anxiety, law of attraction, mental health

My Top Coping Mechanisms for Anxiety

So I was thinking about all the ways I deal with anxiety and figured I would share some of my go-to coping mechanisms for anxiety.

Here are the simpler coping mechanisms that work for me:

Going for a walk, or doing some other physical activity

Not just the distraction, but the endorphins really help. If you can regularly exercise, it can really help keeping anxiety at bay in general.

Going outside

If you aren’t up for a walk (I live on the third floor of my building, so sometimes it feels a bit more daunting than others), and you have a balcony or other outdoor space, if you can, go sit outside. Sometimes the fresh air alone can do wonders. Or if you’re able to be in nature, that REALLY helps me. Especially being near water.

Reading

If I can escape into another world, or learn something new, that distraction really helps me. I find it more engrossing than staring at a screen, and it more easily relaxes me.

Writing

This blog has definitely helped me with my anxiety. Sometimes just writing things out, especially if you can do it by hand, can really help get your thoughts down and give you some perspective.

Self-talk

I can go down these spirals where I feel like I am alone, and that people don’t really like me, and all number of other thoughts typical to anxious people. Nothing rational about them. So what helps me, is talking those bad thoughts down and reminding myself how ridiculous and unlikely the thoughts are to be true.

Talking to a friend or family member

I am lucky, I have a few friends who suffer from anxiety to varying degrees, so they can relate to me and my irrational thoughts. I always joke that sometimes all I need is for them to roll their eyes at me so I know that what i’m thinking is ridiculous and that everything is fine

Pets

Okay, I am a big animal lover. When my cat passed away in March I was devastated with reason. Sometimes all I need is a purring cat to calm my nerves. I am glad that I have my two cats around for that and they are both lovebugs! And nothing beats a big dog to cuddle with! I miss living with my parents and our family dog for that.

Water or unsweetened tea

This one might sound silly, but sometimes just drinking water or tea, and the purity of it, calms me down.

My bed!

Okay, one thing I will recommend everyone does, is make their bed in the morning. There is NOTHING more soothing to me than coming home to a made bed and come bedtime, it is so comforting! And they say that starting the day accomplishing a task sets you up for a better more productive day.

Those are small things that I do when I need to relax and calm myself down.

My own technique for centering/calming myself

For when it gets a bit worse than the norm and none of these coping mechanisms work, I have this technique I do that really helps me. I am not good at meditating. It’s something i’d really love to get better at actually. But I guess this might sound like a kind of meditation.

Basically, I lie down with my eyes closed. Preferably in my bed. In a pinch you can do this in a bathroom stall if for some reason you’re not home. I’ve had to do it before lol, no judgment.

From here you take deep breaths. I usually think to myself “breathe in….” “breathe out…” and after i’ve done that a few times, I tell myself (or think if you can’t say it out loud) “everything is okay and will be okay”. I repeat that as many times as needed and from there, and this might sound a bit weird, but I visualize myself connecting to the universe, just opening myself up to the powers that be.

I say universe, you can say God, spirit, earth mother, whatever you feel like, i’m just not religious myself. And then when I feel that connection, I tell myself (or again, think) “I am a magnet for all good things”. And I repeat that over and over as long as I feel like it. And that’s it. I guess it’s kind of a combination of meditation, visualization and affirmations.

Affirmations are great coping mechanisms for anything, they can be very powerful. I try to use them regularly for whatever I need them for. I’ll do a post about them this weekend.

I feel amazing after doing this. And if you didn’t know from my other blog,  I am into the law of attraction. Really, to simplify it, I believe that positive attracts positive, and vice versa. So I just try, when i’m having a hard time, to pivot my thoughts to more positive ones. The best way for me to do that is gratitude! Sometimes you just need to remember what you have to be thankful for in order to put things into perspective. Let’s face it, if you’re reading this blog, you’re luckier than many people. Having a roof over your head, access to the internet, and probably all that comes with that. Food, clean water, etc. etc. etc. It is ALL about perspective. And that helps a lot with anxiety in and of itself.

A well-known technique for full-blown panic attacks

I don’t often have full-blown anxiety/panic attacks, it’s pretty rare for me actually. My anxiety is more related to the thoughts I have than physical symptoms that impede my daily life. One technique I did find very useful that I heard about originally on a TV show, it’s called the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. You can read about it here. It helps you use all of your senses to detract from whatever is causing your anxiety.

So I hope this article helps! If I forgot any coping mechanisms from the original list or find any more useful, I will add them. What are some techniques that help you? Let me know in the comments!

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anxiety, mental health, review, self-esteem

13 Reasons Why Review

As promised, I wanted to talk about the controversial Netflix show 13 Reasons Why. A lot of people have a lot of different opinions on it, but I have to say that I really liked it. Just know that there will be spoilers, so keep reading at your own risk.

I can see how people might think that it encourages suicide, how the tapes might seem satisfying for someone being bullied to send to her bullies. I just really don’t think the show encourages that, quite the opposite.

 

On to the Show

In both season 1 and 2 of 13 Reasons Why it shows the repercussions that someone committing suicide can have. Not just for the families, but for the whole community. And it is such a major issue. But to say that the show encourages suicide is the same logic as saying video games encourage violence. The problems existed prior to said show/video games.

And it’s a problem that really touches me. I was bullied in elementary school and to a lesser degree high school. There were mean girls in my high school, like probably every high school. And I had and still have days where I wonder if life is really worth it. But having those thoughts and taking action on those thoughts are two different things. I think that to get to a point where you see suicide as the only option, it’s unimaginable. It means that this person has absolutely no hope that things will ever get better. And that just makes me so sad.

Going back to the show. Hannah’s suicide scene itself. It is so graphic, so raw and just devastating. I can’t imagine it doing anything but deterring someone who is thinking about it with any seriousness. I know for me, when I have dark days, it’s my family, my friends and even my cats that keep me here, but also, just thinking of HOW i’d do it. It’s SCARY. I can’t imagine the finality of it. Let alone the fact that so many who attempt it and are thankfully not successful so often say they regret it and are happy to be alive.

More on Season 2

The second season mostly focuses on the repercussions of the Hannah’s suicide, and how everyone is coping. Also how Alex is recovering from his attempted suicide that happened at the end of the first season. There are some that think the second season was unnecessary, and that some aspects of it aren’t realistic. But I really liked it almost as much as the first season.

It was nice to flesh out the character of Hannah more, and see her relationship with Zack that we didn’t know about in season 1. That she did have some happiness in her life before things went dark for her. It was sad to see Hannah’s parents and how they had ended up. So many parents don’t stay together after the death of a child.

Bryce and Bullying

The show also touched on Bryce, and how he raped it turns out, several girls. Not just the two we know about. And this is one thing I guess I didn’t like, because it felt like the show was starting to tackle too many issues in such a short time, but of course it was a big part of season 1 and they couldn’t not touch on it. It was mostly the women in court all talking about their experiences. And of course as a woman I feel for them, it just felt a little bit too much like catering to what is going on in the past year in Hollywood I guess. But I am all for giving it as much a voice as it needs for it to stop happening, or even for it to happen less.

What was most hard in season 2 of 13 Reasons Why was the bullying of Tyler. There was a very brutal scene of him being viciously attacked by some other boys and I felt for him. Because truth is stranger than fiction. And I can imagine that there are other teens and kids out there being bullied to even half the degree Tyler was. And the bullying doesn’t end when you go home like it did for me, now there is Facebook and Snapchat and Instagram and cell phones even, it doesn’t stop for some of these kids.

So you can imagine how he could be driven to want to take an automatic weapon to the school dance. Thankfully because the kids in the show have found some resolution, some healing, and some justice and they come together to stop it.  Okay, mostly Clay does and we are left with a cliffhanger and hoping for season 3!

I do hope there’s a Season 3 of 13 Reasons Why in some ways, but also wonder if maybe things will get too drawn out. I had the same concern with the second season though and was pleasantly surprised.

We’ll see what happens!

If you need help, PLEASE seek help

Because of the nature of a show like 13 Reasons Why, I would be remiss without saying that if you are struggling, in whatever way. Please, seek out help. Whether from a helpline if you have nobody in your circle to talk to, or a friend, a family member, a professional. I don’t want anyone to ever feel so helpless that you feel you need to take your own life. Honestly I hate to think of anyone struggling, whether because of anxiety, depression, bullying, sexual assault, for any reason. That is why I write this blog, in hopes to help others, and to help get my own thoughts down in the process.

Okay, I will write a new blog tomorrow, it will be my jumping off point. I have my groceries and I am ready to go in my next round of 131!

Until then 🙂