How I deal with anxiety

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I’ve struggled with anxiety in some way or another since I was a kid. However, since my early twenties I have had an increase in panic attacks and general anxiety. I think it has come as I have gained more responsibility and gotten older.

I think when some people hear the word “anxiety,” they tend to associate it most by being afraid to be in public or antisocial. And to be honest, that’s not what I experience at all. Anxiety is different for everyone.

I am now able to work through panic attacks fairly privately because I know the symptoms right away. My heart starts to beat faster and/or irregular, I feel a sinking feeling in my chest, I have trouble swallowing and I feel like I’m disconnected from myself. I know when I start having these symptoms that I need to breathe deeper, get up and walk around and get something to drink. If I do those things, I can usually keep the attack at bay.

My anxiety typically comes from fear of the unknown. Starting a new job, project, etc. always brings it on. Another thing that always triggers it is being put in stressful situations, such as work deadlines or financial stress.

I also fear the loss of a loved one or friend and have an extreme fear of having a medical emergency or life-threatening illness.

I also always assume the worst has happened. If I don’t hear from someone when I’m supposed to, I worry they have been in a car accident. If I bump my head or have a pain in my body, I fear the worst.

I am by no means an expert on this, but there are some things that I know to be helpful. However, it’s always best to speak with your doctor if you feel like you have concerns about anxiety and how to manage or treat it. Below some ways that help me.

Pay attention to your breathing

When you are having anxiety, your breathing tends to get really shallow. Being present and making an effort to take deep, long breaths helps tremendously.

Step away from what you are doing for a few minutes

Having a change of scenery or walking around for a few minutes can help relieve anxiety.

Exercise regularly

This is something I am still working on because I don’t particularly enjoy working out. But working out helps get rid of anxious energy that can build up from stress.

Stretch and/or yoga

Taking some time at the end of the day to do some stretches or a yoga video helps to calm you before bed, which is when anxiety can hit for me.Too much time for my mind to run wild.

Stay hydrated

This is another thing I am continually working on. Drinking enough water makes a big difference in your mood. Being dehydrated can cause mood swings and bring on anxiety.

Chamomile tea and supplements

Drinking some sleepytime tea or taking a natural supplement such as Hyland’s Calms helps me a lot.

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