Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Living With Anxiety Part 2

In my previous post, I talked a lot about the science behind anxiety. It's actually quite fascinating when I think about it, how anxiety has helped our survival, and how it can cause us so many problems in the modern world.

In the modern world, anxiety can be extremely dangerous. Especially if you're like me, and you have a higher baseline anxiety than the average person. Thousands of years ago, this trait would've saved people like me from getting eaten by a cheetah. In the modern world, it can cause our minds to turn on our bodies, it can cause us to forget our basic instinct of survival.

Today, I'm going to try and talk about ways to soothe your anxiety, or how to at least help deal with it during the day. This is actually going to be a bit hard, because I've been a bit more anxious than usual the past week, so we'll see how well this goes.

*Note: depending on your situation, you may not be able to use certain techniques. If you are stuck in a situation where you have to be social, you may not be able to reduce your stress until later on, or try a different technique.

Calming Down Quickly:

If you can, please just stop what you're doing. Whatever is stressing you out or making you upset, try as quickly as you can to get out of that situation, or to get away from whomever or whatever is bothering you.

Have you ever had that feeling where your chest kind of hurts, and it gets hard to breathe? You sort of worry you might be having a heart attack? And when you think you're having a heart attack, your anxiety gets even higher, and you freak out even more? It's okay, just breathe. It's normal, you aren't having a heart attack. (At least, I seriously hope you're not.) That is what anxiety does to you, and what it's supposed to do when humans actually need it on a daily basis to survive. It makes your heart rate spike, it makes your breathing speed up so that you can get more oxygen to your brain, allowing you to think faster. DON'T THINK. Unless you are on the run from someone or something, or if you're getting into a fight, clear your thoughts, and try to stop thinking. Take a deep breath. Understand what your body is doing, and that you're alright.


While talking about anxiety, this one is huge. Most techniques for calming yourself involve breathing, because it helps slow your heart rate. This helps your body recognize that you don't need to run off or fight someone, and that you are in no physical danger. If you're facing a thought that stresses you out, distract yourself.


I texted Anthony an hour ago, but he hasn't responded. We've been dating for a year now, but things have been more stressful lately because his parents don't like me very much. This stresses him out, too. So why hasn't he replied?Is he sleeping? Is something wrong? Did his phone get taken away? Is he grounded? Is he ignoring me? Is he mad at me? Does he hate me now? What did I do wrong? Does he still love me? Is he still alive? Did he crash his car? Did his house explode? Was he attacked by bad people!?

This is a classic example of anxiety. Thoughts escalate so quickly when you're anxious, you think of every possible outcome, no matter how crazy or realistic. Something you can do to stop yourself is, yes. Take a deep breath, and then distract yourself. Go turn on Netflix and watch a show. Any show at all, doesn't matter. Just pay attention and watch. Listen to music. Text a friend you haven't talked to in a while. Watch videos on YouTube. Some good keywords to keep you busy: Cute Animals, Cats, Dogs (especially beagles), Adorable Things, or Random Acts of Kindness.


Taking some deep breaths is always a go-to when it comes to relaxing, but there are a lot of other things you can do to calm yourself down. Don't worry about taking time to think about all the problems or everything you're worried about. Light some scented candles, take a hot bath or a shower. Play with a pet, drink some tea, read a book, or meditate. If you have the time and can afford it, maybe even try to get a professional massage. That can be very helpful!

Stay Healthy.

Make sure you're not starving yourself or overeating. Stress and anxiety, depending on who you are, tends to make people want to eat a lot, or not eat at all. (Unfortunately, I am a victim of the second, and it's extremely dangerous.)

Make sure you're getting enough sleep, but also don't sleep too much. Getting too little or too much sleep can make you more likely to become irritated and stressed.

Exercise can also help reduce stress and anxiety. Anxiety is what you feel when your body starts to pump adrenaline into your veins. It's preparing for you to be active. A good way to release that sensation is to exercise.


Try and think about what made you stressed, or anxious. Many times, the thing that makes people the most stressed is when things don't go your way.

I made dinner plans with Lucy. At the last moment, she calls me, saying she can't make it. She knows I needed to talk to her, more than anything, but at the last minute she decides she can't make it. That's so rude. I feel so lonely. It isn't fair for her to do that.

In this case, you must remember that…as much as we want to believe it, the world doesn't revolve around a single individual. Not me, not you, or anyone. Maybe Lucy didn't have time to fully explain her situation, and she had to babysit the neighbors kids. Maybe a family member or family friend just died. There are a whole list of reasons why Lucy couldn't have made it to dinner with you! And it's okay. It sucks a little bit, but it's okay. Things can't always go the way we want them to, and you just have to push through it.

Be Honest. (Don't fake it.)

Whether you're a girl or a boy, a woman or a man, you need to have an outlet to express your feelings. You can only hold in so much hurt, so much stress, or pain, at some point you're going to overflow and have a breakdown, fall into depression, be suicidal, or anything else along those lines. Let me just say, you need to have some way to express your feelings. Don't put a fake smile on your face.

Of course, don't make a big deal about it and hope everyone feels sorry for you. Complaining never got anyone anywhere. But sometimes, you just need to talk to someone about what you're feeling, no matter how embarrassing it is.

Also, real men cry. Just saying. If you're a man who can't cry in front of anyone, chances are you're going to get a really shallow girl who only cares about appearance and not about who you really are. (Unless you actually have a problem with your tear ducts, then I totally understand.)

Don't worry about it!

Easier said than done, but the truth is, life is always going to be throwing shit at you, and sometimes you get hit. But that's actually okay, just take a hot shower, clean yourself off, relax, breathe. Next time you feel anxious or stressed or depressed, try a few of these strategies. If nothing works, there are so many other ways to calm down, you can do a quick google search and find something else that could be helpful. Just keep in mind, anxiety, like depression, grows stronger when you let the thoughts get to you. The more you enforce it, the stronger it gets, and the harder it is to untangle yourself from it's grasp.

I love you all, you are awesome, and I hope you have a lovely day <3



#MUGTE #AnxietyAwareness #SpreadTheLove

1 comment:

Gina Gao said...

Thank you so much for this. I'm really glad that you shared this because I'm someone who deals with anxiety and it's really helpful to read articles like this.