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4 Things to Do When Your Mind Is Riddled With Anxiety

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Everything around you is a blur. Voices are not clear. Nothing makes sense. It is hard to process information. There is a tinge of irritability in your voice, a flush of anger on your face. You are on the verge of tears. Nothing seems relevant. Everything is annoying. You want to dive deep into your mindless ocean and retreat into that mind bubble you have created where you can breathe.

But a day doesn’t just revolve around you and your thoughts. There are people you need to please. There are responsibilities. There are things to be done. Peace of mind feels like a thing of the past and all you can feel is yourself barely floating in an unending abyss of chores, responsibilities, work, people and everything that makes it hard for you to breathe. Most of us are highly skeptical about sharing our feelings with others but then we find our own ways to cope with the condition of which only we can have the best understanding.

You want to cry, you want to scream, you want to sleep but mostly you want it to end. Will it ever end? Unfortunately it is unlikely; it is something one has to live with, but there are things you can do to get through the day.

1. Understand your condition.

Most of us do not understand the absolute intensity of our condition. Every person has a different kind of anxiety with triggers that could be the size of a pea or a pumpkin. First, one needs to self-assess how affected they are and to what scale the condition has escalated. This can be achieved with the help of a professional or even by yourself. Being self-conscious and making a mental note of the ebb and flow of your emotional and mental state is key. Once you reach a level of clarity, the path ahead becomes clearer.

2. Make a list of triggers.

Triggers are incidents, people or basically reasons that either aggravate your anxiety or bring out your dormant anxiety. A trigger could be anything; it is up to you to find out what ticks you off. I have found it really helpful to keep a journal or make a list of the reasons that induced an episode or even caused the slightest feeling of anxiety welling on the inside. Go through your list every once in a while and you will be able to evaluate the kind of triggers you have and figure out ways to avoid them. Most of the triggers are everyday tasks like getting up from the bed, meeting someone new, making a phone call and such triggers cannot be avoided all the time. But then you will know that doing a certain task causes you anxiety and you could mentally prepare yourself to face the said trigger.

3. Talk yourself down.

I have made it a practice to talk myself down during an episode. There are two ways to do this: either have dialogue with yourself or explain the situation to yourself. One always knows deep down what would help in the given situation. Tell yourself to calm down, focus on the issue and make sense of it first. Then you can always think of what your next step should be and what you need to do to make yourself come out of the panic you are feeling. It will never be easy, but then when you get better at it, you will see a huge difference in the way you perceive your anxiety and at some point you will be subconsciously ready for damage control when required.

4. Breathe.

Anxiety is often known to make us breathless. People feel like there is this heavy weight on their chest making it difficult for them to breathe. Some people feel like they’ve run up a flight of stairs in a sprint. It is always good to incorporate a breathing regimen. Whenever you find yourself feeling breathless, pause and remind yourself to breathe. No matter how hard it is pull in all the air you can, breathe deeply, hold it for a second or two and then let it go. Breathe in from your nose, breathe out through your mouth. This will help calm your physical symptoms so you can focus on your emotional and mental state.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional, but one of you. I understand the struggle and it would bring me great joy if even one person benefits from this article.

Unsplash via Carolina Heza

Originally published: December 17, 2018
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