Probably the no.1 thing I wanted to talk about publicly at some point in my life. Everyone seems to have it these days either because more people speak out about it or life has become so pressured and stressful that people just can’t cope. I’m not really quite sure but it’s on the rise.
I’ve had anxiety since I was in school, I’m not really sure why I started to suffer with it but I could probably think of a thing or two that triggered it off. I never really understood what it was or why it happened until I met my counsellor, what an amazing women and a small part of why I want to be a counsellor too.
She explained to me that adrenaline is useful for humans when faced with dangerous situations. If a bear was outside the room trying to get in, your adrenaline would kick in and you would be able to smash through a window to escape, it’s called the fight or flight response. People with anxiety have higher levels of adrenaline at a constant state so when things happen the levels of adrenaline become too high that panic attacks can happen. It made sense to me anyway, I haven’t done a lot of research but I know I have a unit on it in my diploma so I’ll update you if I learn anything different!
Anyway, despite Dr’s trying to medicate me, I refused to take it, I was keen to control it any way I could without taking medication. I feel like it masks the problem and doesn’t help you at all but that’s my opinion, everyone is different and I know for some, it really helps in crisis situations.
Whether this might help some people I don’t know, I’m not a doctor or an expert, just a girl with lived experience sharing what I have learned and how I coped over the years, you can choose to try it or not, but at least you have the option if you need it, that’s if you don’t already know all this!
1.Exercise! – burn off that adrenaline! If you have depression along with anxiety it can be hard to move, trust me I’ve been there, all you want is to hide under a duvet but from experience the feeling you get after exercise is much better than how you felt before. It’s called endorphins, the happy drug!!
2. Stay off the caffeine, this includes green tea, that shit can mess you up. Caffeine + adrenaline don’t mix, heart palpitations and full blown panic because you don’t know why you feel like that is not fun!
3. Download headspace – it’s a really random app that I came across that basically gives you 10 minutes a day to just not think about anything and “meditate”. It might not be your thing because it’s not mine either but it seriously helps when your head is just so full.
4. My all time favourite “don’t let the bastards get you down!” Every time I came home blabbering away because I felt low or anxious about something, generally caused by other people’s comments and opinions, my mum always said this to me. (Haha) People can be really mean, especially when they know they can get to you easily, try your best to ignore them and surround yourself with people who build you up not put you down.
5. Laugh! Do things that make you happy, walking, making cakes, hobby craft does a great membership! (I know from experience, I just joined!) join a group that you have common interests with, it makes life so much easier when you have things to talk about and relate to. If you don’t have the confidence to go alone because of your anxiety then invite a friend or family member, make it a group effort.
6. Challenge your anxiety! Try and do one thing that challenges you, something you can’t normally do because you have mentally told yourself you can’t. It could be joining a gym, applying for a college course that you have always dreamed of, making a new friend, these are random things I’m throwing out there and some people might struggle or just not ready to do it. It took me 2 years to sign onto the level 3 in counselling because I kept putting it off, came up with every excuse. I still have challenges I need to face and make for a better life but I don’t care how long it takes I know eventually I will get there and you can too!
I could blabber on for ages about anxiety and I’m sure others could too, no one is alone! Be yourself and most importantly do what makes you happy, it’s okay to be selfish every now and then, it’s scary at first but it gets easier when you start to take baby steps into helping yourself and making it that little bit easier. There’s no magic cure, just simple steps to try and help.