Many of us have suffered from anxiety for many years and way may have not even knew about it until recently when we were made aware about it or being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Whenever we tell people we have anxiety, they always assume that you can get rid of it so easily by being prescribed medication (that half of the time, it doesn't even work). Sometimes when experiencing a panic attack, we want to run away and hide from everyone in the room no matter where; work, class, even family gatherings, but we can't. We are forced to sit there and suffer while we experience a feeling of not not being able to breathe. I've grown up around anxiety since my mom has general anxiety disorder and panic attacks and I have anxiety attacks. I've suffered through them while in crowds, at school, during tests, and sometimes just being with friends I have them. Sometimes, I even worry that I might do something that might make me look stupid which brings them up too. When I experienced my first one, I wasn't sure what it was since I felt tightness in my chest area and I couldn't breathe; it went away by itself. Learning ways how to prevent them was difficult because then (and now) I don't see a therapist to help me, I had to learn by myself. It took a couple of months to figure out ways to help calm myself in these situations. But now, it's so much easier knowing what I'm experiencing and knowing how to control it and help it go away. There are many strategies people use and everyone has there own. I think its important to know yourself and how to control yourself. Here are some of mine:
1. Crochet for yourself, friends, or the community
Ever since junior year of high school, I've crocheted for my friends and myself. I learned by crocheting scarves for a homeless women's shelter where I live. Crocheting distracts me from anxiety.
I've noticed when I cook with my mom, I feel relieved. Even if it's just baking a cake or even cooking a bigger meal for family, it's fun and relaxing!
3. Breathe in for 10 seconds, breathe out for another 10 seconds
This helps me when I have smaller anxiety attacks, it soothes you down and helps distract you by thinking about something else.
4. Go out for a walk or run
At least 4 times a week, I always go out with my mom for a walk or run. After, you may be sweaty but it's worth it because your stress and anxiety tension goes away.
5. Don't make excuses
When your best friend invites you to go out or if a guy invites you to go to a movie, DO NOT HESITATE!!! I've done this so many times and I regret it because of potential friendships or/and relationships. Making excuses is so easy but actually going may be hard, but you have to push yourself through it as my mom always tells me.
6. Volunteer in your community
It may be out of your comfort zone (because it was out of mine for a while), but it's always fun to volunteer in your community, it doesn't only help your anxiety but it benefits your community. When I started to volunteer with kids that have developmental disabilities, I became more open with other people and less shy. It helped me feel less awkward in social situations. It doesn't have to be everyday. Even once a week is nice
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7. Don't hide your feelings
You should definitely always talk to someone about how you feel, even if its a friend online. Someone will listen, I promise.
8. Try to be positive
No matter the situation, you should remain positive because negativity sometimes contributes to anxiety, at least in my case.