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Apologies for my latest hiatus, but now I’m back and better than ever with the five tips you need to stop your anxiety in its tracks.
Today my friend and I were hanging out and we went to go see a movie, 47 Meters Down. If you don’t know, it’s about two sisters who go out on the ocean and are lowered into the water whilst inside a cage to see sharks. As in most shark movies, something goes wrong, and we sat on the edge of our seats watching every second of the horror unfolding. (Okay, maybe I covered my eyes just a few times…)
My point is, the movie made me nervous which really got me thinking about how to deal with anxiety. I want to share with you a few of the things I’ve learned that help me get through situations where I’d otherwise freak out. What we want in these situations is most often the hardest thing to get—control, here’s how.
- Just breathe. If you’re so upset that you can’t think clearly, the most important thing is to try to calm down. Regulate your breath by using the 4-7-8 breathing method. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 and exhale for 8.
- Question your anxiety. I want you to think to yourself about whatever has triggered this nervousness, and identify whether or not it’s reasonable. Your anxiety is real, but sometimes we feel fear when we’re actually in a safe place. If you know you’re safe, reminding yourself of that can be helpful.
- Challenge negative thoughts. If you’re upset for whatever reason, it can be easy to get down on yourself, but that probably won’t be helpful for you or anyone else. If you’re thinking bad thoughts, chances are you’ll be in a bad mood. Countering this with positive thoughts can make things better. Think “I don’t like this, and I’m doing a good job getting through it anyway” instead of just telling yourself, “I hate this.”
- Use your five senses. This is probably my favorite skill to manage anxiety because I love sweets. Giving yourself something to focus on that uses one of your senses can distract from anxiety. Personally, I use Warheads (a super sour hard candy) because the flavor is so intense that it kinda shocks me out of my nervous state. Additionally, I use aromatherapy rollers for calming myself by scent. I’d recommend either of those to anyone. Be sure to let me know what skills you choose! You can buy both Warheads Extreme Sour Hard Candy 2oz. and Tisserand Pure Essential Oil De-Stress Rollerballs (my favorite brand) by clicking those links. They’ll take you to Amazon; it’s a really good deal! If that’s not your thing, try holding ice or applying it to pressure points. The intense cold can actually relax your nerves!
- Visit a relaxing website or play a game. Some of my favorites are the following:
- Rainy Mood – a rain simulator to help you sleep, study, relax, etc. If the website doesn’t work for you, there is a ten hour version of Rainy Mood on YouTube.
- The Thoughts Room – a website to help you relax and release overwhelming thoughts or worries.
- BlahTherapy – a place for you to vent your troubles. It can be calming, but remember, it’s not for serious issues such as suicidal thoughts or potential diagnoses. If you or a loved one is in distress, please call a crisis hotline immediately. (USA, UK and Australia. If you’re from elsewhere, find out the hotlines for your area.)
- Space Bun – an adorable virtual pet game created by Tumblr user “knitbone.” Check out their awesome art!
Thank you so much for reading. Let me know if it helped you and if not, please be sure to tell me if you had some sort of problem. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Pinterest so we can be in touch!
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.”