When Your Mind Will Not Slow Down, Here Are 10 Ways To Handle Your Anxiety

When Your Mind Will Not Slow Down, Here Are 10 Ways To Handle Your Anxiety

No two people are the same, but hopefully one of these will work for you.

In our fast-paced world, we are constantly pressured to do better. To be better. No matter what we do, it is never enough. We are expected to be perfect, to stretch ourselves past our limits, and to never complain. We are not supposed to break.

But sometimes, we do break.

It is OK. It happens to all of us, I promise, and you are not alone.

Coupled with other stressors in our lives and a chemical imbalance in our brains, mental illnesses are more common than not for our generation. Anxiety is ever-present in our lives, and it is nearly impossible to ease the feelings that can be quite debilitating.

There are a lot of ways to cope with anxiety and to make managing it easier. No two people are the same, and these might not work for you, but I urge you to give any one of these a try.

1. Shift your focus

Imagining something ridiculous or bizarre can get your mind off the things bothering you.

2. Lay off the caffeine

Many of us live with a metaphorical caffeine drip attached to our arms, but sometimes that extra buzz feeds your anxiety.

3. Create a music playlist specific to your mood

This can take your mind off of whatever is bothering you, and you can come back to it next time you are feeling that way.

4. Meditate

I am not talking about crossing your legs, floating off the ground, and humming. Deep breathing exercises relax your body. In and out. Find your center and refocus your energy.

5. Visualize your anxiety

This goes hand in hand with breathing exercises. Visualize your anxiety tightly wound into a ball. With every breath, watch it slowly grow smaller and smaller.

6. Write it down

Even if you do not understand what you are feeling, write your thoughts down as you go. Write them in a journal, on a napkin, on your phone. Lock them away, reflect later, or rip the page to shreds. Writing can be incredibly therapeutic.

7. Go on a drive

Drive to the outskirts of town or even around your block. Put all your energy into the task at hand.

8. Walk away

Sometimes, it is best to leave whatever it is you are doing and revisit it later. Go for a walk, watch a movie, make your favorite meal, take a bath, hang out with friends. Do something you enjoy, something that will give you a little control when you are feeling helpless.

9. Be with your people

I know other people can be overwhelming when you are already feeling anxious, but surrounding yourself with friends or family — whoever it is that makes you feel safe — can calm you down immensely. Just be with the people who make you feel home.

10. See a therapist

There is no shame in asking for help. Therapy can be transformative, even for people not struggling with mental illnesses. It is not for everyone, but it is certainly worth trying. It could change your life forever.

Living with a mental illness is hard, one of the hardest things a person will ever face, and many of us do it every single day. Every person is unique, and what works for some will not work for others. I hope one of these helps you out, in one way or another.

If you take anything away from this, make it this:

You are not alone.

Cover Image Credit: Mallorie Jordan

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.

You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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6 Ways People With Major Depressive Disorder Live Life Differently

The trauma I experienced in my early teens has prevented me from having close relationships with new people. I want to be friendly and outgoing but sometimes it seems damn near impossible.


Being told at the tender age of 14 that you have major depressive disorder is not how you want to start your freshman year of high school. I've missed some of which was supposed to be the best years of my life. I have written and probably deleted this article at least seven different times due to the fear of judgment. There are no words I can put into this article on how to describe the daily struggle myself, and a majority of people struggle with major depressive disorder have to deal with. How do you explain to strangers, the reason I'm being standoffish is that I automatically think you're judging me. "What could possibly be wrong in your life?" is a common phrase I'm tired of hearing. People who haven't struggled will never understand.

It's time to educate the "normal" people on this topic and why it doesn't define us as people.

1. Wanting to be social, but you just can't

The trauma I experienced in my early teens has prevented me from having close relationships with new people. I want to be friendly and outgoing but sometimes it seems damn near impossible. I'm not intentionally trying to be a bitch, but that's just how it comes across when I am feeling shy. If you feel as is if I'm being standoffish, don't assume, just ask and I'll explain.

2. Freaking out over situations that haven't happened yet

In my friend group, I am notorious for this. If someone close to you is experiencing this, instead of telling them to relax, explain to them it's all in their head and hasn't even happened yet.

3. Missing out on sleep

I normally only get around three and a half hours of sleep at the most during the night, which is why I'm always so tired during the day and sometimes a little grouchy. So when you tell me I look rough, I'm well aware. When you tell me I'm moody, I'm most likely groggy and just not caring about the day anymore at that point.

4. Having a bigger heart then most

Being in this state of mind, I will always be sympathetic with others feelings. I am normally a friend who can relate to just about any situation. I will never judge anyone when they confide in me.

5. Not always being in that state of mind

This is the biggest missed conception of being depressed. I have my moments, days, or even weeks but this doesn't mean my whole life is a depressive episode. I do have really great days.

6. Feeling harder for other people's emotions

I've only been in two relationships in the last four years, which made me feel very good and then very bad. Even in friendships, I tend to be more charismatic. I never want someone to feel underloved. When someone else is feeling an emotion, I will feel it with them. This can be a great thing in friendships, or it can affect me negatively depending on the emotion being felt.

* * *

These are all just qualities that come with this disorder, but not one single one of them define me as a person. Next time someone close to you has one of these symptoms, stop making them feel like it's their fault. Try to understand them better. Always check up on your friends and family.

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