Anxiety affects 1.5% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.
Do you know what it feels like to be feeling good about everything and feeling like you don’t have a care in the world and then out of no where you get a burst of anxiety? The feeling of confusion as to not knowing where the anxiety came from, what triggered it or why you feel that way.
I haven’t really been eating healthy or going to the gym these last 1 1/2 months so my anxiety likes to stress me out or make me think bad things. For example, tonight I was lying on my sisters bed with my sister watching YouTube videos when all of a sudden a burst of anxiety went over me, it lingered for a little bit then disappeared. The anxiety made me worry that I was going to die tonight because I haven’t been eating healthy or going the gym lately which then went into me thinking that I’ll never get to see any of my family or friends ever again. I don’t know what made it disappear/go away but it just did and I went back to feeling good again.
I suffer from anxiety on a day to day basis but over the years I have learnt strategies to cope in situations where my anxiety might be heightened. What I struggle with though is the sudden bursts of anxiety. The anxiety that hits so suddenly, so strongly and you have no idea where it came from, what triggered it or why you are feeling that way. I could be enjoying myself with friends or family, watching a movie or even working and all of a sudden the anxiety overwhelms me and takes over. My thoughts start racing, stomach starts churning, throat goes dry, palms get clammy, heart starts racing and I sometimes get hot flushes. When I feel this way I used to never know how to cope with these feelings, how to calm my body and thoughts, how to settle the mind and relax, unwind.
I’ve read many articles, stories and watched many videos on anxiety and how to cope with the feelings or thoughts of anxiety. I’ve linked some of the websites below that I used when I was first learning and getting grips on understanding anxiety and finding ways to cope with anxiety. Each person is different which means some strategies might work for some and might not work for others. It’s just about finding which strategies work best for you and which ones you are willing to try.
I’ve found some strategies on my own that have helped me with the anxiety. Some of them are pretty simple and then others are more of an effort but they all help me.
- Cuddling a soft toy
- Cuddling or spending time with pets
- Taking dogs for a walk
- Watching a movie or favourite TV show
- Going for a drive where there is a beach or a forest/bush
- Taking a warm shower
- Pampering myself e.g. painting nails, face mask, fake tanning, shaving etc.
- Using a difuser with an oil which smells relaxing/calming to you
- Touching/playing with objects which you can squish or run your fingers through e.g. fur, blue tack, stress ball, kinetic sand etc.
These are some of the strategies that I have come across on my own which I found have helped me. There are many apps that you can get for your phone that are also quite helpful. Some of these include:
I also highly recommend, if you don’t already have one, investing in a Himalayan Salt Lamp. Studies say that the Himalayan Salt Lamp reduces stress, helps relieve anxiety, removes moisture in the air and rids the room of the bad ions and replaces it with the good ions. I never believed any of this and didn’t know how a single lamp could possibly do this or have so many benefits. It was only until I got one for my birthday a few years ago that I could actually recommend it to people and tell them that it actually works. As I said before I have had this lamp for a few years now and I have it on every single night, all night. My room feels more soothing, calming and more of a happy place to be in. I find it’s warm light sends of a relaxing feeling which is really good for anxiety. It’s hard to explain exactly how it feels to have one in my room but you will know what I mean if you have one or if you invest in one.
I know things might seem hard at the moment and the anxiety may get overwhelming but it does get easier with the right help, support and strategies you can overcome anything.