April 7, 2017

5 ADVISE ON COPING WITH ANXIETY


A
nxiety is a very common disorder especially when you live in a busy city. Like many other people, I am consumed by stress and pressure from all kinds of aspects, and dealing with anxiety in this already-confined-situation is not easy. Now there are a few types of anxiety disorders: social anxiety disorder, specific phobias and generalized anxiety disorder (which conducts a huge proportion of the population). 

Social anxiety disorder arises with the usage of social network (or normal social events), you will be worry or even self-conscious of how people judge you by the way you behave. 

Specific phobias are some specific worries or fears about certain objects or activities, such as height or dark. 

Generalized anxiety disorder is what we usually have, they are excessive and unrealistic worries, easily cause by stress and pressure.

Again, I am not a psychiatrist and the above anxiety disorders are just some brief ideas of what people usually experience from what I observed. 



MY ANXIETY STORY



I did not remember when exactly did I get anxiety disorders, but I was aware of the huge changes in myself when I was around 15-16 years old, and it goes on for quite a few years. Even now, I still feel its presence inside of me, but I have learned to cope with it in a better way. 

I have breakdowns, like A LOT. I tend to sob and cry hard at night, it is not because I feel sad (well sometimes), but because I really wanted to cry for no reasons. I do not know if this is what people called anxiety attack or just emotional breakdown, but back then I would breakdown for a few times a week. In some nights, I have a feeling that the break down is coming, or a feeling that I have to cry, I would think of something sad (mostly sad memories) to cry myself to sleep. This certainly is unhealthy but I do not have mental breakdown for quite a while now. During the breakdown, I feel as if a wave of an ocean washes through me, chills run over and my heart ache. I had panic attacks before but not very often.

I worry about a lot of things and I overreact about them every single time; sometimes I even turn my excitement into worries. Usually when there is going to be some kind of event, I will worry about it for weeks for no reasons, and panic. I am a very organized person (in some ways) and I like to plan everything ahead, so if something or even one thing goes wrong in the future and disrupt my plan, I can go crazy anywhere and anytime. 

I do not have too many issues on social anxiety disorder since I do not actually care that much of what people think of me, well sometimes, but not often. Usually I like to be the one who is in charge as I like to plan everything and everything goes my way. Caring about the things in my plan and try not to let my plan stray is tiring enough, so I cannot be bothered to care about what opinions others have for me. 

To me, phobias are not really anxiety to me, well it is not as generalized. I have specific phobias and everybody has it, I believe nobody on this earth is fearless, so there is nothing to be afraid of in admitting its presence. For me, I am really scared of free-fall, I do not know if it is about the G-force or something else, but I can certainly do all kinds of roller-coaster. I hate the feeling of falling, even it is a very short distance, I fear it and I hate it. To me even one second of free falling feels like forever and that is a living hell to me. I have tried quite a few times going on short free-falling games in the parks, but they were disastrous. 
I am also really afraid of small, close things, like small holes being put together or any small things being put together in an irregular shape. When I look at them, the only feeling I can use to describe is that I really wanted to kill myself, there is no other way to put the feeling in words. 

MY WAYS IN DEALING WITH ANXIETY



1. Do not be afraid to cry
As I mentioned from above, I do not ever stop my breakdowns. I will actually think of something sad so I can cry real loud to release my emotion. The reason we have anxiety is because we have all these stress and sadness in life we do not know how to deal with, we piled them up together in daily life but we have to release them anyway. Crying can be a way of releasing your emotions, I sometimes shout really loud as well (because I live near the mountains) and I feel much better instantly. Crying is a perfectly normal process in handling our emotions, and it is not a sign of weakness (that is what I used to think, I did not cry for a whole year and it came back tenfold). 

2. Always have a second/backup plan
If you are a control freak like me and you freak out whenever things do not go your way, the easiest thing to avoid this situation is always have a plan B or even a plan C. This actually makes you more calm when you know that things will no fall apart even though something does not go your way. If you really cannot come up with a second plan, accept the failures and try to think what you can do out of it instead of being panic about it. 

3. Close your eyes and count to ten
This may sounds silly to you but it works when you want to calm yourself down. To no worry or panic, the very first thing to do is to calm yourself. I sometimes will listen to soft music and snap my fingers along with the beat to calm myself as well. There can be many ways, but counting from one to ten slowly is the easiest and the most effective way.

4. There is no need to force yourself
I know there is a saying is that you have to overcome your fear, but this is not a must. If you do not feel like it, do not force yourself to do anything you are comfortable with, especially if you have already tried and you do not like it. You do not have to do it because everybody else is doing it, you can face your fear when you are ready but not in a way that you are not willing to, this will only generate more negative feelings and worsen your anxiety situation. 

5. Let go of the thought of what people might think about you
I know this is really hard, everyone cares about what people might think of them or people judging them. What I mean by letting go is that do not put so much time in worrying what people might say, be confident and do not afraid to show people who you really are. Life is exhausting enough, you do not need another person to chain you down with his/her thoughts. Instead of worrying, do what you want to do and be vibrant. 


What do you think about the above ways in dealing with anxiety? Tell me your story and your ways in dealing with anxiety as well, I would love to know!


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