How I Cope With Anxiety
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Health and Wellness

How I Cope With Anxiety

Why is anxiety not seen as an actual disorder when so many people suffer from it?

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How I Cope With Anxiety
medicalnewstoday.com

Anxiety is one of those things that everyone will experience at some point during their lifetime. These feelings are natural. They’re what show you and the people around you that you care about what you’re doing, or what you’re about to do. But what happens when those feelings of nervousness or anxiety start to take control? When they start to prevent you from doing the things that you love? Should you ignore it, and see if they’ll just go away on their own accord? Or would you do something about it?

I, myself, suffer from mild anxiety. I don’t take any form of medication and have never done so, but I am looking into therapy to try and gain some more techniques to help me deal with the anxiety when it comes. As many other people find, my anxiety is not constant but comes and goes. Most of the time I’m absolutely fine, but then suddenly, usually when I’m stressed or upset, I will have an anxiety attack that’ll feel like I’ve just been hit by a freight train of emotions.

Now these attacks can come in all different shapes or forms:

  • They can sometimes feel like little butterflies in my stomach, which I used to associate with pre-competition nerves.
  • They can sometimes feel like someone is pressing down on my chest, making it difficult to breath.
  • They could simply be anxious thoughts about everything that’s going wrong in my life at that point in time, or everything that could go wrong, that take ahold of my brain leading it to go into a frenzy.
  • And the last form of attack, and for me the most severe one, is that they can cause me to hyperventilate and then go into a full blown panic attack, which will likely end in me being sick.

These various scenarios will differ from day to day, and time to time. One attack where I’m hyperventilating may last a minute after which I will be absolutely fine; another attack where the anxiety is pressing down on my chest may last an hour and half (which has unfortunately happened before), and may take me ages to recover from. Each one is different, and each one is affected by how much is going on, not only in myself, but also in my surroundings at that point.

So how do I manage these attacks when they come on? For me, the key is to distract myself from the unwelcome thoughts that are controlling my brain. For everyone this will be different. You can go and work out, talk to friends, craft, whatever you think will make you happy at that point in time, do it. You may have to find different things to do until your brain calms down, but don’t just give up, or those anxious thoughts will have won.

Obviously, what you decide to do to distract yourself will depend upon where you are at the time the attack occurs, who is around you, and what time of day it is. If, for example, you’re at home and a roommate is in, go talk to them, explain to them what’s going on, and just have a good old natter to get your mind off things. However, if you’re on your own, and it’s still fairly light out, go outside, go for a walk and surround yourself in nature. Stick in your headphones and listen to your favorite album or artist (my music of choice is currently the "Hamilton" soundtrack, or Taylor Swift).

But the worst thing you can do it stay inside, on your own, with your own thoughts. Trust me, I’ve done it, and it really will not do you any good whatsoever. Even if you’re on your own, and you don’t feel like going outside, call someone up and just talk to them. Anything to just distract your mind from its own thoughts.

Recently my roommate and I were actually talking about anxiety and depression, and the stigma that comes with them. Anxiety is one of the biggest mental disorders in the U.S. today. On record 18.1 percent of adults suffer from a form of the disease, but doctors estimate that this number could be as high as 30 percent, because people often do not seek proper diagnoses. In college students, more than 50 percent of people are affected by the disorder. http://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-statistics-information.shtml

Why then do people think that you can just snap out of it when you’re having these anxious thoughts? Why is having anxiety or depression seen as a cop out?

If you saw somebody with a physical disability, for example, someone who had lost one of their legs, would you really say that they should try harder to grow another one? No, because that’s a completely ridiculous notion.

Well when someone tells a person with anxiety that they should just get over it and to try harder, you’re basically telling them the same thing. Just because you can’t see the disorder or issue doesn’t means it’s not there. Just because it may not show itself every day, doesn’t mean that those comments won’t fuel the fire as to when another attack will come.


I have been coping with anxiety for only a short time, and I am by no means an expert in the matter. But I get by. Most of the time I’m fine, but when the anxiety does come I deal with it. I talk to my friends. I knit. I do whatever I want to make me happy. And so should you. Don’t let the anxiety win. And even worse don’t let those who don’t understand get to you. Be strong, and know that you have a support system around you that loves you for who you are.
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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