This past weekend was a bit of a struggle for me. I don’t know what was getting me so worked up, but my anxiety was peaking – and it was leaving me feeling helpless.
No matter how hard I tried to calm myself down, I felt like I was having a heart attack, my mind was constantly racing, and my chest felt like I was being constricted by a python.
See, I still struggle with the same stuff that I write about on a daily basis. From depression, anxiety, stress, to fears, these are all emotions that I consciously have to battle oftentimes more than once on a daily basis.
I don’t know what I was so anxious about, but whatever it was, let’s just hope that I don’t experience it for a long, long time.
It wasn’t until Sunday night that I was able to get somewhat of a grip on my anxiety.
Even waking up on Monday, I was still feeling some of the residual effects of not being able to breathe all weekend long.
Because I know that many of us deal with anxiety on a daily basis, I want to share with you some of the things that I do to reduce anxiety – or at least what had helped me this past weekend.
1. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
When you are as worked up as I was, this is incredibly challenging to do. But while it may be challenging, give it your best effort because it works.
Take a few moments to yourself, close your eyes, and just focus on the air that is moving in and out of your body. If anxious thoughts pop into your mind, gently move them to the side and try your best to focus solely on your breathing.
Listen to the air fill your lungs, feel your diaphragm expand, and with every exhale, let go some of that tension that you have built up.
2. Be open to how you are feeling.
I guess this is one of the perks of living with family members – anytime you are feeling down or anxious, you always have somebody else to talk to.
While I have an amazing relationship with my parents, I also have an amazing relationship with both of my siblings. I know that anytime I am feeling down and just need somebody to talk to, they will be there for me and won’t judge me for how I am feeling.
Sunday night, I was open to my sister with how I was feeling. It’s not necessarily that she provided advice to me, but just knowing that somebody is there for me and I can release the thoughts that I am feeling helped me to feel a little less stressed and anxious.
3. Do something enjoyable.
When I am feeling stressed and anxious, I try to preoccupy my mind with as many distractions as I possibly can. When I was feeling this way on Sunday, I immediately got in my car, turned on my Shipt app, and began delivering groceries.
There are two reasons I did this:
- I stress about money, so if I am making money, I will generally feel a little less stressed.
- It got my mind off of the anxiety that I was feeling. I wasn’t focused on anything but delivering and communicating with customers.
I actually enjoy working. No, it’s not my favorite thing, but it’s not my least favorite thing either.
Whether it’s opening up a good book, going to the movie theatre to see a good movie, or getting outside and moving your body, do something enjoyable that will help to take your mind off of the anxiety that you are feeling.
4. Remember that everything is figuroutable.
It’s true, though. There is a solution to every problem.
We can’t always control the challenges that we endure, but we can always control our perception. Once we change our perception to start focusing on all that we can accomplish instead of focusing on the things that we don’t think we can accomplish, then everything will become figureoutable.
Keep your head high. You have battled anxiety before and have made it through, and you will continue to do so now as well.
The moment you start to feel anxious, write down your thoughts. What are you anxious about? Get them out of your head but still to a place where you can see them.
From there, develop a plan to combat your anxiety. How are you going to face your thoughts? What action plan is going to help you overcome the stress you are feeling? What are you going to do to put your anxiety at bay?
And just in case you are worried about the past or the future, remember this saying – the past is history, the future is a mystery, but the present is a gift.