5 Small Things To Do To Help Your Anxiety

5 Small Things To Do To Help Your Anxiety

Another list of ways to help keep your anxiety at bay.
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One thing I focus on in my writing is a sense of comfort. I know anxiety is something many people struggle with even if they don't realize it, and I know how it feels to sit on Pinterest for hours upon hours searching for things to help. And nothing actually helping. I know all the breathing techniques and things you are supposed to do, but I also know that my attention span doesn't last long enough for me to meditate or sit there and breathe. Or, sit there and count five things I hear, see, and smell. So here are five things I do for myself every single day to make sure that my anxiety and I are on the same page. This might work for you or this might be another list of things that don't help you at all:

1. Plan my day the day before

I have noticed that this seems the strangest to others but honestly helps so much. If something wasn't in my original plan, it's not going to be a part of the plan at all. This keeps me from stressing about anything new that needs to get done, or anyone I need to entertain.

2. Stay away from any spontaneity

This goes a lot with #1. I don't do spontaneous things for a reason. Do not hit me up last minute, do not ask me to hang out last minute, just honestly leave me alone if you didn't try to plan ahead of time. The only time I do anything last minute is if I know for a fact it will either not affect my anxiety or will benefit me in some, healthy way. Not to sound stingy with my time, but time gives me the most anxiety. Sometimes I find myself freaking out about not being married with a child because I think I am supposed to have and be both of those things by now.

I know I have all the time in the world, but I don't.

3. Write down all I need to do then and there

So as an anxious individual, I have tried owning a planner for three different years, all three years never keeping the planner past two months. I have found it to be more useful to just tear a piece of paper and write everything I have to do for the day and everything I have to do for the week out. Sometimes, I even write everything big I have due over the semester out and keep it in my binder. I usually do this in the midst of me freaking out though. So as soon as a teacher starts discussing something that is coming up and that is big, I freak out, and just start writing. Probably the most helpful thing I do to instantly calm myself down. It puts everything into perspective for me.

And I am not sure why but keeping a planner makes me even more anxious. I am not sure how people keep up with everything in there and find the time to write everything down. I have really tried but it just isn't my thing.

4. Routine, Routine, Routine

From when I wake up to when I go to bed I make sure there are specific things I do. For instance, I always wake up two hours before whatever class I have to make sure I have time to prepare myself for the day. Yes, I would get up at 6 am for my 8 am classes. I have been this way since High School and honestly, I notice a big difference in my mood if I choose to sleep in.

I see routine as "there's a place for everything and everything in its place." Routine gives a sense of stability in your life and helps you feel less stressed. This could go with #1 and #2, but also leaves room for spontaneity and for you to not have to plan ahead, for a routine is already "planned".

5. Saying "no"

Honestly, I understand this is a problem for many people but once you have this mastered, you are really gonna say "no" to everything. Oh, and boy, does it feel good. "No, I don't wanna go out to eat with you because you didn't plan this ahead of time (#1) and I don't do random, last minute invites (#2)." But I understand how hard it is to say "no", I have been there. I was saying "yes" to everything and everyone. If someone was stuck in California, I would somehow find myself driving to go pick them up. I couldn't say no, and honestly, I think I might overuse it just for the fun of it out.

Also, not only saying "no" but backing out of original plans. Some of my friends hate this one but I am not hating myself for it and that is all that matters to me. If saying "no" or backing out of plans keeps me from having an anxiety attack or takes some weight off, then I will do both.

Cover Image Credit: Tanja Heffner

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These Are 4 Proven Ways That Vaccines Cause Autism

Stock up on those essential oils.

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Let's just start with the first (and main) point.

1. They don't.

Susan in your anti-vax group is not a scholarly source (despite her hours and hours of Google research).

2. But in case you still believe Susan...

Maybe you'll believe Autism Speaks who says, "Scientists have conducted extensive research over the last two decades to determine whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research is clear: Vaccines do not cause autism."

3. And if Autism Speaks still didn't convince you...

Feel free to take a look at this comprehensive list of studies that all say that there is no relationship between vaccines such as the MMR vaccination and the development of autism.

4. But here's what you should know...

There have been a few studies lately that have shown that autism develops in utero aka before a baby is even born AND before a baby can even receive vaccinations.

Vaccinations have prevented COUNTLESS deaths and illnesses. Vaccination rates are continuing to fall and do you know what that means? Measles will make its way back. Whooping cough will come back. Rubella, mumps, and polio will come back and there will be no way to stop it.

So, now that you know that vaccines do not cause autism, you're welcome to go tell Susan from your anti-vax group that as well as tell her that the Earth isn't flat. But, don't forget to mention it to her that her essential oils and organic foods are not keeping her children safe from the measles or tuberculosis.

Vaccinate your children. And, besides, even IF vaccinations caused autism, wouldn't you rather have a child with a developmental disorder rather than a child who died from the measles?

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13 Songs That Help Me Through My Panic Attacks

It's easy to become paralyzed by panic attacks, but I've found music to be the best tool to help me cope.

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Anyone who struggles with panic attacks knows just how draining and overwhelming they are. It's easy to become paralyzed by them, and once I noticed this, I made a playlist of songs that calm me down. I find that music keeps me grounded, no matter how bad the panic attack may be. Maybe the songs I have listed aren't for you. but I hope that in sharing my main songs that help me, it can spark your brain into finding songs that fit your needs during panic attacks.

In case you don't know some of the songs I have listed, I put a link to each song from YouTube. I hope you enjoy my interesting variety of music!

1. "Weightless" by Marconi Union

Go here to listen.

This song is my go-to song for panic attacks, especially if it's a bad one. For me personally, my heart rate spikes during panic attacks (I'll go from a resting heart rate of around 70bpm to anywhere between 180-200bpm). Evidence suggests this song can slow your heart rate and reduce anxiety and let me tell you... it works 100% for me and I highly recommend it.

2. "Somebody to Love" by Queen

Go here to listen.

I've just always loved this song. There's something about Freddie Mercury's voice that just calms me down and makes me feel like I'm not alone at that moment.

3. "Let it Be" by The Beatles

Go here to listen.

I grew up listening to The Beatles since my mom is from Liverpool, and "Let it Be" is a song that I always associate peace and good memories with. Also, I love the lyric, "When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary calls to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be." It reminds me that there are things about me and this world that I simply cannot change, but I can find peace by letting it be.

4. "Lost in a Sea of Pillows and Blankets" by .anxious.

Go here to listen.

Go here for the full album.

I find this song, and really the whole album, to be extremely soothing. It literally feels like the comfort of pillows and blankets but in the form of music.

5. "1-800-273-8255" by Logic ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid

Go here to listen.

I love this song for many reasons during a panic attack. One, it reminds me that there are other people that have felt or are feeling what I am currently. Two, it reminds me that I have a purpose on this earth, and I am not a waste of space. Three, I just love the awareness it brings to mental illnesses.

6. "Up and Up" cover by Lennon & Maisy (originally by Coldplay)

Go here to listen to the cover.

Go here to listen to the original.

"We're gonna get it, get it together somehow." This main lyric reminds me that I can conquer this moment, and the only direction from this moment is up. Also, Lennon and Maisy's voices are mesmerizing. The Coldplay original is amazing too, I put both for you to check out!

7. "In My Blood" by Shawn Mendes

Go here to listen.

I remember the first time I listened to this; I was actually on the brink of a panic attack. I heard the first lyric, "Help me, it feels like the walls are caving in. Sometimes I feel like giving up, but I just can't. It isn't in my blood." Every lyric in here, which was beautifully written by the way, describes how it feels having a panic attack and having anxiety in general. It reminds me that no matter what, I can make my way out of it. I can win the fight.

8. "Free Spirit" by Khalid

Go here to listen.

Khalid's new album "Free Spirit" came out on April 5, 2019, and I am actually obsessed with it. I find myself immediately playing this album when I open my Spotify. When it comes to the song "Free Spirit," the music is enchanting to me; something about it just immediately calms me down. Not to mention that Khalid's voice is absolutely beautiful. Also, I just love the concept of being a free spirit. Not being tied down by mental illnesses or fear, and having this sort of euphoric peace.

9. "Intro" by Khalid

Go here to listen.

Once again, absolutely mesmerizing. I honestly feel like I'm taken to another world with this song. Something about the music just makes my brain feel so happy, peaceful, and calm. As for the lyrics, they remind me that I need to find my worth and put me first. Sometimes, I put so much of my emotional energy into other people that I have none left for me. I need to keep some of it for me though, because I know that I have worth, but I can never see it, so I need this emotional energy to be able to put myself first and love myself.

10. "Spiegel im Spiegel" by Arvo Part, Angele Dubeau, La Pieta

Go here to listen.

Not gonna lie, I'm a sucker for classical music. There's something about this song in particular that I feel like really captures the feelings of depression and detachment that I experience during a panic attack. It's just another reminder that I'm not alone in this.

11. "Raindrop Prelude: Op. 28 No. 15" by Frederic Chopin

Go here to listen.

Sorry, another classical piece... I just really love it. I feel like it shows the feelings before, during, and after a panic attack. Once again, it's a reminder that I'm not alone.

12. "Cello Suite No.1 in G-Major, Prelude" cover by Yo-Yo Ma (originally by Bach)

Go here to listen.

Last one, I swear! There's just something about this piece that makes me feel so calm and at peace... I don't know how to describe it. It's beautiful, and it makes me feel like there's hope of conquering my panic attack.

13. "Rescue" by Lauren Daigle

Go here to listen.

First, Lauren Daigle is simply amazing. This song in particular, though, reminds me that Jesus is always by my side, and he will never give up on me. He sees me in my trials, and he's fighting this fight with me. It gives me a lot of hope that someday I might not have to deal with these struggles.

Editor's note: The views expressed in this article are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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