01 Sep Five Ways to Handle Anxiety
Why is it that I get more thoughtful/provoking on Fridays? Kidding my friends. I just write what I am interested in. I hope to write what is helpful to others as well. This is one of those topics that people don’t talk about much, but rather learn to try and deal with . I have had anxiety for a number of years and how I deal with it, can be the difference between functioning and not functioning as well. There is always plenty of time to talk about upcoming Fall Fashion and I will do so.. .on the blog. But today…
I am aware there are different types of anxiety. Social. ( no problem there, husband thinks I talk to people with “too much ease”. I take after my mom there. We have a story that we bring up just in this instance. Mom goes into a rest area, comes out of the ladies room talking to another woman.. We wonder “small world!, where did she meet this lady?” Mom had just met her in the ladies room and they came out talking like old friends. That is what I am dealing with! So, let’s just say I don’t suffer from meeting new people, but rather a generalized anxiety that can take hold and cause issues with your thinking.
One of the things I do to try and deal with anxiety is cognitive reasoning. I tell myself, “Why am I anxious?” ” ” I am thinking that I can not get done what I need to, and am afraid I wont have enough time to finish it. Then, I say to myself, what problem will this cause?” Sometimes stepping back and rationally looking at the issue does help to lessen the anxiety. I can be thinking something and it may be totally distorted from reality. This is known as Cognitive Distortion These describe irrational, inflated thoughts or beliefs that distort a person’s perception of reality, usually in a negative way. We all can have these thoughts, it is how we deal with them, that makes them more powerful. I have a habit of looking at things in black and white. Another example is “Catastrophizing” where you think of the worst outcome of a situation — ie. I would like to create a You Tube video but I am afraid I will look foolish and turn people off. This is most likely not the reality, but it is how we might see a situation.
Another tool I use to help is deep breathing. Either sitting or laying down ( depending on environment) take a deep breath slowly to five. Then release it slowly. Just the act of deep breathing in this manner, will cause me to relax more and focus only on the breath. Along those lines, I have done some Guided Meditation. ” A process by which one or more participants meditate in response to the guidance provided by a trained practitioner or teacher, either in person or via a written text, sound recording, video, or audiovisual media comprising music or verbal instruction, or a combination of both”. ** wikipedia. Just quietly listening to a recording or sounds with control of one’s breathing focuses on just that and should help release tension. I do like this idea and just need to do this several days a week in a quiet room of the house.
Pick up your hobby. I play guitar, read, enjoy watching crime shows, like outdoor activities. For example, to get out of a feeling of being anxious, I might sit down and listen to a song I want to try and play. Then I will print out chords or the music, find the music on You Tube and play for enjoyment. If you make jewelry, like to paint, or have another creative hobby, make your mind focus on that task.
Play with a pet. I find just the act of petting my boy Gibson, or Truffles my girl is a stress reliever. I may get one of their favorite toys and play fetch with them in the hall. Besides focusing on my breathing, distraction is one way to help with anxiety, and I truly enjoy being around my puppies…as they bring me joy!
Get your endorphins flowing. Sometimes I find that just taking a walk in nature can help. We live in an area with a 1 mile nature trail behind our back yard. I do like a regular walk on the Greenway, but access to this is convenient and taking my puppies for a walk can calm me down.
So to reiterate:
- Cognitive Reasoning
- Deep Breathing
- Guided Meditation
- Interest in a Hobby
- Take a Walk or other form of exercise.
So, these are just some ideas and techniques I use to deal with my anxiety. We don’t always know why we are anxious, but there are ways of dealing with it. And if all else fails…. There’s always Valium! ( kidding, kidding!)
I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!
If you enjoyed reading this, perhaps you would like to read the post: Do Your Fears Hold You Back?