Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses: millions struggle to conquer their anxiety every single day. Everyone with anxiety can attribute it to different causes, whether triggers from past events, a phobia of some sort, etc. And while it seems as though it will never ever end, it does.
Just not entirely.
As time goes on, you can begin to learn about the triggers of your anxiety as well as ways to conquer them and even prevent the anxiety from occurring in the first place. As for me, my anxiety is usually triggered by big crowds, flashbacks of past events and more.
I was diagnosed with anxiety about four years ago, and it took me three years to learn what I needed to do to help myself. Certain tactics will work for me, while others won’t: taking anxiety medication, for example, did nothing for me but make me feel like a zombie, but it has helped many others. If you get anxiety in crowds, you learn to hold the hand of the person you’re with; if it’s flashbacks of a past event, you remind yourself that this is now, and that is over.
For those who are struggling to manage their anxiety, try some of these:
Photo: M.T ElGassier on Unsplash
This can come in many forms: taking a long bath, laying in bed listening to your favorite music, face masks, naps, etc. Doing things that involve taking care of yourself can often lift the anxious feeling from your shoulders.
This one confuses people, but I’ve found that doing certain “surroundings” games has helped me remind myself that I am here and grounded. I’ve learned that I do need to feel grounded - it puts me in control. Certain games like naming objects of your surroundings and describing what they look like, their purpose and what they mean to you can help distract your mind from what was causing the anxiety in the first place.
This is pretty self-explanatory, but focusing on your breathing - and only your breathing - helps immensely to bring you back to reality. Breathing in for 5 seconds, holding for 6 seconds and releasing for 7 seconds has you focus on counting your breathing and forces you to only focus on that one thing.
Anxiety is never going to fully go away: you will have your bad days and you will have your good days. Your good days will become more frequent once you learn what triggers it, how to take care of it and how to prevent it. Strength will come and it will get easier. You can do this.
Becca Rah is 20 years old and enjoys line dancing at her local barn, choreographing and writing to her heart's content. She is majoring in communications to become a journalist. She hopes to one day start her own organization to help others see past the unthinkable.