Before I start telling you how I got my anxiety under control I feel like I have to tell you, you won’t always be able to control your anxiety. Some people, some very, very lucky people do, but that’s not the case for me. Not yet anyway. You might be able to control your anxiety for a while, a couple of weeks or months, but if you have a slip don’t worry. You’re only human at the end of the day.
I’ve been debating for a while now on how to start this blog post. There are so many things I want to say but I don’t want this blog post to be inconsistent.
Firstly, I would suggest finding your triggers. That’s what helped me the most. It made a huge difference for me. Through trial, error and a lot of panic attacks I found out what mine were. However, I’ve since found an easier way to find your triggers. Get a notepad and write down everything you did in the day, what you ate, what you drank, how you felt, the people you interacted with and see if you can find a pattern. Do this every day until you’ve nailed down all your triggers.
My triggers are caffeine and alcohol. I don’t touch them. Not even a drop. I mistakenly picked up a caffeinated coke a couple of months ago, I had a tiny sip of it before I realised there was caffeine in it. Cut to 20 minutes later when I was having a panic attack. It shocked me because I had never been that sensitive to caffeine before. It was almost like my body saying “Oh god woman, NO! What do you think you’re doing to me!?” It let me know my mistake immediately. I don’t do well in overly crowded places, especially when I can’t see the exits and I hate feeling like I’m not in control of the situation or what to expect. Note: Don’t throw me a surprise party, it’d be my worst nightmare.
There are some precautions you can take when it comes to preventing anxiety. Try and keep to a routine so your mind isn’t on edge and constantly working overdrive trying to figure out what is coming next. Or as your anxiety would see it, what threat is coming next. There needs to be a fine balance with that though because if you keep to a routine too strictly and something pops out of the blue it can have the same effect and hello anxiety.
Give your mind time to process. Try and get 8 hours sleep a night. It might be easier said than done depending on your work and lifestyle. However, I bet if you took all the time you spend procrastinating out of your day, it would be doable.
Have an outlet or distraction. I find if I don’t workout most days I go stir crazy. I can feel my anxiety creeping back up on me. That can also make you more anxious and put you on edge. Try and notice the signs so you can prevent it from happening. I do Lucy’s workouts. If you’re a long time reader on the blog you’ll know how much I adore that woman. She has improved my mental health and physical health to no end. I will leave her links below. (If working out isn’t your thing then try yoga or walking)
Try eating a healthy diet. The ingredients they put in food these days can create a chemical imbalance in your body. Not only will your anxiety dissipate but your skin will be clear and glowing, you’ll feel so much better in yourself and you’ll have tons more energy.
Take time to assess what’s going on around you. If there are people around you that make you feel bad, put you down, make you feel on edge or bring your anxiety levels up, say adios. You don’t need people like that around you. Surround yourself with people who will champion you for being you. That will support you and encourage your strength.
You’re not alone. I know there is a lot of stigmatism surrounding mental health lately but you are certainly not alone. Confide in someone you trust about your anxiety. It’s such a help if you’re feeling particularly anxious. A problem shared is a problem halved, as they say. It doesn’t make you weak to be able to say “I’m not feeling well”, “I just can’t manage today.” or “I need your help”. It just shows your strength, courage and determination to get through this.
Say no. Don’t be afraid to say no to people who make you anxious. Say no to situations that you’re not comfortable with. Don’t worry about offending the person. Just get up and walk out of there. When you’ve calmed down and settled your anxiety go back and explain why you had to leave. If they don’t understand then that’s another name to add to the “least amount of contact possible” list.
I know you may not be able to apply all of this to your life, but try to implement most of it For example, the people you work with fill you with anxiety and your job makes you insanely stressed. You decide your mental health is more important so you leave your job. Your then left with bills you can’t pay and you can’t afford food. It’s a catch 22. If that is something you feel like you may have to consider then please plan everything. Search for a job before you leave the one you’re in, budget your money before you make any changes, talk to your boss or the people who make you anxious. Try and find a solution before doing the last resort option.
I hope this helped you, if only a small bit. Please leave any tips you have in the comments so we can help each other even more. I’d love to know how you’re getting on with controlling your anxiety. I will leave Lucy’s links below followed by some sources to mental health organisations.
Mental Health Organisations: