The Anxiety Monster
by Radhika Sharma
I have been dealing with anxiety for a long time now and it’s no joke. Yes, people will tell you to ‘calm down’ or ‘chill’ but let me tell you one thing: it’s completely fine to not have control over it. It’s not your fault.
There are a million problems in the world that people go through every single day. It’s part of life and it’s part of being human. But for those of us who have anxiety looming over our heads, these problems bother us a hundred times more than they should. Anxiety is the indescribable, uncontrollable fear of nothing. A single trigger can send us into a downfall where for those few moments, it feels like the world will never be stable enough for us again, nothing will be okay again and that from that moment forth, everything will go south. We wish we had a leash on these monsters but anxiety is strong enough to take that power away from you. In those moments you are helplessly a victim of your own thoughts, of your own feelings.
For the longest of time, I blamed myself for not being able to control this or hold myself still when I spiraled down, but as I delved deeper and deeper into becoming more aware of my anxiety, I stopped hating it, stopped taking it as a monster and started seeing it as something that I could handle. For all of you who may face anxiety, a disorder that comes in a number of forms, or are close to someone dealing with it, here are five things that have helped me deal with anxiety over the last few years.
Surround Yourself With The Right People
It is absolutely essential for you to surround yourself with the right people, people who are positive and understand your anxiety. Not everyone will understand your anxiety or know how to calm you down when you feel anxious but it is always helpful to find those few who are closest to you, who you can trust to give you a helping hand when you need one. I find myself feeling less anxious when I am with these people because they understand my anxiety, they understand how I feel in those moments and so they know what to say and do to help extinguish my anxiety and make me feel better.
Count To Ten
In any situation where I feel anxious and my thoughts go out of control, I take three deep breaths and count to ten. Not only does this help calm me down but also puts my thoughts in perspective. In those time, it’s essential for you to tell yourself to relax, slow down and digest things instead of just slurping them down.
Writing helps, it’s a therapeutic process and you’ll realize the power of written words once you begin keeping a journal. For me, my journal became a place I could unleash my feelings without any fear of judgment or reaction. My diary became a place of solace, reflection and restitution for me wherein I found myself expressing emotions which is always better than them being bottled up inside. Also, a journal also makes my thoughts more refined, focused and positive, allowing me to release negative energy onto paper instead of onto my surroundings.
Find a Hobby
Finding something that you love spending time doing and something that makes you feel confident, positive and replenished is so important in dealing with anxiety. Not only would it lower your stress levels but also give you a retreat to do something that makes you feel energized and happy. Try dancing, cycling or painting as it will help you express yourself creatively and allow you to find a way to release any feelings or thoughts. It is also a good way to distract yourself when you find yourself over thinking when you’re idle. Keep yourself occupied in things you love, not only will they help you grow as a person but also give you an escape from chance of anxiety striking you.
This is the hardest to do and it takes a long time and a lot of devotion. In order to not feel anxious about everything it’s important for you to filter your thoughts and what really needs the time and energy of thought. Don’t think about people who you know don’t matter in your life, learn to filter events that matter and that don’t and allow yourself to filter out all the negative thoughts and focus on the positives in order to not find yourself dwelling in the negatives. A positive mind will lead to a positive outlook and perspective both of which couldn’t hurt and instead help you a lot with becoming more content, confident and happy.