who haven’t known me as long and we were talking about anxiety. They told me their impression of me was that I am and was not ever an anxious person. This shocked me. I have worked for a long time to overcome this but I didn’t realize I actually had until this statement.
5 Ways To Cope With Anxiety
I had changed, grown and evolved but my idea of me hadn’t. So what did I do to overcome this internal battle within myself that made me sick? I’ve broken it down to five theories.
Coping Mechanism #1: Talk About It
Often times, anxiety, shame or any type of feeling that gets stuck and takes over comes from feeling like you can’t talk about it. When I stopped suppressing the feelings I had and acting like they didn’t exist, even though they clearly did, things got a little easier. It didn’t remove the anxiety fully but it did lift some of it and it lifted a little more each time I talked about it.
Coping Mechanism #2: Therapy
Part of why I didn’t want to talk to people about my anxiety was a combination of feeling embarrassed and also not wanting to burden anyone with my issues. Finding a therapist I liked, valued and trusted was so important. There is so much shame around therapy and I think THAT is such a shame. I think the biggest misconception about therapy is that you have to be broken to go. I’m not broken and I continue to go and don’t plan to stop soon. It is a reliable place I can go regularly to talk about myself for an hour in a judgment free space.
Coping Mechanism #3: Breathe
It is actually proven that if you breathe in deeply and out deeply and slowly five times that your heart rate will slow down. Your heart rate slowing down also helps ease your anxiety. Always remember to stop and breathe.
Coping Mechanism #4: Meditate
Meditation is such a helpful tool to have for anything and everything. In Los Angeles, it has been quite “trendy” to start meditating which is awesome! There are now centers like Unplug which are for people to come together and meditate together. There are also great apps for this too.
photo credit: Project Meditation
Coping Mechanism #5: Just Do It (Face The Fear)
The best thing you can do to beat the anxiety is face it. Whatever it is that is coming up for you, face it head on and with confidence. What I realized is most of the time the anxiety I have is around the idea of something versus the reality of something. Nothing is ever as bad as I make it in my head.
What do you think of these ideas? Do you ever get anxiety and, if so, how do you overcome it? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!