What is anxiety? Anxiety can mean different things for different people. It is your "fight or flight" mechanism, and often times can be completely normal and keep you safe. For some people however, it is "on" all the time. You may be constantly in "fight or flight" mode, and sometimes nothing visible even triggers it. This can be confusing and exhausting. People may struggle with panic attacks, inability to communicate how they are feeling or how to "fix" it, and lack of social supports.
What are some ways to help myself and others? Keeping these ideas in mind can help. The key is to find what works for you, and get in the habit of coping in a healthy and effective way.
*Deep Breathing. Deep breathing can be beneficial to calm your nerves and mind. Breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth .
*Take a time out. Find something you enjoy that relaxes you. Examples may include yoga, meditation, music, massage, etc.
*Grounding. Focus on something concrete in the room and bring yourself to the present. This can be beneficial if you experience the onset of a panic attack.
*Limit alcohol and caffeine. These substances have been known to contribute to panic attacks in some situations.
*Sleep and healthy meals. Do your best to get enough sleep and eat well balanced meals.
*Exercise. Set small goals and find something that works for you.
*Talk to someone. Seek counseling services or a support group
*Find the Triggers. Identify something specific that may be triggering the anxiety. Knowing what those triggers are can be useful in reducing anxious thoughts and feelings
*Focus on the present. Sometimes thinking about the future and the unknown can cause anxiety to increase. Focus on the present and how you can take care of yourself now.
*Set small goals and be kind to yourself. You are only capable of so much. Setting attainable goals and focusing on the positive can do wonders.
I like the following books and articles for those looking for more resources:
*49 Phrases to Calm an Anxious Child
*9 Things Every Parent with an Anxious Child Should Try
*Wilma Jean And The Worry Machine, by Julia Cook
*The Anxiety Survival Guide For Teens, by Jennifer Shannon LMFT
“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” – Joshua J. Marine