As someone who has many important people in their life who struggle with mental health and struggles with an anxiety disorder themselves, I totally understand how hard it is sometimes to overcome tough moments and the emotions they bring. In light of recent events that have occurred in my life, I decided it was important to write an article sharing some of the things I do to regroup and feel better and to stress that no matter how lonely you may feel, you are NEVER alone.
1. Do breathing exercises
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As basic as this may seem, some days it can make all of the difference (trust me). Just breathing in and focusing on the air going in and out of your body can really release built up tension and stress in your muscles, leaving you feeling better and more relaxed in general.
I think the YouTube account AskDoctorJo does a fantastic job at explaining exercises that directly relieve mental and physical stress and anxiety. Please give this a shot by clicking the link here. I promise it'll be worth your time.
2. Do muscle exercises
I was actually taught these by my therapist over the summer and they have helped me MASSIVELY ever since. This exercise is completed by tightening different muscle groups in your body, paying attention to the tightness and discomfort you feel, and then quickly releasing, paying attention to how light and relaxed you feel in that muscle group.
People with anxiety and depression may sometimes not even realize how badly negative emotion tenses their body up, so trying this is a great way to feel more at ease and content. For more details on how to do this, click on the link here.
3. Write Your Feelings Down
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As middle school-esque as this may seem, it surprisingly helps a lot. Writing out your thoughts and emotions not only helps you to process them, but it also helps to get them out. I know sometimes there are certain thoughts that we don't want to share with anyone.
This is a way to release your built-up thoughts and feelings rather than allow them to bottle up inside of you until eventually, you lose control and say some harsh or otherwise negative things you didn't mean. This is incredibly therapeutic and I highly recommend trying it.
4. Text the Crisis Text Line
Available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, this text line links you with a personal crisis counselor to talk to about anything and everything you want. You're able to remain anonymous and the counselor you get paired with will listen to your problems and feelings with zero judgement and provide you with advice, aid, and resources to help solve the crisis you're experiencing.
No crisis is too big or too small — you text and they respond and help to the best of their abilities. You can also sign up to be a volunteer crisis counselor as well via their website that I have linked here.
You can reach them by texting HOME to 741741 in the US and Canada to connect with a crisis counselor now.
5. Reach out to friends or family
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Sometimes, this one is easier said than done. There are certain things you may not want to share with the ones you love out of fear of judgement, invalidation, or rejection. However, reaching out to someone you love and someone who loves you can be the perfect start to feeling better. Life is too hard and too short to go through it alone, so let those who want to be there for you.
To end this article, I wanted to share some numbers you can call if you or a loved one is struggling. There are ways to get help using the resources below:
1. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
2. The National Eating Disorder Association: 1-800-931-2237
3. National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE
4. National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE
5. Drug Abuse National Helpline: 1-800-662-4357
6. S.A.F.E (Self Abuse Finally Ends): 1-800-DONT-CUT
7. NAMI (National Alliance On Mental Illness) Helpline: 1-800-950-6264 OR email firstname.lastname@example.org
8. Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741741
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255