Good morning everyone. My next post was supposed to be about my “after” pictures from redecorating my entry and dining room, last week. But, as usual things don’t always turn out like I planned. For those of you who don’t know, I suffer from anxiety and I’d like to show you how to deal with anxiety, well at least what works for me.
It doesn’t happen when you are worried about something or when things are stressful in your life, it happens whenever it wants to! Anyone who has had this condition knows that. When your stressed or not! And it runs your life!
It never fails. Just when I think I have all my shit together (sorry for the language), anxiety rears it’s ugly head and says “Hey, wait a minute. You think you finally figured out how to organize your day and get everything done, and still have energy at the end of the day? HA HA!” No it’s more like I end up sitting in front of the TV trying to numb myself from the overwhelming feelings of dread that come over me for no reason. I get NOTHING done and still feel exhausted at the end of the day!
How to deal with anxiety
Part of trying to control my anxiety is structure and planning. I plan EVERYTHING. I have a planner. Oh, not just any planner. A planner that I decorate with beautiful stickers and washi tape. One that I plan out my entire week including chores, errands, blogging, appointments, etc. Sounds normal right? Well, I spend more time planning my week than actually doing the things I planned! UGH!
And I have to have things perfect in my house. Not necessarily clean ;), but everything has to be in a certain spot or arranged just right. Part of this is because I’m a decorator but mostly because it makes me feel in control. Because of things like this everyone accuses me of being OCD. It’s a big joke in my family. But, I think the OCD is a coping mechanism for the anxiety. Whenever I feel anxious I feel the need to control things….hence the planning. I used to use food to make me feel better so I guess things are looking up. LOL
So, while I am trying to get the after pictures done and the post written for the entryway decorating I thought I would share where my heads at and maybe give some tips for those of you who also suffer from anxiety.
First of all, YOU ARE NOT DYING!
The very first thing my therapist said to me was “You are not going to die from this.” And it was the most comforting thing I could have heard. I know that sometimes when your having a panic attack it feels like you are having a heart attack. There have been many times that I thought I was going to die (and I’m not being dramatic). Unless, you have had a panic attack you have no idea how frightening this experience is. And the crazy thing is, once you have a panic attack it’s so scary that you become afraid of having another one, which in turn makes you more anxious, which then makes you have another panic attack. It’s vicious! NOBODY HAS EVER DIED FROM A PANIC ATTACK!
You have more CONTROL over this than you think.
There’s that word again. It’s very common for people with anxiety to feel “out of control” so it makes sense that you want to control things. The “sensory game” is something you could try. When your feeling anxious or out of control try this. Find something that you can see, smell, touch, taste, and hear and focus on one at a time for a few minutes each. This will help bring you back to the here and now and ground you instead of letting the anxiety take over your mind and body.
You may even want to carry something with you that you can pull out and use for this exercise. For example…
- A picture of something that relaxes you. For me it would be a dragonfly. Maybe for you it would be a place you vacationed or a picture of a loved one.
- A bottle of perfume or essential oil to smell. Lavender is a very relaxing scent to try.
- A piece of really soft fabric or small stuffed animal to feel. This may be why pets are so calming to people.
- Keep some hard candy or gum in your purse to taste. Close your eyes and really taste it.
- Have some recorded sounds or music that relaxes you on your phone. There are apps for this. Or close your eyes and focus on what you hear. You may notice birds or rustling leaves.
- I hear good things about Turmeric helping with anxiety and depression.
When I’m ready to have a panic attack calling my husband on the phone and just listening to his voice makes me feel better. We literally just chit chat about nothing until I calm down.
IT WILL PASS
So just knowing that this feeling will pass may help get you thru your next panic attack. I used to try anything to avoid a panic attack except have the panic attack. Yup, just have it. Just relax and let it happen so you can get past it and move on. Just sit down and maybe call someone just to let them know your having one so they can check on you. I have had a few panic attacks where I passed out. This is why I think it’s important to call someone. It’s scary, but just remember it will pass and you will live. This is a great one for how to deal with anxiety.
Well, now that I finished working on this post I just realized that I could have finished my pictures and post for the decorating project! LOL Story of my life 🙂 But I hope this helped ease some of your anxiety.
Please talk to your doctor about your symtoms. There are great medications for anxiety as well as therepy treatment.
Check out this article from Web MD which gives you 10 questions to ask your doctor about your anxiety.
Sometimes just having someone to talk to that has been through it before really helps. I’m here for you if you need me.
If you’d like to read another post I wrote “Anxiety-Overcome anxious feelings” I talk about my list of feeling words with actions you can take to overcome anxious feelings. To download the free printable that goes along with the post you can get that here.
Please leave some comments below and share your experience or maybe give some tips on how to deal with anxiety from your perspective. Just maybe we can help each other get thru this.