#1 Close your eyes
When I first feel a bit anxious I like to close my eyes and make myself think of 5 things I’m thankful for that day. What this does for me, is brings awareness to the way I’m feeling, but slows down my thought process and reminds me that it’s probably not the end of the world. Sometimes when my husband is stressed I’ll do this by asking him questions like:
“are you healthy?”
“Are you otherwise happy?”
“Do we have a roof over our heads?”
“Is it going to change our lives as we know it?”.
Normally then, he will slow down and be able to articulate more fully what’s going on.
#2 Pour a hot drink (Not caffeine)!
I like to sit with a hot chocolate, or a herbal tea. This is because if you’re verging an anxiety attack, caffeine is our enemy. Caffeine will accelerate your heart rate and probably stimulate your senses which are already in overdrive. Take a minute to appreciate the mug warming your fingers, inhale the smell deeply and exhale. You might just feel better already!
I know this one is a bit more on the hippy side but trust me, you should try it at least once! You can grab guided meditations on iTunes or Apple Music so easily these days. If not, hit up YouTube. I highly recommend this, not only for spiritual development but for your general health too. I try to set aside at least one time slot a week to really sit cross legged on the floor and become better acquainted with myself.
#4 Go swimming
For me there is nothing more spiritually healing than water. Get in the water and really concentrate on the feeling of the smooth water between your fingers, between your toes. Get some endorphins going, and then concentrate on your breathing. The way I see it is – if you keep breathing calmly and deeply, you can never really sink.
#5 Channel your energy into something positive
This blog post was actually inspired by myself having a slightly wobbly day. I was feeling anxious and irritable and all I could think about was how much I wanted to kill my cat, who was yowling incessantly at the door despite having only just come in. Instead, I took a breather and did a few of the aforementioned coping mechanisms, then decided to share them with you! If you’re creative too, now is the time to write, paint, make. Throw yourself into a different world and really harness that energy. Once you’ve completed a project you will be able to stand back and appreciate your anxiety as a motivator. It doesn’t have to be a hinderance all the time!
Whether you are a dog person, a cat person, a horse person, or even one of those freaks who likes snakes! (lol), I guarantee if there’s one being on earth who can make you feel better on the brink of an anxiety attack its your pet. Or your friends pet. Your family pet. Whatever. Whatever is going on in your life at the time, that being will look into your eyes with TRUE unconditional love and admiration- that is, unless of course you’re a cat/snake kind of person. (I KID!) But honestly, you are that little beings whole life, it’s family, it’s friend, it’s snuggle partner. Talk to them, stroke them, play with them. They understand so much more than you know!
I cannot stress enough the power of a boss lipstick. Got an interview? Boss lipstick. Got a date? Boss lipstick. Feeling insecure? Boss lipstick. I have two types of boss lipstick, I have a red for that classic Hollywood vibe that can turn me from “don’t look at me” to “don’t you know who I am?” I also have a dark which says “don’t mess with me today girl I will own you”. If I feel good on the outside, my confidence will almost always eliminate or at least neutralise any feelings of impending doom or self doubt. Have a selfie photo shoot. Remember you’re a god/goddess. Try it. Promise.
#8 Pamper yourself
On a similar note, take a moment to run a hot bath, pop a face mask on and cover your whole body in moisturiser. Burn candles, use the expensive bath bombs you’ve been saving for a rainy day. LOVE yourself. Really go to town and have an “I deserve this” day. Because chances are, if you’re reading this post- you do. It’s ok to have some down time and to really make time in your day to make sure you feel on top of your game when you wake up the next day. Skin care is my favourite because the next day when I’m glowing I like to think that I brought my inner glow outwards!
#9 Reach out
If you are feeling anxious it is always useful to talk out loud, it helps you to really slow down and find a solution, or at the very least comfort or peace. Sometimes bad things happen, and that sucks, but you should always surround yourself with a support system that’s genuine and that loves you. For me it is my husband and my close family. My grandma and my mum are my best gal pals in the whole world- which is something I’ve definitely realised since I entered my twenties and left my teenage self behind. It’s an unconditional friendship with someone who will always offer you honest advice. In my case I have a northern family who don’t sugar coat things, and sometimes I need that. Don’t bottle it up!
#10 Remove toxic people
This one I saved till last because it 9 & 10 are two of the most important in the long run, but this one is definitely the hardest. It might hurt at first, but it is so worth it. You are worth it. Anxious people are very often givers, or empaths. This means that naturally we can be quite naive and also sensitive. I will almost always recognise a change in tone, or a slight shift in a person- and yet sometimes I still struggle to cut ties with negative energies because I want to “fix” or at least “help” people. While this is often one of my greatest strengths, it has also been one of my greatest weaknesses, as it has left me prone to narcissists and “takers”. These are people who will be there for you particularly when the sun is shining but disappear when you need them most. People who if you pay attention, only have time for you when it suits them, or when they want something from you. This is so bad for your energy because it means you are literally feeding your energy and your lift into a bottomless pit, often for people who can’t or don’t want to be “fixed” or “helped”. One of the biggest life lessons I ever learned is that that’s ok! It is perfectly reasonable to want to surround myself with people who are genuinely as caring as I am. This may mean you end up with fewer friends than you thought- but my god will you notice a difference. You will instantly have more energy to put into healthy, sustainable relationships- without the gangrenous limb of a user weighing you down.
I really hope you learned something or at least enjoyed reading 10 ways in which I deal with my anxiety! Let me know in the comments any of your favourite techniques, I love hearing them! See you next week!
Disclaimer: Just because these suggestions work for me doesn’t mean they will work for everyone. Everyone’s anxiety operates differently and has different triggers, for example- some people may find water claustrophobic where I find it relaxing and peaceful. x