techniques for dealing with anxiety

Trying Something New

I've noticed that I've been a little on edge lately and why wouldn't I be when school starts in two weeks? Yesterday, I had to go to the school with the BFF for a little meeting of sorts and I'm proud to say my anxiety crossed my mind only once. It wasn't any sort of panic, but merely a passing thought.

Over the years that I've been dealing with anxiety as an every day thing and not just a every so often circumstance, I've heard various ways of handling it. Some have clearly worked. Some only work half the time and some don't work at all. But there are some that I haven't tried yet.

Well, it's time to put those things to the test.

Starting today, so I get a head start and in the right mindset, I'm going to change a few things in my life. Hopefully, these things will help and I'll start some good habits along the way. So what exactly am I going to do?
  • Reduce stress. There are a couple things that I can do to reduce my stress. Lots of stress triggers my anxiety and too much in a short time period will start triggering the attacks. Honestly, I can easily reduce my stress by changing a few things. Ignore some phone calls. Stay away from some people. Don't overload myself. Those are the main things I'll do to keep myself a little less stressed.
  • Exercise. That word was tossed around in the beginning. A couple doctors and my therapist told me that regular exercise could both help on the stress part and the anxiety part. The stress only becomes an issue when it gets to be too much. Since I could use some exercise anyway, I'm going to do a little of that and play tennis. It'll be good for my health, both mentally and physically.
  • Drink more water. I love my Dr. Pepper and I gotta have it everyday. However, caffeine isn't too good for me and my anxiety. That's why I stay away from the energy drinks 99.9% of the time and limit my frappé intake. The amount of Dr. Pepper I do drink isn't too much caffeine, but I know it would help if I switched out at least one drink of Dr. Pepper with a bottle of water every day. 
I figured if I start now that I will at least be in the routine of doing these things before school starts. And as long as I keep it up once school does start, I'm hoping that these three things in combination with my medication and all my other techniques will help me last through the semester. Things are still feeling pretty good right now, but I want to try and prepare myself anyway. Not to mention that these are all good things in general and I'm pretty excited to get back into playing tennis. :)

About the Songs Mentioned in Don't Panic

As a reminder, these are the songs mentioned in Don't Panic:
  • "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith
  • "Miss Me" by Andy Grammer
  • "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time On You" by N'Snyc
  • "Without You" by Keith Urban
  • "God Gave Me You" by Blake Shelton
  • "Fall into Me" by Brantley Gilbert
  • "My Kind of Crazy" by Brantley Gilbert
For those that have read Don't Panic, did you wonder why I chose those songs? If you did, I'm here to tell you why!

The songs served a purpose. It wasn't about how it was Eli that was singing those songs. It wasn't about the fact that love is involved in those songs. It actually has nothing to do with the lyrics at all. I chose those songs because those are the few that I listen to when I'm having a panic attack. It was about the ability those songs had to relax me. How I could get lost in them and my worries would fade away.

That's why I chose those particular songs. They are on my phone under a playlist that I have just for attacks. Hopefully, you now understand why those were chosen. Not because of anything other than the fact that they can relax me during my attacks. In turn, Sam found them relaxing as well. The songs provided just the right amount of distraction we needed to bring the attacks down from it's climax.

You can look at my Don't Panic playlist on YouTube to find more songs that I find perfect for my anxiety attacks.

Techniques

Since I'm sharing with you my triggers, I figured that if anyone else with anxiety is reading this, I don't want to discourage them. Therefore, I have to share some techniques on how to deal with it. All of the following help me deal with anxiety. They could help you too. It's worth a try.
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When I was in school and struggling, my "technique" was to dig my nails into my skin, using the pain as a distraction. While it worked for like 2.5 seconds, depending on the pressure I placed, it isn't a good technique. But here are some good ones:
  • Counting. I'm dead serious. Counting saved me one day. This serves as a distraction and allows you to calm down. I would count in sets of ten or one hundred depending on the severity. It didn't always get rid of the attack completely, but it helped. Even just a tiny bit is worth a try.
  • Positive Self-Talking. Throw away all of those negative thoughts and start thinking positively. Tell yourself that you can make it through this. Remind yourself of any accomplishments you've made with your anxiety. This also distracts your mind from the attack and could help.
  • Believe in yourself. You can't just tell yourself these things. Believing is part of the trick!
  • Cut back on the caffeine. You wouldn't believe how much caffeine plays a part in triggering attacks. Cutting back on this could mean cutting back on attacks.
  • Eat right. Being healthy plays a part too.
  • Massages. My personal favorite technique is to go out, once or twice a month, and get a massage. This is the ultimate relaxation technique for me. Being relaxed means not being uptight as often which will help you stay in control.
  • Breathe. Make sure you are breathing normally. Heightened breathing or slowing down how often you inhale and exhale can effect your attack as well. Take nice, slow, deep and even breaths.
Those are just a few techniques. Hopefully, they will help you. 

Please note that I'm not a professional and that taking my advice should not interfere with getting/taking professional help. I'm only trying to let other gain a better understanding and to help others know they are not alone.