How To Deal With Anxiety – 10 Tips

Since I quit school I spent most of my days painting and drawing and working on this blog, basically being creative and it really helped a lot with my anxiety. But I was in a really really bad place just four months ago. In fact I was so bad, I quit school half a year before I would’ve graduated. I know it sounds like the most stupid decision anyone could ever make for their life; but if you have anxiety too you will understand me.

Sometimes a certain place or situation triggers your anxiety and you know that you have to end it or you’ll go insane. Anxiety isn’t something you can control. That’s what people who don’t have something like that at all (lucky bastards) have to understand. Most of the time you can’t just breathe and then it’s all good. We wouldn’t be complaining this much if it were that easy.

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Sometimes a situation triggers your anxiety and you know you have to end it or you’ll go insane.

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For the people around me it all came as a huge surprise. I get that they were shocked and tried to talk me into staying. The problem was that I knew I couldn’t. I’ve been bottling up all of my feelings about this for years and half a year ago I didn’t even have a name for my problem. Now I do: Anxiety. It might not seem like a big deal but for me it was a game changer once I at least knew what was wrong with me. Knowing what it was and that there’s a term for it really helped a lot.

Still, as I said, I’ve been mostly dealing with it all by myself. I worked towards the decision of leaving school for years. So, while it was only logical for me, many people around me were shocked about the “sudden” change of plans. That didn’t make leaving any easier for me, although I knew once I made the decision for myself no one would be able to change it back.

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Anxiety isn’t something you can control.

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If you want me to, I could write a more detailed post about the reactions I got and how I felt during the whole process or about my anxiety story in general. But what I’m trying to tell you with this super long introduction is that I know what anxiety feels like, I’ve been through some very bad times and I’m still struggling but also fighting every day. So, I know what I’m talking about when I present to you: My 10 tips on dealing with anxiety and social anxiety and little ways to make your life at least a tiny bit easier.

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Dealing With Anxiety – 10 Tips

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1..Watch something funny

On some days you wake up and you just know that you’re having a bad day. Your anxiety just decided to be a bitch today and is bubbling right under the surface; most of the time this feeling lasts the whole day. Often in this situation, you can prevent yourself from having a full on anxiety attack by lifting your mood a little and distracting yourself. I mean it’s hard to cry when The Big Bang Theory is on. So, next time you’re having a bad day just try putting on a funny show you like, even if you’re just smiling at the jokes instead of rolling around on the floor, it certainly makes you feel better than watching a Nicholas Sparks movie!

Now, I’m not saying that you should surpress your feelings, I’m gonna be talking about that again later. I’m just saying that putting on a funny show and having some good-humored company on the screen might help you getting through this day the best way possible and the next one might not be looking so bad anymore after that.

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2. Listen to a comedy audiobook

This is mostly for preventing you’re anxiety from coming up (never hurts, wheter you’re having a bad day or not) and is something that’s especially helped me. I can still be productive and work and get things done while I listen to an audiobook, better than when the tv is running because it’s less distracting.

I recommend getting an audiobook by a comedian you like (the best ones are usually those read by the author himself) and just putting it on while you follow your daily routine. Sometimes it makes you feel less alone than listening to music because someone is actually talking to you and being able to still do the things you have to do makes you feel less sluggish.

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3. Watch a childhood movie

This tip is pretty similar to the first two and works just as well, maybe even better for some of you (and no, you’re not too old for this). It does not only serve the idea of preventing your anxiety from coming up, it also helps when it’s already hit you.

Just put on a beloved childhood movie of yours, possibly even that old VHS cassette you haven’t touched in a while and let it take you back to the good old days where everything was innocent and cute and you didn’t have a care in the world. If it helps, bring your stuffed animals along to the party!

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4. Journal or write it down

Another one that really helped me. Sometimes when my anxiety overcomes me I’m having a billion thoughts and they’re hitting me all at once. Everything’s going crazy in my head and it feels like I’m drowning in those thoughts. Writing all the thoughts that are running through your head down actually really helps getting them straight on the one hand and out of your head on the other. You could also make journaling about your mental state or anything that helps you actually, make a regular thing.

If writing isn’t your thing or you’re not able to write in that situation you might wanna try talking, to yourself, to an imaginary person if no one’s with you or even an object. It might seem crazy but it can really help decluttering your head and once your thoughts are out there it feels less overwhelming and you don’t have to deal with them all by yourself anymore, in a way.

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5. Take a walk

If you can, just grab your coat and leave the place you’re at. Sometimes it’s better to take a step back from the overwhelming situation and clear your head. This is a way of pausing your current situation or problem and just leaving it at home while you go outside and think about something else or even nothing for a while. Maybe it all won’t seem so bad anymore when you come back. You’ll feel refueled and ready to start over.

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6. Clean up

Whether you’ll clean the mess you might’ve made while working on your current problem that might involve a lot of paperwork or you just didn’t do the dishes for five days. Take the chance. Forget about your problem for a while and concentrate on something else. Take out the trash, do laundry or clean your desk. I know these aren’t neccessarily fun activities but they will distract you and a tidier environment might help with your anxiety because that’s one less thing on your mind. Tidy place = tidy mind!

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7. Carry something with you

Always have something with you that reminds you that you should not let your anxiety get the better of you. Something that can bring you back to reality or holds a special/happy memory. It can literally be anything, a bracelet you made specifically for that reason, a gift from a parent/friend, a picture of a beloved person in your wallett or a piece of paper with your favorite quote.

These things can keep you company in a way and sometimes just knowing that you have that one thing with you or looking at it can calm you back down. For me personally, it’s a bracelet I bought at my first concert. I’ve barely taken it off since and holding on to it when I feel uncomfortable helps getting through it a lot actually.

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8. Think about the time after

This tip can help you with social anxiety before an event. Social anxiety can make you go crazy about something that’s coming up and you’ll keep imagining all kinds of worst-case scenarios for yourself (that are probably never going to happen).

Next time you’re worrying about an appointment or something, try to calm yourself at least a little bit by imagining what it will be like after it’s done. Think about what you will be doing after it, how you go back home and everything will be normal again and you’ll just carry on with your life. Often, this can help you realize that it’s really all just in your head and remind you how glad you’ll be once it’s done.

 

9. Change your environment

Now, this might not be possible for everyone to do but it works wonders most of the time! It’s a little like no.5 but bigger. You’re literally taking an even bigger step back. If you can, travel somewhere. It’s a great way of leaving all your problems and your every day routine for a while and then coming back with new-found energy.

I know, sadly, it’s hard to do for some of us but there are other ways with a similar effect. If you’re on a budget, try visiting a relative for a few days or even just doing your work in a café instead of at home or like I mentioned in the beginning, watch a movie or read a book. Basically, try changing up your usual every day life to escape your situation for a bit the best way possible for you.

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10. Let it out

I mentioned this already before, don’t surpress your feelings or keep them all to yourself while you try to act strong on the outside! Bottling everything up will just backfire eventually and hit you in the most unexpected way or moment.

Sometimes all you can really do and should do, is letting it all out. Trying to keep the tears from spilling or keeping it all to yourself often does more harm than crying and weeping about it once and then pulling yourself back together. Don’t try to act tough, let it out if you have to, cry and scream as much as you have to, but don’t give up fighting. I know it’s hard fighting with yourself every day, but it makes you a total badass and you should really really, I can’t stress this enough, really never ever give up on yourself!

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Never ever give up on yourself!

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After all there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel; I hope these tips help you at least a little bit and don’t let them put you in a box! \m/

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10 Tips on How To Deal With Anxiety - Blog post/series by SYSTEM ERROR - anxiety, stress, social anxiety, happiness, help, advice

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