Those who suffer from anxiety relish any idea of how to "cure anxiety." I am not here to tell you the tips to cure anxiety, most of us will always live with it. Instead, I am here to discuss how I learned to manage my anxiety. The strenuous steps I took to stop anxiety from debilitating my life any longer and allowing me to just live my best life. I have been dealing with anxiety for as long as I can remember, and as a child, I would constantly put myself in a wreck due to triggers.
I once suffered an anxiety attack because I had forgotten how to tie my shoes, and I was humiliated by the kids who laughed at me. My mother had to come all the way to my school to come get me. I had developed a cold sweat and I could not feel my chest. Since my anxiety was debilitating with fear, I wore velcro sneakers for years after the incident.
Recently I ended up taking a semester off from the university and I took that time to focus on my mental health.
I spent the better part of my high school career pretending to be perfect and trying to hide my anxiety attacks. I understood that I would be living with this condition for the rest of my life, but I could avoid more triggers than I was at the time.
So, I stopped saying yes to every question someone asked me, politely of course. But, I was always that kid who was afraid of missing an opportunity. So, I struggled a lot with the decision to say no. But, over time, I accepted that I could not put some much on my plate. Due to anxiety, I could not handle the workload that I was giving myself.
Opportunities are fantastic, but nothing is more important than your mental health and happiness. I took the time to do things that made me relaxed, I would read a book in my free time. I decided to walk instead of taking the bus or schedule a coffee date with a friend.
Those little things truly did add up to my overall happiness.
Some of the biggest triggers in my life at the time were some that were most important people to me. They meant well, but they always ended up upsetting me or making me anxious. I had to weigh the relationships and understand that my health was more important.
It was incredibly difficult, but cutting people out of your life who are triggers is important. The only way to try to make anxiety less debilitating is to avoid triggers. If a relationship in your life causes you to lock yourself in a public bathroom and shake in a fetal position, it might be a good idea to let them go. If a family member causes anxiety, you need to sit them down and discuss how you feel.
People with anxiety tend to underestimate their worth and their impact on other people. The people who love us will try to make our lives easier. So, if someone does something or behaves in a certain way that triggers you, tell them. I know it may seem too simple, but the change will help a lot.
I learned to treat my body right, mentally and physically. I grasped the concept that staying up to finish an assignment is not worth it, your body needs rest. I stopped skipping meals because I could not find the time to eat.
In the beginning, I timed out my three meals a day, so I could not forget. I focused on eating healthy, no diets, just healthy food that made me feel good. I would put my headphones in and jog around a track or on the side streets.
Exercising does increase endorphins and it relaxes my body. I would make sure I made time to do the things that made my body happy. If that meant one day I would stay in bed all day and eat some popcorn, I did that. If it meant that I would eat salads and go for a run that day, that is what I did.
We all live busy lives, and it easy to forget about doing things that make you happy. But, if you suffer from anxiety or any illness, you need to make time for yourself. Life will continue on without you a minute, but it needs you to be the best you.
The only way to be the best you is to put you first. It seems simple or not important, but the effort is so rewarding. Life is about balance, doing your jobs, and doing what makes you happy.
We all try our best, but sometimes you need to accept that you can't. The only thing you can do for yourself and this world is to try.