If you’re an avid reader of my blog, then you’re probably familiar with that I experience generalised anxiety and a range of other mental health issues. I thought I would put together a post today sharing how I try to manage anxiety (as of right now) and I hope that anyone who is going through the same path of recovery as me or just wants some extra tips of managing any anxious feelings better will benefit from this post.
Maybe you just want to see how I try to manage anxiety from day to day or just want to be educated more in the types of things you can try to help. Of course, this is what works for me, so I know this won’t work for everyone as we’re all different, but have a little insight into how I try to manage anxiety.
1. I listen to myself and my body
One thing I was never really all that familiar with until I began to really invest in my mental health recovery was the importance of listening to myself. I listen to my body, I listen to how I’m feeling, I listen to how I feel inside.
I can really begin to recognise similar feeling or patterns in my thinking by doing this which helps me to figure out how I should respond to what is currently going on inside right there and then. It can help me to decide what I need to do to take care of myself and what the next step might be.
Getting to know what my body is telling me through listening has been so beneficial in ensuring I’m doing the best that I can to be there for myself and looking after myself, which in turn helps my wellbeing all around.
2. I sit with the unease/uncomfortable feelings
It’s only been the past couple of years or so that I’ve really started to implement the idea of sitting with the unease and uncomfortable feelings my body can bring up when experiencing bad anxiety.
It’s not something that is the first idea that comes into your head when you think about dealing with any unpleasant feelings. Our initial reaction as humans is to push out these unwanted feelings and to fight them off because they can feel so unbearable.
But I know that when I welcome these feelings in and accept that they’re there, they go away a lot quicker than if I am to keep pushing them out and fighting them off.
They want to be there for a reason. They want to be heard. They’re the parts of you that are screaming out and wanting to be listened to. It’s not a bad thing to listen to them.
If anything, by welcoming them in and letting them be there, you’re giving yourself the chance to sit with the feelings and allow them to pass naturally.
It’s weird to get your head around the idea of bringing in something that no one really wants to be there, but this really does help you to deal with the feelings, allowing them to be there because they’re there for a reason and within time you end up reducing your anxiety the more you expose yourself to these feelings.
3. I try to find the balance
Finding the balance has become quite the popular saying the past couple of years, but it’s definitely something I try to aim for or if not somewhere close to it. I try to find the balance to try to manage my anxiety by making sure I’m making time for the different things that help to make me feel good.
I try to schedule in time to do things I love like watching a new series on Netflix or sitting down with a good book, but I also try to make time to rest and recharge, as well as be with an unease that needs my attention.
After listening to my body and how I’m currently feeling, I’ll usually make the choice to either push through the feelings, which usually means me facing up to the feelings and letting them be there, or taking a step back completely and just giving my body and mind the chance to rest from facing everything.
It’s always good to take steps back regularly especially if you’ve been facing up to a lot of anxiety. You can’t always be on it and taking on so much anxiety by sitting with it. It’s always better to take a break and give yourself time to heal quietly before you try again.
You might also like – my relationship with my mental health right now
4. I try to ask for help
When I try to manage my anxiety, there is really no harm in asking for help. Sometimes I find it hard to as I’m always so determined to do it by myself and push through on my own, but I know that I probably should ask for help more often than I do.
It’s so important to have a good support system around you. Whether it’s from family or friends, people online who’ve got your back, helplines or health professionals. You want people there who are going to listen to you and also assure you that they’re there for you without giving advice or telling you what you should do.
For example, if I’ve got an anxiety-provoking situation coming up, then I’ll let those around me know how I’m feeling and I’ll ask if we can schedule something fun in nearer the time so I have something to look forward to before I have to face up to the triggering event.
5. I try to trust myself and believe in recovery
Learning to trust myself and believe in my own recovery has taken a lot of practice to get to a position where I can even begin to allow myself to think that particular way but it is so incredibly worth it.
Believing in yourself can truly take you so far.
I always used to say ‘I know I can get better’ but I never really believed it. Now I say ‘I believe I can do this, I believe I can achieve this.’ The different wording becomes so much more powerful and really gets you to build up that belief in yourself.
I’ve learnt to trust in my journey and that I can get through it. I’ve learnt to trust myself, that I can make decisions, that I can care for myself and that I can get better.
It’s taken me so long to get to a point where I can truly believe and trust myself, but time and time again, you build the evidence to prove these things to yourself the further you get into your recovery.
6. I’m trying to learn how to change how I react
This one has only come on the past few months and a new way I try to manage my anxiety. I’ve started to notice how I react to particular situations and I’m trying to get better at reacting to different things, whether it’s anxiety-provoking situations, conflict with others or work-related.
It’s definitely a work in process, but one that I have already found to be beneficial as I’m beginning to react to situations in a more calm and rational manner than ever before.
I try to accept the feelings that come up and allow them to be there, but I won’t react to them in a way that will let me become consumed or overwhelmed by them. This really does help me to feel more in control and like I am making progress.
It’s not always plain sailing to try to manage my anxiety but it is definitely a learning process and one I’m continuously working on.
How do you try to manage anxiety?