Is everyone else doing “Life” better than me?
As someone who has lived with anxiety since childhood (granted I had no idea what it was back then) the above question in some form or another always popped into my head. Sometimes there were even a few remixes such as: “Is everyone out right now having loads of fun without me?! Featuring the musical stylings of “why would they invite you when you suck” and other hits like the soothing soft ballad, “I’m super annoying, everyone hates me, I’m going to lie down and cry” but the underlying message was still the same one of worry, rumination, anxiety and dread.
Now at the ripe old age of 31 (plunge stake into heart here) I’ve noticed that even though these thoughts do sometimes come up, I’m much more adept at dealing with them thanks to some helpful handy tips I’ve learnt. Now, full disclosure here, when you have anxiety (as you may know) you may never get rid of it entirely and it may take time to dial down the sweats, the shakes, the stomach rumbling and other delightful physiological and psychological symptoms but with a bit of consistency and support you’d be surprised how much easier it becomes to manage. (I also want to take this time to say that I am by no means a qualified professional and you should always seek the advice of a medical professional when trying to manage any mental health illnesses or disorders)
Tip 1: Shake your groove thang
There is a reason why we were made to do PE in school even though is was diabolical and we all hated it. It was because movement helps us to release those awesome chemicals we need to feel better. So now whenever I feel a wave of anxiety coming, I get up and start dancing around my house like no ones watching! With the windows firmly shut and the curtains closed because…you know
Tip 2: Talk it out with your besties
The old tried and true - TALK! This is so important for me to keep a level head when I’m knee deep in an anxiety attack. I reach for the phone and text or call some trusted friends and we just talk. It’s been shown that talking to genuine friends in times of anxiety or stress helps to reduce the intensity of those feelings ultimately leading to a lighter happier mood. So get on the phone and make good use of those free minutes!!!
Tip 3: Use The “Kind to Mind” Toolkits and Worksheets Most of us nearly always have our phone to hand so next time you’re aimlessly scrolling through TikTok, take a wander over to the Kind to Mind website! Kind to Mind is a user friendly, easy to understand website that talks about all the different of aspects of mental health. On top of their blog and chat function, they also have specific toolkits and worksheets to help with a range of mental health difficulties such as anxiety, depression, ADHD and eating disorders. Some of these worksheets include a quick 5 minute exercise you can do there and then, no need for printing anything or entering details, you just need 5 minutes and YOU! One of my favourites is the “5 minute grounding exercise”try it out HERE. The site also has lots of places to sign post you further to make sure you get just the right support that you need. Impressive right?! Tip 4: Reach out to a qualified professional This is something I know can be quite difficult to do for a number of reasons & believe me I’ve been there. Perhaps you don’t feel it’s necessary or you’re embarrassed but trust me, there’s nothing like getting professional help when dealing with something like anxiety which at times can be so debilitating. There are so many charities out there as well as free services via the NHS that are on hand to help talk, support and formulate a plan with you so that your anxiety doesn’t have to take over your life and take it from someone who has had ample amount of experience in therapy, every single mental health professional I’ve met is SUPER nice. Now sometimes it takes a few tries to find someone who you connect with but that’s okay! You’re going to be doing a lot of hard work in these sessions and it is always important to make sure you’re working with someone who you feel comfortable with. Like with most things, finding the right professional for you is trial and error. These professionals and services help you to feel less alone and what’s even better is that they give you the skills to make you feel empowered! I mean, someone nice to talk to AND the skills to help you smash life?! I’m not sure you can get much better than that.
Those are just some of the tips that have helped me along my way and I hope they can do the same for you and if you take anything away from this article I hope you know that you’re not alone in how you feel and the way you feel right now won’t last forever.
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, you’ll get there and once you do you’ll see me cheering you on and cutting some mad shapes!!!