6 Tips to Tame Your Anxiety Right NOW
I have always struggled with a bit of depression and anxiety. I found some relief through sobriety but still occasional face discomforts that span anywhere from butterflies in my stomach, to full on panic attacks, to really low, bottomless pits of sadness and loneliness-- for no apparent reason. Gratefully, I have tools today that I can turn to that I use to pull myself out of those ruts. I keep them handy and force myself to do them, (because in moments of desperation- who can remember or find the energy?) I share in hopes they help you or a loved one.
1. Move a muscle: Perhaps the most obvious is this one! Get outside. Go for a walk. Hit up a yoga class. Get yourself moving and work up a sweat so you can release those natural endorphins- which will immediately help lighten your mood and bring whatever it is you are worried or stressed about down a notch. You may not feel like doing it right away, but you will be glad once it's done. I promise.
2. Quiet the chatter: It is SO easy to get consumed and overwhelmed by outside chatter. But how much of this is within your control? A lot! Simply turning off the TV, the radio, or putting your phone away can slow your racing thoughts and those inner anxieties. And if you're an avid reader like me, sometimes you will need to put down that book or article too and just close your eyes while taking a few deep breaths. 10 minutes can literally shift my mood. Try it!
3. Help someone: Maybe you can't get to the soup kitchen to serve meals or aren't able to donate a lot of time or money to a charity you love. But what about sharing a compliment with someone inside an elevator today? Or calling a friend and letting them know you were thinking of them? I have noticed any time I feel trapped inside a downward spiral, the first thing that takes me outside of myself is looking for opportunity to uplift someone else. Works every time.
4. Speak up: Sometimes ALL I need is to know and feel that I am not alone. But the only way I can connect with someone else is by having the courage to open up and share about my thoughts and struggles. Call a safe person you trust and talk it out. You will feel lighter guaranteed- just getting it out of your head.
5. Ask yourself what you need: This one I tend to forget about, until I hit close to my breaking point and am forced to STOP and say, "Court, what it is you need right now?" Sometimes it's a bath, or a hot cheeseburger (seriously), or just time alone to S.L.E.E.P. Whatever it is, I can only receive what I need when I slow down to observe and honor those quiet requests I normally block out. Check in with yourself often (hopefully before your breaking point too) and ask yourself the simple question and work to give it to yourself guilt free.
6. Let natural supplements help: I have had a few of these on rotation for a while, and LOVE THEM. (Obviously speak to a doctor before taking anything.) Here are my favorite go-to supplements for anxiety/depression:
Anxiety and depression is not something to take lightly. I know I will struggle with it for the rest of my life, but now I choose to not let it control my life. Please note there is NOTHING to be ashamed of about taking prescription anti depressants! However, these 6 things I return to whenever I begin to feel myself slipping into a dark place or have rushes of anxiety that I don't quite understand. If they don't work for you right away, do them again. And again. And again, until they do. They will. You will come out of it, and you are never, ever alone!
Which is the hardest for you to do and why? I want to hear from you. Leave your comment below.