14 ways I tried to get in control of my Anxiety
This is part two of a previous post about my experience with anxiety. In 2015 my anxiety reached it’s peak and i had to show it who was boss! So here are the 14 ways i tried to get in control of my anxiety.
- I said yes more – For the last 6 years I have been involved in business in one way or another. With that came a lot of opportunities that i turned down. Like really big opportunities that I wish i had taken. (WHY?! It was just too much for me. I do kinda feel like kicking myself in the head when i think about it though). These opportunities included the opportunity to be interviewed by magazines/a newspaper and even a TV show. Eeeeeek! So when i finally decided to do something about my anxiety, i began to say yes. Yes to every meeting/interview/event that i was offered.
- I said no more – As great as it was to say yes, I also had to learn to set boundaries. So I began to say no. If i felt being somewhere/doing something would make me anxious, i simply said no without feeling guilty.
- I prayed more – I began to start my days with a long sit down and a brew and a lot of prayer and supplication. I also prayed specifically about my anxiety.
- I walked more – For me, walking and baking are my ways to relax. Walking in beautiful surroundings is my favourite thing to do but that isn’t always possible. Luckily for me, i also love walking just about anywhere. Nothing quite beats nature though. I love walking amongst the trees. I don’t feel like it’s a nice to have thing. I feel like it is essential for me to have that time to relax, breathe, think, explore.
- I slept more – I went to bed earlier with a cut off time every night. I was always in the habit of going to bed early before marriage but after having kids, i would sometimes stay up late to try and catch up with things that i hadn’t managed to get done. I put a stop to that.
- I got help – It’s a little scary saying this out loud but i saw someone to talk it all through. What were the deeper underlying issues that made me anxious? When did it start? In the end, my counsellor and i became more like friends. She made me realise my self worth and she knew everything. It gave me comfort to know that she knew every bit of my life yet still thought i was a great person. It wasn’t that i required anyone’s validation but it was still nice and gave me strength. By the end of the sessions i was able to see the good in me without it being pointed out.
- I used a grounding method during anxiety attacks – I acknowledged that i was having an anxiety attack. I noticed my breathing and focussed on trying to slow it down. I also focussed on the physical things around me or i used this tapping method.
- I reduced my social media time – We all know social media can be a great thing but we also know that it can be a massive drain on our lives. I mean seriously what is with all the online debates? As much as I didn’t go looking for negativity on social media, it sometimes entered my timeline and I didn’t really need that.
- I stopped pressuring myself with lists and deadlines – OK so i half did this. I still made my daily lists and still had a brief overview of my goals and dreams written down but i took the pressure off a little bit and removed dates from the equation because they would cause me to panic. Life doesn’t always go to plan and sometimes other things have to take priority.
- I made time for me – This is a huge one. For a long time i had zero me time. So i worked with my husband to schedule some time for myself. Now i allow myself what feels like a full day but is actually a few hours of being completely selfish and doing exactly what i want to do. I look forward to it every week! Me time also meant that i finally stopped caring about other people’s views. I stopped living by others expectations. I also started to further myself through courses/reading/events. I grew to love myself for who i am and i remembered who i was in the process.
- I stopped negative thoughts in their tracks – I became mindful of my thoughts and so when a negative thought entered my head, i acknowledged it and replaced it with something positive.
- I read Panic Away by Barry McDonagh – This was recommended to me by my husband’s cousin who is a beautiful soul and so very sweet. It proved to be an absolutely invaluable resource. This is what started the journey into healing for me.
- I accepted my anxiety – I finally realised that it was ok to have anxiety. I accepted it. I embraced it. I learnt to live with it instead of fighting with it. I knew the anxiety attacks would come and that was ok. It was a part of me that would hopefully, one day slow down.
- I pressed the mute button – I pressed the mute button on anyone/any group that wasn’t good for me. I wasn’t interested in cliques, politics, drama and pressing mute allowed me to block that out. Instead i joined groups that interested me. E.g. Groups centred around spirituality, food blogging and entrepreneurship. Groups where people helped each other and discussed ideas and goals. Groups that helped me to further myself.
Anxiety is still a huge struggle for me and will forever be learning how to make it better. I feel that at this stage it is all too easy to slip backwards into what i went through in 2015 where my anxiety boiled over, so i have to keep doing the things that are helping me until they become so ingrained that i no longer need to think about it. I feel like this is the year in which i have to focus on me so that i become strong enough to deal with anything. 🙂