This post was originally published at tickledthink.com. Republished here with permission.
For weeks now, I’ve been constantly suffocated by my own thoughts.
Drowning with all the worries, the concerns, all the constant what-ifs.
I lie down and try to close my eyes – hoping all those thoughts will just go away.
But they don’t.
And they just get worse and worse until I end up feeling paralyzed.
Trapped in my own thoughts.
Most days, I just want to scream and cry my heart out.
I’m not even sure if that helps, but I was sure about one thing.
I just want it to stop.
That is what it feels like when my anxiety takes over.
It controls every part of me, leaving my mind feel restless.
There are days when I just want to bump my head against the wall so hard to make all those thoughts and irrational fears go away.
Living with anxiety is exhausting.
Not being able to enjoy every moment and having to constantly worry about everything is just so draining.
Mentally, Physically and Emotionally.
But one of the worst parts is, regardless of how exhausted I was, going to sleep is still too impossible.
It’s just too impossible to sleep when your mind is filled with irrational fears.
I didn’t want to spend my whole life in this constant cycle.
I didn’t want to be ruled by those thoughts.
By those fears. By those worries.
That’s when I started to look for ways to make my days and nights more bearable.
Ways to make living with anxiety easier, even just for a little bit.
And I want to share these with you too. That’s why today, I have decided to share with you 5 Things I do to Make Living with Anxiety Easier.
Set Small Goals
I’m all for dreaming big and achieving big.
But I’ve realized that the more I create this unrealistic to-do list, the more pressure I’m putting on myself, thus, triggering my anxiety.
And when this happens I usually spend the whole night fixating on what would happen if I’m not going to finish everything on that to do list.
Then when it’s finally time to do those things, I’m just too paralyzed by fear and anxiety that I end up not doing anything at all.
So, if you’re anxiety is tied to external factors, such as work that you need to do, make it a habit to set realistic goals.
Goals that you are REALLY comfortable with.
And if you feel like you can still do a couple of things after completing that to-do list, then add one or two more tasks.
The key is to break down big tasks into smaller tasks.
Stop setting yourself up for those unrealistic and inhuman standards. This will only make your anxiety worse.
Things not going as planned or things not turning out the way I want them to triggers my anxiety to the highest peak.
More often this leads to a panic attack.
I’ve found that the best way for me to fight this before it even happens is by doing slow and mindful breathing.
So now, every time I feel like my anxiety is starting to rise, I pause.
And I breathe, slowly.
I put all my attention on those deep breaths.
I do this for a good minute.
Doing this calms me down.
It helps me refocus and it gives me a clearer mind to find a solution.
Instead of letting my mind create these irrational scenarios that will trigger my anxiety more.
So, try making this a part of your day.
When something starts to trigger your anxiety, pause and do slow, deep breaths.
The results might just surprise you!
Spend Time Outside
I used to lock myself in my house for days.
Avoiding the sunlight.
And this did not only make my depression so much worse but it also allowed my anxiety to consume me.
To consume every thought.
I was controlled by all my irrational fears
So, I tried something new. Every day, I started to go outside to take a short walk.
And when I’m walking, I try my very best to focus all my attention on the things I’m seeing.
I focus on the sky, the trees.
Doing this somehow calms me down.
It helps get rid of all those worries and it just makes me feel so much lighter.
It helps make my days a whole lot bearable.
Let it Out
I have a lot of worries and I mean A LOT.
I have more than dozens of these irrational fears.
Thousands of concerns.
Every single day.
I keep them all to myself, I keep all those fears, those worries bottled up.
But I’ve realized that the more I try to suppress them, hide them or just keep them to myself, the harder it gets for me to manage my anxiety.
The more it controls me and the more damage it does to my day.
That’s when I slowly started to let all those thoughts out.
Sometimes, I share those thoughts with someone very close to me.
More often, I write them down.
I scribble all my fears, worries – everything that’s bothering me.
Doing this makes me feel that I’m separating myself from those thoughts.
I’m acknowledging them by writing it or by sharing them with someone yet I’m not giving it the power to control me.
So, if you feel like those worry thoughts are starting to pop up, write them down.
There’s no wrong or right way to do it. Just scribble anything that’s triggering your anxiety.
And if you feel like you’re comfortable enough to talk to someone about it, do it.
Because it really makes a difference!
Cut yourself some slack
I’ve always been beating myself up for letting anxiety control me.
I hated myself for being so weak and for not having enough strength to fight it on some days.
I felt so disappointed with myself and I felt like a complete failure on days when my anxiety paralyzes me.
But doing this did not help me in any way.
It just made things worse.
It just triggered my anxiety more.
And I knew I didn’t need this.
I didn’t need to be my self’s enemy.
And so do you.
So, stop beating yourself up.
Stop being too hard on yourself.
Don’t criticize yourself. Don’t call yourself weak.
Because you’re not.
The way you choose to face those demons every single day.
The way you get through days when your anxiety is consuming your every thought.
That is strength.
That is courage.
Be your self’s cheerleader and trust that you got this!
Fighting my anxiety every day is still my constant challenge. There are days when I need to fight extra hard just to get through them but I know that I’m strong enough to not let it win and so are you!
So, start by recognizing what triggers your anxiety and identify the things that help calm you down.
Remember that you are stronger than your anxiety! It doesn’t define you.
I am not a licensed therapist. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional to get the help you deserve.