If you suffer from any level of anxiety, you know one thing: it can be frustrating as hell.
You know in your mind that you shouldn’t be anxious or that you don’t even want to be anxious, but it still happens.
What’s worse is that anxiety can be crippling, no matter how hard we try to fight it off. Personally, my problem with anxiety is that when I am experiencing it, I blame myself. I beat myself up about it, and say things to myself like, “just get over it.” As if it were that simple. In reality, one of the best things we can do in periods of high anxiety is to be kind to ourselves. It was a process that I had to learn personally, but I have found that when I take care of myself first – y anxiety doesn’t affect me nearly as badly.
So here are 3 easy ways to “look out for number one” when you’re feeling anxious:
Identify with Others
First and foremost, you have to remember that we are human. We all experience anxiety at some point. You are not broken, you are not messed up. Realizing that other people are struggling with the same things can be a great way to remind yourself that you’re not alone in your struggles. Like I said, I’ve been through it myself, so if you suffer from anxiety – you’ve got at least one other person in your boat with you. Sometimes you don’t even have to share your anxiety with the world, you just need to know that you’re not the only one dealing with it.
Get Out of Your Own Head
Anxiety can be all-consuming at times. The less active you are, the more power anxiety has to take over your brain. Getting out and doing something that distracts your brain from whatever it is that worries you can be an effective way to manage anxiety. That’s the thing, anxiety is accumulative. The longer you allow it to fester, the worse it gets. Taking 30 minutes to work out or even just walk around the block give your brain a chance to rationally process what is going on, and address the issues accordingly.
This is also where hobbies, like painting or building things, come in handy. Watch funny cat video on youtube, if that is what works for you. The point is just to crawl out of your own head for a minute and let it clear out in there.
Root Yourself in the Present
The biggest problem I personally had with anxiety was “what if’ing” myself. Focusing on all of the potential bad outcomes of what was going on took away from me actually dealing with the problem that was causing the anxiety in the first place. No one knows what the future will hold so root yourself in the here and now.
Let what is going to happen, happen.