I decided to do an A-Z of Anxiety, going through each letter of the alphabet and how I either deal with it or how it affects me. I've tried to keep each one as positive as possible mainly because I'm trying to turn my anxiety into something I can control, and by doing that I have to be positive. I'll break it down into 3 parts and start each one with one of my quote cards. So here it is..
A- Anxiety (Slightly obvious I know): My anxiety usually is triggered by crowds. I think its the thought of what people may/ may not be thinking as well as not feeling like I won't be able to move about. Everyone's manifests its self in different ways and for different reasons, even then the way it presents itself can be different. Whether its panic attacks, stomach aches, feeling sick or not wanting to leave the house.
B- Breathe: This leads onto breathing. Taking deep breathes is important to keep the Oxygen flowing in and the Carbon Dioxide out. Breathing quickly and shallow leads to hyperventilating which is when you tend to panic more because it feels like you can't breathe. Whether you're feeling like you are going to panic or in the middle of an attack remember to breathe! Inhaling deep and slow through the nose and out through the mouth (belly breathing). The feeling of not being able to breathe will soon pass.
C- Conversations: Talking to people you trust can lift so much of the tension and stress you are feeling. Whether its your friends, best friend, family anyone you know you can confide in. Because they tend to be able to give you the best advice and cheer you up.
D- Diary: Keeping a diary, notebook I think is a good idea. I use my notebooks to write favourite quotes, lyrics and little doodles. But the important thing is they are all positive things you can look back through when you are having a bad day. Even during the bad day, noting down nice quotes or songs you love gives you that little distraction where you aren't thinking about the bad stuff.
E- Exercise: I don't mean going to the gym, there's plenty you can do like exercise dvds at home, walking, pilates, yoga, the list is endless. The advantage of dvds is that you don't have to feel uncomfortable of people looking at you in the gym and do it at your own pace. Exercise makes you feel good within yourself and it shines through whether you realise it or not.
F- Fear: Fear is natural, gives us that fight or flight response. Some fears are easier to stay away from than others, but doing something that scares you sometimes does you good. For example I used to be afraid of heights, I went to an adventure holiday camp when I was about 13 and had to climb and jump off a 40 ft pole. After that heights didn't bother me so much because I realised if I could do that I could do anything, now I love going up skyscrapers the higher the better.
G- Groups: Joining online forums like Ele-friends or Facebook groups is great as you can talk to people who understand that little bit more what you are going through. I would recommend talking to charities first to see what kind of support is out there. The charity Mind have Ele-friends, which provides a bit more anonymity that Facebook lacks.
H- Hope: Having hope is such a big thing to hold on to. The hope that tomorrow could be better, that things can turn around or that you'll be able to do something new and scary.