Anxiety and Panic sufferers. Have a read. It’s light hearted, to the point and hopefully helpful.
3 Years ago I started writing this and I left it untouched on my PC because I didn’t feel that I was ready to be insightful to others. Like maybe I was being contradictory because I was not fully “fixed”. But then I was inspired again to write something to share with people who suffer from anxiety and panic disorder, I have overseen so many different types of struggle and although I am not a writer i wanted to put something out there.
So I have written an informal blog aimed at people with general anxiety and panic. Mainly younger people but hopefully anyone takes something away from this.. I am a down to earth person with a regular life that suffered a hard time with panic disorder but has it mostly under control today and would like to share some ideas to help people to a road of positivity and a boost of confidence.
Understand with me
“Our brain takes a situation and manifests every possible out come as one that is not the truth and unlikely to happen”
Our anxious mind will think of all the negative outcomes before even entertaining a more probable outcome to the situation at hand. This affects our mood in general, our relationships, our outlook on life and pursues our next action in that moment all at once which over time entraps you in your prison of the mind. Now is the time to take action.
I want you to really think about it. Replay a time you felt uneasy overwhelming feelings. Think about the situation and which surrounded it, did you have any real reason to believe that any harm was going to come to you. Can you now see how irrational your worries seem after reflecting back on the moment.
Be In Control
“Being in control of Anxiety and panic is not an easy task we can’t stop ourselves from thinking this way instantly we have to be willing to work on it and avoid self pitty”
I was the worst for self pity, I would sit and reflect at how awful I felt after a panic attack and dwell on the negative until I felt nothing but sadness. Self pity will surely create hurdles in your path to take control of your emotions.
“You CAN be strong for yourself. You CAN make changes even if it’s one thing at a time. You are not the only one suffering. There is support and you CAN live an easier life”
The key to coping is to understand. I never took the time to learn and understand the human brain, how powerful it is it and that it can be easily influenced and trained over time to believe anything.
It is like when a criminal is innocent but the lawyers feed exaggerated information and bend the truth. This makes an innocent man trapped inside a mind that has been made to believe he is guilty.
“Anxiety is your prison but you are innocent”
An example of this would be when I was at work and It was extremely busy. I was already behind on tasks and people around me where agitated and making comments in my direction. On the outside I may have looked calm but my mind was repeating things like;
“You are never going to get this done”
“You always make mistakes”
“Are you good at anything?”
“You need to get a new job”
“But what if you get less money?”.
I remember feeling scared, alert, worried beyond belief, my heart was racing I could feel it in my chest and I was sweating.
I could feel my bottom lip quivering as I tried not to cry. I needed to get out of there. So I got my car keys and looked straight ahead as I walked to my car got in and began crying and hyperventilating.
This is when we need to stop. Take a minute to stop and focus. I thought about what I had learnt about the brain and that is is currently in negative overload which can be tamed. I would need to gather my thoughts and think logically. The best one to start with is “has any harm actually come to me because of that situation?” No. I am safe. Then I slowly took a deep breath through the nose and out the mouth saying to myself
“everything is ok, you do know how to do your job”
“it’s just a busy day today”
“I will ask my friends to help me complete it” “ignore the others they are stressed and busy too”.
I would resurface a memory in that moment, a happy one, a genuine laugh I had the other day and focus on every detail of that pleasant memory. I did this for as long as it took till I could feel my heart beat normally again.
Trying this even before you have a panic attack or when you start to feel uncomfortable in a situation allows your mind to trail it’s path in a different direction of rationality and bring you back to reality. It’s a small step but makes a huge difference over time.
Situations and tips
Right so .. here are some emotional gut reaching situations that occur in almost all of our lives or has happened to someone you know. I am no expert and I am still learning but I know how hard it is when these emotional gut wrenching situations occur for the first time and catch us by surprise.
I am no expert on this topic either but I know how it feels and I want you to know this will get easier to deal with. Most young people panic about what this person will think about them and there appearances and where there relationships should be.
This is definitely a life lesson and trust me in the future you will have dealt with these feelings so many times that eventually you stop caring about the silly things. When I say stop caring I don’t mean your heart will stop falling out of your behind every time you see that person you like. But I mean you will stop caring as much about what they think of you and just be yourself.
“They are worth it if they like you for who you are”
Cheesy I know but it really is an important quote to follow.
When you do feel anxious about what they will think of you just know Worries like these are normal and I’m sure most people get anxiety around new love interests so the only thing I can say here is please keep that quote in mind, remember you are you and there is someone out there for you you just have to try your best to take each one in your stride because eventually everyone finds someone. You know you have to Kiss a few frogs and all that
This is an extremely heartbreaking thing for anyone to go through and it leaves us re-evaluating a lot of things including ourselves. When we have panic/Anxiety a lot of us will be so stricken with fear of losing that person, or we will go over every moment that we spent with that person trying to find any signs we missed to signal this happening. Saying ‘we should have known’. But… the worst is, we blame ourselves.
This is another life experience moment that takes your brain into negative overdrive saying things like
“Why does this always happen to me?”
“Is it because I’m ugly?”
“That person is probably prettier than me”
“I hate myself, I am an idiot”.
These can be very hard to override and when our confidence is knocked we need to be careful not to lose it all. It’s more about remembering the one that did it to you is the ugly one. You are not and it’s made you stronger.
“We are here in this crappy world together we might as well make it easier for each other”
There are always memes and GIFs about cutting negative people out of your life and I support that action. Unfortunately you cannot move forward with toxic People in your life and I understand that some are unavoidable but you just care about yourself and how you are going to triumph being happy whether they are there or not because they will not take that away.
Being with the ones you love is extremely important, people that make you laugh will help you effortlessly forget your worries in their presence, Loving people with make you feel comforted and maybe you can open up to them and straight talking people can make you feel strong. take small steps to get out of your comfort zone instead of staying indoors alone to be with people you bond with.
Unfortunately I do not have much experience in the social anxiety you see mine is the opposite. I had to keep myself surrounded by people to avoid any moment alone with my thoughts. Anyone who feels me on this I think it is really helpful but with the Toxic People tip in place and making sure that you still find a way to relax alone from time to time.
Work and interviews
Because work is such a crucial part of our time during most days. Work can cause us stress, it can affect our mood drastically and can cause a lot of health issues. We need to be sure to look after ourselves. This is where it all started for me. I had so much negativity, pressure and strong characters around me for 10 hours a day it all become very overwhelming and took a tole on my mental health.
I am sure like me a lot of you have or will go through similar feelings in one job or another.
“Our job helps us earn our way, but life outside of it is important too”
We can take on any work environment if we remember and tell ourselves:
“We may not get along with everyone, we may need help from time to time, we could work hard to find another job if we need/want to and we can only work hard and do our best!”
Remember that people in charge can make you feel nervous and on edge but they are just people like you and me, they have their own problems and ill let you into a little secret. Most of them are just winging it. Once you tell yourself that before an interview over and over you can settle the nerves slightly.
Long overworked hours make a huge impact on our mental health too. Just remember to take a time out. I can not stress enough how important you are to you! Take a break even if you are very busy, do not let people make you feel guilty about taking 15 minutes just set an alarm for when you need to go back to work so that you can avoid clock watching and focus of relaxing, maybe go for a slow walk.
This one is so important!… once you decide to make a change to your mental health. You must come away from social media!
It’s time to Sign out and delete all of the social apps for a while. There is far too much negative content and fakery.
I can confidently say that half the happy people on insta are suffering as much you. I mention that the people around you are suffering too a lot because in my experience knowing you are not alone in this is a little less weight.
If you are worried people asking you why you left insta or facebook, just casually say you are taking a break from them.
Distract the mind
Stay busy or find a hobby. Try not to be bored or have nothing to do, go for a walk with upbeat songs playing in your headphones or just chill with family or a friend. I enjoy propping my phone up watching a program and soaking in a hot bath when I am trying to free my mind.
Another thing I found helpful was to find forums and books of others talking about their experience and how they got through it.
I found that when I’m in a moment of ongoing worry I can find a bit of peace knowing I am not the only one and thinking ‘if all these people have got through it so can i’. That is such a positive quote and hearing other people’s battles to happiness really is uplifting.
Another important one. I know I said distract the mind but you also need to relax it from time to time. There are so many ways and it’s about finding what is best for you. I have to say yoga is a great one even if you just follow a YouTube video it’s all about breathing so all your focus is on your lung Inflation and relaxing which means no room for panic.
They are there for a reason, absolutely nothing to be ashamed of sometimes it’s nice to speak to a stranger, they can look at your needs from a different perspective. If you need help just pick up the phone and call don’t overthink the phone call they are there for a reason!
I really love who I am today, I have grown and I take on anything thrown my way without the help of others. I have been lucky enough to have supporting and loving friends and family and for them I am truly grateful. But I found myself. By myself because that’s the only way to begin to deal with your emotions. By being sure in your own decisions and actions moving forward. I left the cheesiest paragraph till last because although my blog does not include exquisite writing or scientific facts on anxiety and panic. It speaks the truth. So I hope you are able to take something away from it or even just to encourage you to make small changes.
You CAN be strong for yourself you CAN make changes even if it’s one thing at a time, you are not the only one suffering, there is support and you CAN live an easier life.
– Love Alex, Happy to chat if you leave me a messege