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Ugh AnxietyI try to explain GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) to people who don’t have an anxiety disorder by saying it isn’t just the feeling of nervousness before a test or adrenaline from fear if you’re in a dangerous situation. It’s persistent and challenging. I will have irrational thoughts that cause a worrying marathon that can last for days. So yeah, it’s non-stop. A lot of my anxiety is at night, which makes it hard to sleep. Anxiety disorders can also cause physical symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, shaking, feeling dizzy, and my personal favorite, an ulcer. These mental and physical feelings are not fun, and they can really screw up your life. So I have a few tricks that help when you’re feeling anxious or feeling a panic attack coming on, and you can do them right NOW!
11 Ways to Calm Your Anxiety Right Now
- Get off social media. Looking at your high school frenemy’s pictures from her trip to Greece is not going to make you feel peaceful.
- Do not watch the news. This one is obvious.
- Get rid of anything distracting. Turn off the TV. Turn off your phone. Hide from your kids.
- Ask yourself what you’re feeling in the moment. When you are aware of what you’re feeling, then ask yourself what triggered it. Maybe write your triggers down so you can avoid them. Unless your trigger is your mother. That’s a whole other post.
- Breathe. Put your hand over your heart and say the pledge of allegiance. Just kidding. You want to feel your heartbeat. This can help to calm your anxious state and make you aware of how it is affecting you.
- Put on your favorite music and make it loud! Then take all your clothes off and dance around. Now ask your anxiety, “who’s the captain now??”
- Get rid of clutter. You don’t have to go all Marie Kondo, but clean up some of your shit. Do one thing at a time, so you don’t get overwhelmed. Maybe do some dishes then take a break. Throw out some old papers then take a break. Baby steps.
- Get off your ass and go for a walk. Raise your heart rate and get your free drugs, also known as happy chemicals. It will help relieve stress and calm your mind.
- Get a massage. I love me a good massage!
- Try Journaling – I’m not a journaler per se, but this is basically a journal. Lots of people are journaling so you might like it. Get your stressful thoughts down on paper so you can observe the whys. Why are you feeling this way? What is realistic about your feelings? What is unrealistic? What would it take to change your feelings?
- Call a friend. But remember, friends are not therapists, so you can’t rely on a friend for your entire emotional well being.