So it’s been a while since I’ve sat down and written a blog post (wow – I think I wrote this exact same sentence at the start of my last post :/ AWKS) but it’s true so I’m going with it…anxiety permitting.
It’s funny how when I started this blog consisted of 98% beauty or beauty related posts and now I’m rarely writing about that *schedule some beauty posts ASAP*. To be honest, I enjoy writing about things that are quite personal and that matter as well as beauty/fashion posts because I like to try and be as real as I can online – as hard as it is sometimes.
It’s easy enough showing people the great things in life that are all smiles and full of colour, but in reality most of us (probs all of us) do go through some darker times that we don’t always document online. But that’s where I want to change this from my angle and show you as much of the real stuff as well – because it’s important right?
I’m kicking things off with an anxiety related post, and I want to share with you some tips I’ve learnt along my ‘anxiety journey’ as I really want to try and help as many of you who are going through similar things as I can.
I don’t really talk about my anxiety on here, I’m not really sure why, but I’ve realised it is a big part of my life at the moment so I almost feel like I’m hiding something quite substantial from you if I don’t talk about it, which is why you’re reading this now.
So personally my anxiety has been at it’s worst over the past year and I’m only recently starting to cope with it better. And the reason why that is, is because I went to seek HELP.
So tip number 1 is just that. Please speak to someone, go and book an appointment with your GP and get referred to see a counsellor/therapist. If you keep your thoughts etc inside it will be very difficult to learn how to cope with them and get on with every day life.
The reason I went to the doctors is because my anxiety was effecting my day-to-day life so bad it was really effecting who I was, and that really isn’t like me. And It was the best decision I made. Rewind 4/5 years ago I had heard of the term anxiety, but I never really understood what it meant and I certainly never thought I would get it of all people (being a strong minded person I am), but oh how wrong I was. It can effect anyone at any time and here I am today!
Something else I’d suggest doing is educating yourself and understanding what is happening to your mind/body when you feel anxious and understand panic attack symptoms as they are very scary to experience but are harmless. For me, this has really helped me understand how to cope and deal with it to some extent. A really useful book my doctor recommended me to read was The Chimp Paradox and you can get it from Amazon for about £8! This honestly has changed my mindset and really goes into detail about how the different parts of the brain works and where your anxious mind comes from. It’s one of those books that includes lots of diagrams and lists and isn’t too text heavy so is super easy to pick up and learn from!
But on the flip side of this, DO NOT GOOGLE – Google will tell you you’re dying (which you aren’t) and it’s really not useful at all. You will stimulate your mind with even more negative thoughts and it will be harder to get out of the trap. Learn from professionals, not Google!
Anxiety Coping Mechanisms
The thing with anxiety, is that it effects people in different ways, with different triggers, different symptoms and in different levels – so we have to cope with it how we think is best for ourselves. But here are some coping methods I choose to adopt:
Carry water with you
I don’t know what it is but there’s something about carrying a bottle water with me wherever I go that eases my mind. Water is obviously really good for you and it’s good to have if you’re on public transport and it’s hot/sweaty ass the worst thing is feeling dehydrated. Your heart beats faster when you’re dehydrated and you in general feel dizzy (which makes my anxiety worse) so a bottle of water definitely helps to put my mind at ease more.
Plan in advance
Wherever I’m going or in general the day ahead, I like to plan in advance to make sure I know how I’m getting places and at what times etc. This helps with feeling organised and aims to eliminate not feeling rushed and panicked. If you have as much as you can planned out, you are less likely to get stressed and worried about missing anything/being late. Obviously, there will be times where things happen that are out of your control, but at that time you try and deal with it as best you can.
One of the best things I learnt when going through CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is that distraction is the best thing for your mind when you’re going through bouts of high anxiety. With distracting yourself you are bringing your mind back to reality and away from the irrational thoughts in your mind. Here are some of the things you can do to distract your mind, which I find really helps:
- Play a game on your phone that require a lot of attention
- Write down what you are feeling/ thinking and imagine you are helping a friend who is anxious and tell them what they are feeling is just anxiety
- Look at people around you and try and make up stories about them – imagine what they do for a living, or what their homelife is like?, how many kids do they have?, do they like dogs?
- Study your surroundings in detail as if you are picturing a crime scene and you are about to go to a court case and you have to remember every detail to report back to the judge
Do what you feel comfortable with
Although some things may seen impossible, but the more you avoid them the harder they will be. For me, I get really anxious on public transport especially trains/undergrounds because of the lack of control I have. One way I deal with this is by getting on a slower train that has more stops so I know if I want to get off, I haven’t got to wait long until it stops. Sometimes just doing things, even if they take you longer is 100% better if you feel more comfortable with it because at least you do it and you’ll feel much better for it.
There are lots of other things you can do to cope with your anxiety and as I said at the start, your coping mechanisms will be different depending on what you get anxious about but these methods can help in a lot of situations.
I hope this has helped some of you, even 1 person I’ll be happy! Let me know if this has helped or if you have any good coping methods to add 🙂