Redirect Your Anxiousness

by - January 25, 2019

 It's extremely easy to get anxious, I have accidentally thought myself into anxiety attacks when my overall mental health is low. You can become anxious by the things you can't control, just as easily as the things you can control. Though it doesn't necessarily always have to be that way. The most logical thing you can do, if you can remember to do it while having an anxiety attack or when you start to get anxious- is to try to think of what you can change.
  A huge part I'm learning through personal research and Social Anxiety books given to me as Christmas presents- all of which I'm extremely glad I'm looking into. I decided a while ago that I wanted to become a therapist- specializing in mental health or sexual assault victims. I'm finally able to make the moves forward and while doing so I want to explore my own mental behaviors and self. We create our own narratives in our own heads- mine is relatively negative due to the negative things surrounding my core years as a kid. The effect of a messy divorce, immense bullying to the point of suicide attempts, and much more. At almost twenty-two, I'm now trying to change my brain to be more understanding of myself and things regarding me. With me being in charge of my own mental, I am also in charge of following through with flipping how I think.
 What I'm saying is- by paying attention to your own anxiety instead of ignoring it, it can surprisingly help you make better choices about how to redirect it all. As well as how to work our way towards that more positive narrator in our heads. We all know about how fear triggers the fight or flight (or freeze, faint, play dead, or chase the attacker down the block) switches in our brains. It can be used to help us- it kicks a part of our brain into overdrive and it can be used to help us out. Anxiety, on the other hand, isn't exactly helpful- at least for me over the past decade or so since I've had it come into my life. Anxiety is that condition of being fearful of the imagined threat or future that's currently settling in our mind. A lot of people have anxiety- it's the third on the list of "extremely common things people have but weirdly don't discuss" behind depression and then alcoholism. But many of us aren't aware that we truly do have the inner resources to help fight off anxiety with compassion, and skill.
 In my life today I have many things to be anxious about. Starting up college classes finally, finding the perfect side job at a bookstore or coffee shop, and many more anxious thoughts have been swirling in my mind. With all of those in mind, and my anxiety going to worst case scenario almost immediately. Especially like I said, if my mood is already lowered, my sleep is off, I'm on social media too often, or just already overloaded with other things. When it's sunny more, I'm outside, and less is on my plate to tackle I can easily decipher my anxiety and put itself in its place.
 It reminds me of those horror chain texts people got sent as pre-teens. Some girl fell down something and is going to grab you, some guy will haunt you if you don't forward this to 15 people, you'll have bad luck for the next 7 years, etc. etc. When you give in to the attention anxiety wants and you forward that text to Sarah, Rebecca, and Katlyn- then you feed the metaphorical beast. When you're aware that there is no girl in the bathtub drain waiting to grab your feet, you will realize how there's no reason to be anxious about a bubble bath. And yes, that was really me when I was younger and my anxiety first hit me full force. I still fear the ocean due to not being able to see what's by my feet. Now though, I enjoy bubble baths will all of my heart and consider it a huge benefit to my self-care. My mindset on anxiety is better and I don't feel haunted by bubbles and what may- though totally doesn't- lay beneath them.
 Getting your mind past the worst case scenario of a relaxing bubble bath gone wrong is about returning your mindset back to a positive one. It's hard to re-wire, I've been trying for years, but it's possible. Whether you need a little help from some medication or things like yoga- it's possible to accomplish so you can live your best life while also dealing with anxiety. I use meditation to help understand how my mind and body operate. The deep regulated breaths help calm me, very important when my go-to panic attack mode is wheezing and frantically searching for my inhaler. When my mental state is more balanced and anxiety pokes it's nasty little head in I remind myself that all states of emotions are passing. I am an empath, I feel emotions on a high level, I feel other peoples' emotions, they all pass- even my own. I remind myself of what can help myself calm down- how can I help myself be at a calming state? I list my biggest stressors all down in a list, then beside them in my notes, I write the solutions besides them after I've taken a second to breathe and think. I turn on my dancing playlist and dance around my apartment shaking it out. I mellow out my mind and start listening to soothing music to inspire a painting. I drive to the local park and take a walk along the trail with friends I called up. I give myself permission to pause what's going on and put my attention towards what's essential.
 There are many more ways to redirect your mind and the anxious thoughts that get swept into them. It's important to take the time to take care of yourself so you're better prepared when anxiety hits. Staying away from scary shows, caffeine (I know I hate it), sugary things, staying up all night, social media bull, and such will be beneficial for you when you are anxious. Making sure to focus on and attend to the effects that anxiety gives all of your body, not just mental when it is there. Sleep well, eat well, try to be well. It's all important.

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