From a young age, I was always the 'quiet kid' who never spoke up and was always quite shy. As I began to grow up, everyone around me seemed to become more confident, but for some reason, I just couldn't muster up the courage to do simple things like speak up in class or make eye contact during conversation. Growing tired of feeling low and unable to do simple things, I took a trip to my GP and ended up having counselling sessions for a fair few months. Of course, I'd always advise to seek out help for a more personal approach to dealing with anxiety, but I've taken a few of the top ways from my sessions for dealing with anxiety and explained in a little bit of detail below. If you feel you just need a little boost or in need of some tips whilst waiting to speak to someone, these should be able to provide a little bit of relief!
Understand What You're Dealing With
Putting yourself down for struggling with anxiety will only make things worse. Anxiety is a completely legitimate, valid mental health issue which millions of people deal with and you definitely should not beat yourself up over it. Rather than getting annoyed with yourself, thus making your anxiety worse, just stop, breathe and remember to be patient and kind to yourself, it's the best start to a healthy recovery.
Don't Avoid Situations
When feeling anxious, it's too easy to become overwhelmed and just cancel plans to avoid worrying about feeling awkward or out of place. Withdrawing from these situations will continue to convince your brain that they are 'unsafe' and that the only way to avoid feeling anxious is to stay home. Instead, make more of a conscious effort to get out, even for just a short amount of time to begin teaching yourself that it's not all that bad, and the more practice you get, the easier it becomes.
Keep Loved Ones Informed
Facing mental health issues alone can be petrifying. Rather than trying to deal with it alone to avoid your family or friends from misunderstanding, do some research, sit down with them and explain as much as you can about your anxiety, certain triggers you are aware of and any other important information. You'll be glad to get it off your chest, and they'll be pleased that you confided in them so they can begin to help and support you.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Sometimes, you may feel the need to have an alcoholic beverage to loosen up a little and ease your anxiety. Even though it may work whilst the effects of your drink last; alcohol is a depressant. As soon as the kick from the drink has worn off, chances are that you'll be left feeling pretty low and just as anxious as before. Rather than using drink as a temporary fix, work on dealing with your anxiety without the booze and you'll be on your way to recovery a lot more quickly.
Use Your Logic
When anxiety takes over, the emotional parts of your brain become more influential than the logical parts. As soon as you feel anxiety beginning to kick in, take a few deep breaths. Next, think about why you're feeling anxious and what triggered it. More often than not, it's usually from thinking too many negative 'what if' questions. At this point, think about the most rational outcome of a situation, almost as an outsider, and you'll begin to calm down. The logical parts of your brain will help you to come to terms with the fact that chances are, nothing bad will happen. Getting into this habit will help you to question your anxiety in a rational, useful and positive way.
Do you struggle with anxiety? How do you deal with feeling anxious?