Anxiety. Let’s start here: what exactly is it?
Psychiatry will tell you that anxiety is, “a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.”
For me, it’s compulsive and unrelenting thoughts consuming my mind for hours (or sometimes days) at a time. It’s wringing my hands when I’m nervous. It’s holding my hand to my mouth because god help me if anyone knew what my anxiety really wanted me to say. It’s the need to sleep in a little later than normal the morning after I’ve been up “thinking” until 3AM. I’m not “thinking,” of course. I’m anxious.
So, what do I do about it? Well, truthfully, some days its harder to combat than others.
I do my best to keep a smile on, and focus on other things, but sometimes it’s just too hard to escape worrying thoughts that consume me.
If you’ve never seen me anxious, it might be because I’m combating it in my own weird way. Someone else you know might be doing the same things to get through their day.
Here are some things that I do to combat anxiety.
- Hand wringing. It’s calming sometimes. Sometimes I don’t even know that I’m physically doing it. It means I’m worried.
- Eating. If I’m eating more snacks than I normally would, I’m probably “eating my worries away” with a bag of Ruffles. Not healthy, but its the truth. Because I know I do this, I make it a point not to buy them or have them in the apartment regularly.
- Sleeping in. I’ll be up until 3am or 4am analyzing every angle of what I’m worried about sometimes, and this causes me to sleep in longer than I’d like to. I’ll forgve myself on mornings like this, and just accept what is. Usually, I feel better after rest.
- Browsing my phone. If I’m focused on my phone, I’m not focused on concrete thoughts, am I? Guilty!
- Text a friend. If I’m really anxious about something (and its not an ungodly hour), and cannot get it off my mind, I’ll text a friend or my husband about it. Usually, they’ll respond in a timely manner and talk me out of my worries – or validate me, which is important!
- Watch TV or a movie. I don’t like to lounge too much, but I do it when I need to just relax and focus my attention elsewhere.
- Hit the gym. I might not be in the mood to be there at all, but sometimes just being active will help me shift and clear my thoughts, and that’s helpful.
- Get outside. I don’t have to be doing anything more than walking, but fresh air helps!
- Blogging. It’s my journaling sometimes!
If I’m doing too much of some of these, I’m probably anxious and trying to pull myself out of it.
Don’t be ashamed at what you have to do to combat your own anxiety. Thankfully, we live in a society that’s more open about this subject. That means there are tons of helpful tools out there to take yourself out of an anxious moment.
Do you do any of the things that I do to combat anxiety?