How do you know if you have everyday anxiety or an anxiety disorder?
It’s one thing if you worry about a relationship, paying bills or important life events VS constant worry that interferes with your everyday life.
Know when I say overcome anxiety, I’m talking about the kind that interferes with your everyday life.
There is no way of eliminating anxiety completely because it is simply a feeling.
But for some, like me, anxiety likes to go above and beyond the call of duty.
And that’s fine, but the way we handle it is how we determine whether it’s going to run our lives or not.
A few years ago, I experienced my first anxiety attack, and let me tell you, it was no fun.
Actually, it was a trip to the ER.
I had NO IDEA what was going on.
In fact, I thought I was having a heart attack… I couldn’t breathe, arms were going numb, my whole body felt like it was floating, but as soon as I hit that ER, I was fine.
… just like that, fine.
But of course, I go in because hello, I just had a heart attack… 😳
And as you could’ve guessed, I just hyperventilated, (due to an anxiety attack).
So every day after that, it was like clockwork.
I felt that same sensation at the same time every day…
And everyone I talked to said, “stop worrying about it.”
It. IT? What is it?
What am I worried about?
I was mind-boggled.
I wasn’t worried about anything.
Well, years later, I realized what was on my mind and what I THOUGHT was on my mind (nothing) were actually two different things.
Sometimes, when something is going on with us, we don’t realize until AFTER the attack.
Which is another lovely sign of anxiety… random panic attacks.
Gotta love it, right? (*sigh*)
If I would’ve just known that all that was going on was anxiety and that it wasn’t dangerous, I could’ve prevented a lot of depression.
I mean seriously, I could sleep for days at a time.
I knew that when I woke up, my mind would be clear and refreshed.
That was the only time I knew that I would be safe.
And that’s the thing, I was always safe.
I just thought I wasn’t.
So in this post, I am going to talk about how to overcome anxiety, the kind that doesn’t seem to go away.
Don’t worry, the secret to overcoming anxiety is here!
I am not a counselor/therapist/doctor, I am simply stating my opinion and personal experience.
This post may contain affiliate links.
On many sleepless nights, (on the nights that I slept all day)… I would search and search and search, “How to get rid of anxiety…” “How to become anxiety free..”
You come up with the same old stuff… exercise… drink more water… quit smoking/drinking…
Let me tell you, that is great advice.
At the time, I smoked 1-2 packs of cigarettes a day, on top of drinking to cope, because when I was drunk, I was careless.
I never exercised and I never drank water… maybe if I was severely hungover, the water part.
To be honest, I don’t even know how I survived… I drink over 200 ounces of water a day now and I still feel thirsty.
I was extremely unhealthy. I ate whatever I wanted, drank tons of sugar/caffeine.
Now, I eat healthily, quit smoking, exercise daily, and rarely drink. (Maybe once or twice a month and nothing like it used to be)
I feel changed. I feel like it doesn’t cure anxiety but it makes one hell of a difference.
Related Posts: How Anxiety Fools us and How we Take Control
So I feel like this is the first step, taking care of yourself.
If you’ve done any amount of research about anxiety and what you eat, you’ll be surprised that a lot of it has to do with vitamins and nutrients you are lacking.
- Magnesium (In certain foods, supplement, topical)
- Tryptophan (In certain foods, supplement)
- Vitamin D (Sun, supplement)
- Vitamin B (In certain foods, supplement)
- Calcium (In certain foods, supplement)
So, those are just a couple to look into, try eating a little more of the things that contain these nutrients and see if it helps.
As much as I hate to say it, exercise.
Just do it, for 20-30 minutes a day.
Oh and drink water, lots of water. Not drinking enough water can cause your brain to overwork.
Cut back on caffeine. I was a coffeeholic. I drank coffee all day long. Until I decided to give the “quit caffeine” a try. I switched to decaf and let me tell you… when I ran out of decaf and drank a cup of caffeinated, I could really tell the difference. My hands were sweaty, heart was racing.
Now, I know that it sucks to read all of that over again but I’m telling you, it is the foundation to your house.
Without it, you will fall apart.
Change your mindset
Change your “what if?” thoughts to “so what?”
So what if I completely freak out… what’s going to happen from there?
I’m going to go back to what I was doing… disappointed in myself that I let it get to me again.
Or if you’re anything like me, you’re going to go to sleep and have another day wasted.
We are not going to waste any more days.
We aren’t going to care if anxiety comes back… because we will survive just like we did all the other times.
Anxiety is not life threatening. Although it may seem like it is during, it isn’t.
Make sure you say that to yourself over and over again.
My mind usually looks like a tornado during an attack, but the sooner I changed my mind to a beach, it all went so much more smoothly.
This is life the roof to your house, if you let too many bad thought drips leak in, you’ll be flooded.
One or two is okay, just patch it up and move on 🙂
Get out of your comfort zone.
Whatever it is you’re avoiding, face it.
The more you avoid something, the harder it is to accomplish.
You know the one thing that I actually love about anxiety? From other people’s view, you can’t tell.
You can’t tell that I’m secretly dying inside.
Although you may feel that you look like a fool, but you don’t… I mean come on, I’m sweating, shaking out of my skin, stuttering…
Well, maybe the stuttering you can’t hide but you can’t tell that you’re anxious.
That’s the only bright side.
When my husband lost his license last year, I dreaded it.
And when I say dreaded, I mean DREADED.
I just couldn’t fathom driving for a WHOLE YEAR.
If you couldn’t tell, driving is my worst fear.
But let me tell you, my husband losing his license was the best thing that happened to me. (well, for my anxiety self.)
I had to face my fears.
Who was going to drive my son to his doctor’s appointments?
I had to grow some balls, quick.
So a little at a time, I drove short distances, and eventually, I drove all day sometimes.
The more I did it, the better I felt.
Break out of it, slowly. If you dive right in, you’ll create panic.
If crowds make you anxious, you’re not going to grab a microphone and start singing in front of a huge audience… you’re going to first expose yourself to a small crowd, then add more people as you get better.
It gets easier.
But it doesn’t get easier staying in your comfort zone.
Related Posts: 6 Steps to Surviving a Panic Attack Comfortably
Your comfort zone is like doors to a house. Without openings, you will be trapped inside.
I guess you could crawl out a window, but why make more work for yourself?
Have a plan.
For today, tomorrow, and months from now.
Start planning your life.
One of my not-so-strongest suits was to live life day by day.
I know for the longest time, I didn’t plan because I didn’t know how I was going to feel.
Anxiety was my life.
You want me to do what? You better wait until about 20 minutes beforehand to see how I feel.
Or I would plan naps before an outing so I wouldn’t be tired… (because being tired led to anxiety for me)
I’m here to tell you, get moving.
If you sit around, it gives anxiety time to take advantage of your mind.
Even if they’re small.
Everyone starts somewhere.
“Don’t compare someone else’s middle to your beginning” -Jon Acuff
This is the water, heat, and electric to your house. Without them, your house just doesn’t function the same.
What is the Secret?
The secret to overcoming anxiety is:
- Take care of yourself, physically, emotionally, mentally.
- Change your mindset
- Get out of your comfort zone, do it scared.
- Start living, today.
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