People tend to get really confused about anxiety. Many times a day I get asked what it is and if it’s the same as a panic attack. Anxiety defined by the dictionary is this: A mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities. And while this definition may be correct, anxiety is so much more than emotions. It can break my entire day. I could be fine one minute and then the next, be in complete shambles having these awful fears of death.
Anxiety is a lack of control and feeling helpless all at the same time. It’s like being trapped in a bubble, where from the outside everything looks fine, but what’s going on on the inside is absolute hell.
Anxiety is suffering in silence while everyone around you goes about their daily business. And not enough people are talking about it. That’s why I share my daily struggles with my anxiety on my IG stories, and why I’m so open about my struggle with GSD (generalized anxiety disorder). Anxiety is a disease and for me, it’s like a black cloak that tries to suffocate me out of nowhere.
At times it can be absolutely terrifying not knowing what is going to happen next, but I have found some tools that have really helped me cope with this on-going issue.
First things first: Stay calm. There is nothing worse than panicking about a panic attack. And know the difference because there is a huge difference between anxiety and panic attacks. While yes, panic attacks stem from anxiety, they are different. Let me break it down. I walk around with anxiety all day long. Then there are certain triggers that may send me into a full-blown panic attack. Anything can set me off, from being in the nail salon to a guy coming up to me out of nowhere and whispering in my ear. Traffic can do it, a sense of feeling lost can do it, anything can do it. When it feels like a panic attack is coming on, you don’t have to sit there and let it take over. Acknowledge the initial feelings and then step back and take ten long, deep, breaths. Breathe in and breathe out, and so on and so on. Then take Sedalia like I do, or sniff lavender oil. I actually rub lavender oil directly under my nostrils when I’m feeling panicked, because of how quickly it begins to work. Then I breathe again and I walk away from the situation that’s triggering for me. The above steps usually keep me from going into a full-blown panic attack.
Don’t go down the rabbit hole. The worst thing you can do when you start feeling panicked or anxious is going down the rabbit hole. Thinking of all of the things that could go wrong is going to do nothing but cause you more anxiety. Easier said than done right? My anxiety and OCD worry about non-existent health issues becomes so bad on certain days that I literally have to leave my house and go for a run. Or I have to confirm with my husband that I’m healthy and until I get that okay, my day goes into a tail-spin. It literally takes the entire day for me to calm down sometimes if I let my anxiety and fears take over. Looking at a self-defeating thought list and reading those questions really helps me when my worries take over. That list brings me from 100 down to 50 and that’s a huge difference. It makes all the difference when it comes to me enjoying my day or being hindered by my thoughts, not being able to get anything done.
Anxiety is a tricky beast but it doesn’t have to take over your life. You’ve got to learn how to control it and hopefully, my suggestions will help you. It’s not going to be easy and it’s certainly not going to happen overnight, but in due time, you will begin to realize that just because you have anxiety, doesn’t mean you can’t live your life.
Get outside, go for a run, let the negative self-talk go, and when you feel yourself slipping, tell yourself you are okay and take those 10-deep breaths.
Here are some links to things I take regularly to help me manage my anxiety and live the best life I can.
I carry this with me everywhere. http://amzn.to/2DkQ7Vp and I take this every day and so far it really works! http://amzn.to/2FCykuy and this stuff is a lifesaver! Try it, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been taking it all along! It literally stops panic attacks in their tracks. http://amzn.to/2FvpBi6