Previously, I have spoken about my experience with agoraphobia. However, I have yet to tell how I overcame it. Below is a list of tips for those who are struggling with anxiety.
Please note that the advice which is about to be given is based on personal experience and not professional knowledge.
1. Learn more about anxiety.
When suffering from an anxiety disorder, it can feel as if your body is the enemy. Understanding anxiety can help you to stop feeling this way. If you suspect you have an anxiety disorder, schedule an appointment with a doctor, preferably one you feel comfortable with.
The internet also has quite a lot of information on this topic. Keep in mind that many struggle with anxiety and there is no reason to feel ashamed.
2. Keep a journal.
Writing is therapeutic. It allows you to free your thoughts, dumping all your emotions onto the page. It digs deep into your subconscious and reveals things to you. It can not only help you make sense of your anxiety, but provides a sense of relief. Keep in mind that it is not the only outlet.
3. Surround yourself with positive people.
This one sounds a little cliche, but for many, it is no doubt an important part of the recovery process. Having a friend or a group of friends who support you & are rooting for you to get better is a great way to start challenging your negative thoughts. Though it is impossible to control what everyone else says, having someone to support you can be enough to help you power through it.
4. Take care of your body.
Though not entirely a cure, getting adequate rest and exercise is necessary. While anxiety itself makes it difficult to sleep, there are some foods & teas that may help. Chamomile tea, for example, calms the nerves and makes falling asleep a little easier. Changing a few things about your diet will also make a difference. Eliminate caffeine, refined sugars & alcohol. See more here.
5. Don’t fight the feeling.
Breathing exercises can help soothe anxiety, if done correctly. Rather than trying to escape a situation that makes one anxious, it is helpful to doing a breathing exercise instead. It is a powerful tool which one can even use to overcome anxiety. See exercises here.
Spirituality is also beneficial for many individuals struggling with fear/anxiety. Though friends won’t always be around, knowing that God is watching over you brings a sense of comfort.
6. Say “yes.”
This is where things get tough. For those who suffer from anxiety disorders, it can be easier to avoid situations that trigger fear than to take chances. This is no surprise as anxiety disorders causes the individual to suffer from intense feelings of fear in certain situations, unlike that which one who does not suffer from an anxiety disorder would feel. But for some, the key to recovery can be as simple, and as terrifying, as saying “yes.”
*This means saying yes to the things you like to do that are beneficial to you (which fear prevents you from doing).
7. Seek help.
Find a professional that’s right for you. Trust plays a vital role in this decision as it can be difficult to open up to someone you barely know. Take your time. Get to know them and allow them to get to know you. Keep in mind that nothing you say can leave that room unless it involves hurting yourself/ others. However, please do not let this deter you. It is all apart of the recovery process.
Once again, these are tips I have found helpful during my own plight. My greatest advice for you is to do what works for you, as long as it doesn’t harm you or anyone around you.