Anxiety. It’s a b-word for sure.
Let me tell you a little bit about how my anxiety works. Something bad happens, it can be anything small or large, and I am off. Last week, I was having one of those ‘everything seems to go wrong’ weeks and to top it all off, my brand new KitchenAid broke. So it began.
I started panicking. I kept saying to myself; “oh my god, this was so expensive and it’s new! How has it already broken?! I wasn’t doing anything! It shouldn’t break! This is so typical of my luck. Nothing ever seems to go my way. How am I going to fix this? What did I expect? I clearly did something wrong and I’m being punished for it”. These types of thoughts continue in a negative spiral downwards until it’s all I can think about.
They kept on going round and round in my head and I spent the next hour and a half googling what was wrong with my KitchenAid. The easiest thing would have been to call the company who I bought it from and get them to replace it because it was under guarantee and brand new. Anxiety doesn’t like the easy solution though. I was in full-on panic mode. This is about the time when I go silent and moody and I change from this bubbly, chatty person to one that just sits there like a sponge. I do not talk and I do not move because I am too busy with all these negative thoughts. No matter what I do, I cannot seem to shake my anxiety and my stress. At this point I’m not processing anything that anyone is saying to me because my anxiety is telling me that I’m stupid and useless. This might be an experience that you are familiar with.
I used to take propranolol, which was prescribed, to deal with my anxiety but I’ve since been taken off them because of my low blood pressure so I had to figure out another way to deal with it. Anxiety tablets only suppress the problem; they don’t actually solve the fact that you have anxiety. The issue needs to be tackled at the source.
I once went to this workshop about mindfulness which aimed to tackle stress and anxiety. One of the main practices taught to the class was breathing in order to re-focus attention when your mind begins to wander into negative territories. You close your eyes and try to really concentrate on your breathing pattern. Then, try to slow it down and regulate it. It works for me because I’m doing something that is taking my mind off the thing that I was panicking about. If it gets to the point where I feel like can’t do that because my anxiety is so high, I write down all the possible solutions to my problem on a piece of paper. This also really helps because I can then physically see the resolutions rather than just thinking about them in my head. They feel a little more achievable which usually makes me feel better. These are just some examples of coping mechanisms that work for me. If you have ones that work for you then use them, no matter how silly they may seem.
Anxiety is horrendous at the best of times so if you unfortunately suffer from it like me, then maybe the techniques I use might prove helpful or at the very least, you know that there are other people who suffer from it too which is hopefully of some comfort. By coming onto this blog you are taking the right steps to helping yourself and hopefully it helps you to keep pushing through.