Anxiety can hit even the best of us. In a warm fuzzy, almost perfect moment a sneaky feeling can come creeping in under our skin and take us into a dark whole. In this post I will give you the best advice on how to overcome your anxiety. Anxiety comes in all shapes and in a range of different levels. It can be a milder stress or go so far to blow up in a panic attack.
I’ve had my fair share of anxiety battles. It usually starts with a small worry, that grows deeper and puts its root into different areas of your life until you’re so consumed by it that all your thoughts are going in a downward spiral and you question your entire existence and self worth.
To get rid of anxiety we are told to take a deep breath. Don’t think about it, fill your mind with gratitude and tell yourself that you’re enough and that you’re ok. This is bullshit. I mean it’s effective, but it’s not the only solution. By covering up our real feelings with sugarcoated sweet talk we are just pushing our problems deeper which in turn, will make them grow larger. The only way to overcome anxiety, as with anything else, is to actually face it.
Don’t run. Welcome it with open arms. Give it a hug, invite it over for a cup of tea and cookies. Become its best friend- We need to feel our anxiety and understand what we are feeling. Become familiar with the feeling of being uncomfortable and scared, and then build a relationship with it. It’s scary, I know. But one thing we need to understand about anxiety is that it will never go away. It might not be what you want to hear but no, anxiety will never just disappear. The only thing that will change is your relationship towards it and how you react to it. Become aware of it, accept it, and build up the strength to not let it effect you as hard.
Journaling is a great way to get to the root of problems. To sit and write down exactly everything that comes to mind can bring out answers to your own problems. By writing we have the ability to reflect and look at things from a different angle. The writing process itself lets us zoom out and see the bigger picture. Writing in your notes on your phone doesn’t count. You need to take it old school. Buy yourself a cute notebook and a fancy, feel good pen. There’s actually a big difference in pens in my opinion. Some pens feel better against the paper. Am I right or do I just have some kind of weird pen and pencil fetish? Whenever you’re going through something stressful or you feel your anxiety creeping in, pull up your journal and write the shit out of your soul.
Meditation is a hot topic, and for battling anxiety it’s piping hot. The thought of sitting in silence with only your own thoughts, can at first be a “hell to the no no” for anyone suffering from anxiety. Trapped in your own mind is the last thing you want! But just as journaling, meditation makes us look at our thought and problems from a different perspective. We strengthen our mind and become more resistant towards the negative anxiety spiral. If you, just like me struggle to meditate by yourself I can advice you to try some of the meditation apps that’s out there like Headspace and Calm. Guided mediation free of cost.
Learn your triggers
Figure out when your anxiety tends to kick in. Is it at work? Around certain people? Around food? When you’re going to bed? As soon as that lingering feeling starts creeping in your mind, catch it in its track! Step back and tell yourself “hold up!”. Become aware of the situation your in. This environment is for some reason bringing you anxious feelings, and this is the time where you should try to figure out why.Perfect timing to pull up that journal of yours if you’ve got it hanging around. Become aware of your anxiety patterns. Once you’re able to identify when and why, it’s easier to manage your anxiety and prepare your mind to face it in a different way.
Exercise is probably the best medicine against anxiety. The release of dopamine works as a magical pill for our brain and gives us a happy go lucky kick in the butt! Skip the pills and medicine and go for a run. This will do way better for your anxiety and your health in general.
Eat nourishing food
Proper (pronounce this in a British accent) nutrition is key. Your brain and gut connection is vital for managing your anxiety (read more about the gut and brain connection in my blog post here). Our brain is our most complex organ and the right food will fuel it to thrive instead of break down. Make sure you get your fruits and vegetables everyday, drink water, eat healthy fats and complex carbs and grains. Limit your intake or stay away from sugar and highly processed foods and alcohol to the best of your ability. These foods will actually have the opposite effect in your brain and can cause even more anxiety.
Prioritize your snooze my friends! Ironically enough, we sleep on sleep. We tend to prioritize other things with the belief that it’s not such a big deal to miss out on a few hour here and there. Sleep is super important for our brain health. During our sleep we recover and learn to function as optimal as possible the next day. The lack of sleep will not give you proper recovery which will lead to fatigue, trouble staying focused, and feeling down. Feeling tired can in turn lead to not wanting to do as much and feeling lazy, meaning skipping exercise and treating yourself to unhealthy food. It’s a bad cycle. Prioritize sleep!
One of the most simple things we can do is to practice gratitude. To be grateful for the things that you have and your current circumstances makes it easier to see a brighter future and take healthy actions. A person who is constantly complaining about everything in their life will also stay i a place of negativity. The energy you give will be the energy that you receive. Being grateful will make you more capable to receive more things to be grateful for. Abundance of gratitude, that’s some cool shit right there. Make it a habit to say thank you for the cozy bed you have to sleep in, for the food you can eat, make sure to tell the people you love how happy you are that they exist in your life. There’s actually a lot of pretty awesome things going on in our life which can be blinded by stupid thoughts and anxiety. Sometimes we need to stop for a second and smell the flowers. Be like Eeyore. He’s the one smelling flowers, right? Or is it Ferdinand?
The biggest take away is that anxiety will be a part of your life, but you have the ability to overcome it and not get effected by it. Our minds are stronger than we think, and with consistent training and awareness we can overcome anything. We’ll smack down anxiety straight in the gut together!