Ciao Uniquifiers and welcome back to my blog! ♥
Yup, I’m back from my short hiatus! Thanks for standing by 😂
Everyone has that voice inside their head, the one that whispers at them to make decisions. ‘Don’t post that. You look fat!’ ‘Don’t say that. People will think you’re weird.’ ‘Don’t wear that. You’ll get made fun of.’
The voice that makes you believe that you’re not good enough, that you’ll never be happy, never be good enough. It scares you and stops you from doing something before you actually go and do it. Statistically, 3 million people in just the UK suffer from anxiety, whether it forces them to stay at home or never drive a car. In today’s post, I’m going to be discussing anxiety, how it affects people’s lives and how to fight it, to make it something that doesn’t need to necessarily control your whole life. Let’s go!
Personally, I’ve been lucky enough not to suffer from severe anxiety, but at times, I’ve often found myself feeling like I’m drowning, and the first time it happened was a few years back when I started getting the train. It was around 3:45 PM, and I was at the train station feeling absolutely lost. If you live in the UK, you’ll probably know how
bad DISASTROUS the weather can get. And when it affects the public transport, the results are even more horrific.
It was some time in December or January, and it was hailing, snowing, raining and super windy. All the trains I needed to get home were either seriously delayed or cancelled, and I was terrified. All my friends had managed to get an earlier train, and it was beginning to get dark, too. That’s when I finally managed to get a train, and as I collapsed on to one of the seats, I remembered thinking, ‘Thank God. I’m never underestimating the amazingness of having a place to live in ever again – especially in this weather!’ But I might as well have never got on to the train, because on the announcements, a crackly voice suddenly called out: “We are very sorry for the inconvenience but due to the bad weather, we’ll be turning back to Scotland instead of (blank).”
Terrific, right? So I practically ran off the train – obviously, I didn’t want to end up in Scotland. When I got off, there were still no trains and I was just stood there on a way too crowded platform holding, like, five hundred bags. My phone was about to die and I was all alone. That’s when I had my first mini anxiety/panic attack. If you’ve had one before, you know that the experience can be super overwhelming, and you literally think you’re going to die. That yeah, this is it. This is where it ends. My head was pounding with a migraine and my throat decided to close up. My palms were sweaty and I couldn’t breathe – the edges of my vision were beginning to go black and I felt so dizzy and light that I nearly fainted. All that was in my head was, ‘I’m never gonna be able to go home. I’m just gonna die on this platform right here. Help.’
Now, I’ve never told anyone about this. Luckily, I’ve only had minor ones following that, and recently, none at all. I’ve had sessions that have helped control my anxiety, and the fear of travel that followed after that. So, I’m gonna be your therapist today, and give you some of the advice I’ve heard. If anything, I know what it feels like to frantically be searching Google for advice on controlling anxiety and then finding a random blog that gives you the same advice everyone does: To breathe.
Argh! Yes, I hate that one with a passion. I mean, when you seriously think you’re about to die, you don’t focus on breathing because, frankly, at that moment in time, you can’t breathe. Literally. It’s like your lungs decide to reject oxygen, and you’re just like, why is my body not complying? Sometimes, you forget to breathe, even. But hey, I’ve got some points that may just help…
1.) Positive thoughts
Rainbows! Glitter! Unicorns! No, that’s not positivity. That’s a whole crap-load of girlishness that makes me want to vomit. Hey, maybe it works for you, but for me… Nah. Anyways, my point is, thinking happy thoughts can prevent the anxiety before it happens or even control it whilst it’s happening. Thinking about what makes you happy or having overall positive thoughts has scientifically proven to help you cope with your stress faster and efficiently. Think about yourself and not about what others think about you. Diverting your mind to something else helps you focus on something other than your anxiety and what could happen. Which leads us to another point…
2.) Thinking about now and not then
I know how it feels to be stressing about something before it happens. Maybe it’s the night before you’re bound to leave for a holiday on a plane or maybe the night before exam day. Either way, you’ll find yourself sweating and fretting about how badly things could turn out. What if the plane crashes? What if I lose my suitcase? What if I get on the wrong plane? Have I packed everything? Let me double – no, quadruple check. You tend to be super organised, more than other people, even, but you still feel like something’s missing, or that something terrible is gonna happen, regardless. Which is why, when you realize you’re worrying about something pointless or waiting for the plane and you find yourself mentally drowning in what ifs, you should focus on what’s happening at that very moment in time instead of what could happen next. Look around you and think. is everything alright? Are we good? If everything is truly normal, focus on positive thoughts and controlling your breathing before it gets, well, out of control. Which then links us to another point…!
I know, I know, I’m practically contradicting myself in the same post, but this is something I have to give advice on. When you have those horrible panic attacks, breathing can sometimes be the only thing you’re thinking about. For others, it’ll be the last thing. Whether you’re A or B, controlling your breathing is important, which is why as soon as you feel a panic attack coming on, you need to straight away find somewhere with fresh air. Being locked up in a room by yourself or with other people can feel claustrophobic, even if you’re not claustrophobic. The first thing you should do is find somewhere with open space, no walls preferably, and fresh oxygen. It helps to just stand still for a while and close your eyes, so that you can concentrate more on your breathing. If you can, try to drink some water and breathe deeply so that some air can reach your lungs. Instead of taking short, shallow breaths, breathe deeply even if nothing happens, because after a while, you’ll begin to feel calmer. Yes, I said calmer.
At this point, you should try and find a distraction. With me, I’ve found that clenching and unclenching my fists helps, or maybe counting your breaths. Something else you can do is tap your arm or another surface and count that, too. If there’s another available facility that helps you relax, like a book or just simply sitting alone in fresh air, then do that! This helps, again, divert your mind to something else. All the while, make sure you’re taking deep breaths or taking a sip of water. You can also get a few apps that help with this – some are Calm, Breathe2Relax and HeadSpace.
5.) A Super Extra Pinterest Lifestyle
You may or may not know what I’m talking about here, so let me clarify it a little. Take some time out of your day for just yourself – no-one else, nothing else. Take your phone, your laptop and your TV and lock them up in a box with heavy metal chains. Then throw them in the ocean. Just for a little while. Nah, not literally. What I mean is that try to take some time, even as little as 10 minutes, without any electronic distractions. Meditate, try some yoga, or just take a nice walk in the park. Phone-free. If you’re taking a walk, look around and appreciate nature, be alone with your thoughts for a while. Maybe, if it helps, you could use your phone for white noise while your meditating. Maybe, if you’re not that into any of that, take a nice, long hot shower or bubble bath, light some candles, read a book. Turn on those cute warm-colored fairy-lights you have strung on your wall. Whatever it is, just relax. Block out all your thoughts and keep your mind blank except from positive thoughts, or even nothing at all. Just for ten minutes or maybe more, have one of those aesthetic Pinterest/Instagram lifestyles that people drool over all the time. Just for a little while, give yourself some you time.
EDIT: Okay, I recently discovered that, believe it or not, Coke messes with your hormones! Yes, Coke! If you have bad anxiety, and drink Coke after that, for about an hour or two you’ll feel great, but then… Yeah, your anxiety goes even worse. So, I know this is almost impossible and I was shocked to hear this, too, but stay away from Coke! Ugh. Life is hard, I know.
Anyways, that’s it for today! Those were just a few of thousands of points that can help make your mind your own again, instead of letting it escape back to the clutches of the evil overlord that is Anxiety. If you liked this post, be sure to, well, give it a like and comment down below if you get anxiety and how you cope with it. Thanks for reading! Bon voyage for the rest of your Monday, guys!