How I keep my Anxiety in Check (naturally)
I am in NO WAY suggesting that Everyone can manage their anxiety with out medication. I am PRO medication, I was on and off it myself for the better part of 4 years. Please keep that in mind as a great option.
First off.. holy crap them demons can be the worst am I right?
I was lucky I didn't really "struggle" with anxiety until some guy I was casually dating, (who is now my husband) asked me to commit to him.
I was 22 years old, when I had my first real panic attack. I have tried to put "how it feels" into words but I just cant pin it down. For those of you reading, who have never experienced one (insert clapping hands emoji here) -So jealous! When I am having a panic attack, I think I would feel the same way, if I was trapped in a car rapidly sinking to the bottom of a river. -for me they are that bad but, every one is different.
The point of this blog isn't to discuss how awful I have it.. although I do love a good pity party. I am 26 years old now, and I have finally .. (FINALLY!!) figured out ways to keep myself a float.
Again everyone is different, these are just the steps and actions I take. I wanted to share in hopes they could help you!
1. Asses your self!
When do you have panic attacks? Is there a common theme?
ex. I have them "mostly" at night. If so make a point to avoid triggers at that time.
2. check in on yourself
At different times of the day (I set a timer every hour) check in on yourself. What is your body doing? are your shoulders tight? Are you fidgeting? How is your heart rate? Literally stop and ask your body how it is doing. (It sounds ridiculous, BUT I would put my hand over my heart and say out loud, "how are you doing"?) Sometimes I was actually doing fine. Sometimes I would tear up, because I wasn't ok. When I am busy, I tend to push my feelings down... which results in an explosion later on.
I had become so used to ignoring my body and emotional signs letting me know I should "slow down" or "take a break." The only way to get my attention was for my body to create an emergency situation. (I would throw up, get a huge headache, or have a panic attack) So I learned (still learning) to prevent the emergency. Rolling my head and stretching works. Sometimes a 10 min bath while eating Mac and cheese in order. Sometimes I need a good cry to let it all out.
Things I do to calm myself down in an emergency.
This is a HUGE thing for me. I LOVE TV, It takes me away! If I am having an especially rough evening I will watch TV till I fall asleep. It takes me away from my irrational stress. (Because every one knows anxiety is not always rational. I have woken up from sleep having a panic attack about mailing something..)
Sometimes I would spend my late nights barfing because my stress would make my heart race so fast I would physically become ill. I would pray and beg for peace. I have had songs come to my heart in those moments and I sing them over and over. I Turn the bathroom fan and the sink on so as not to wake my family. (Ya I am SUPER considerate ;)
3. Running or going for a walk
I put my head phones in, turn on some Celion Dion or music that I connect with and run/ walk it out. I sing along or just deeply focus on the words and how I can relate. Its insanely therapeutic. Yes I am that crazy person at the gym running with her eyes closed mouthing the words.
4. Taking a bath.
Like I mentioned earlier this is my second go to. Sometimes a drastic change of temperature would snap my mind (or distract) me long enough to slow my heart rate down.
5. My dog
My dog. I am obsessed with animals in the first place. There is something about having him around that just brings me so much peace. Especially when I snuggle him.
6. What I do in MEGA MEGA emergencies..
If I just can not snap out of it I will get my butt up, walk to the freezer and grab my frozen bag of berries. (Who knows how old that bag is.. but it is a known thing in our house, that it is my bag and no one is to open and use those frozen berries)
I will lay down and put that bag on my head and breath. Sometimes that is all you can do.
7. My favorite game to play is 5 senses.
Ill ask myself what can you hear? The fridge humming, My husband breathing, me breathing, the fish tank filter, the wind blowing outside (honestly it shocks me how much I tune out)
What can you smell?
What can you feel?
what can you taste?
what can you see?
Sometimes my tricks just aren't enough and I have to take a xanax.. there is nothing wrong with that.. I actually love taking them.. so much!
Here is a youtube video I have made talking more about my tips and tricks.
Again, every one is different, people get triggered and calmed down by different things. I am sharing my tips in hopes some one out there might find some peace too!
I hope I gave you some ideas or ways to help manage your stress! Anxiety has been such a huge part of my life for so long, I am just so relieved I have finally found a way to (mostly) keep it in check.
Not everything i say is fact, but it is my truth.