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The best ways to deal with anxiety


Hey, guys! It has been a long time since my last post...Happy new year, by the way :) !!! Today I want to talk about one of the reasons why I've been away for so long and how I deal with it every single day. Well, you already can guess what it is from the title: I suffer from anxiety, more specifically, social anxiety. Being anxious is absolutely normal, everyone can feel stressed about something. But chronic anxiety is a totally different thing, it is much more than simply stress. It is a mental-health disorder which can cause excessive worry, panic attacks, heart beating fast, social anxiety, stomach problems, and so on. I have had it all my life, but I didn't know that every symptom I had was all related to one word, anxiety.

I started reading more about it 4 years ago when I had my first panic attack, not sure if it was the first really, but it was the one that made me see I had a problem. I was at a wedding party, kind of alone, full of people I didn't know, and suddenly I started suffocating. I had to run outside, so people wouldn't see me crying. In that moment I felt like nothing, the most insignificant little thing in the world. In another occasion, a couple of years later, I had another panic attack, I was in the comfort of home this time, and I had read a hateful comment on Facebook against Muslims (I am a Muslim!!!), from someone who was in my list of friends. My hands started shaking, I couldn't breathe, my heart was beating fast, I cried, then I couldn't feel my hands, and then not even my arms. I thought I was going to have a heart attack, but it was only anxiety.

There are also the minor daily anxiety occurrences, such as saying no to exciting things or invitations because you're too afraid to put yourself out there. Avoiding public speaking and presentations at school or college. Avoiding picking up the phone, or even answering e-mails and phone texts. Thinking that everyone is looking at you and a whole lot of other things, but now I want to share some tips about what help me deal with it. I'm not a therapist, so if you suffer from severe anxiety I recommend you to look for one. But these steps I personally tried and really helped me a lot in achieving a place of wellness.

1 - Sleep more: Make sure you have 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Sleeping less doesn't benefit anyone, especially who suffer from anxiety, because it makes you feel tired, and increases your negative and anxious thoughts.

2 - Eat healthy food: Avoid coffee, sugar and alcohol, because it can increase the levels of stress in your body. But if you love chocolate or coffee, eat and drink it with moderation, like one time per day only in small quantity. And try to eat more fruits and vegetables.

3 - Drink lots of water: I can't stress this enough. Same like not having enough sleep, not drinking enough water, decrease your energy levels, and it does increase anxiety as well.

4 - Exercise more: A sound mind is in a sound body. This quote tells us that a healthy body has a more positive mind. Studies have shown that a regular exercise can relieve and treat anxiety. I know by fact that when I stop doing my exercises, I start feeling more down and depressed. It is good to put it into your lifestyle, as important as drinking water and sleeping, at least 15 minutes per day. But you can start committing to at least 3 times a week. And try to find something you like doing, such as biking, running, walking with your dog, Yoga (great for anxiety because of the calming effect), dancing and so on.

5 - Meditation and prayer: Meditation is great because helps you being mindful and that brings you to the present moment and make you feel in control of your body, emotions and life. Prayer is also very important, independent of your beliefs and religion, being in contact with your creator and knowing that He is always there for you, can also help a lot.

6 - Get into nature or start a garden: I feel an amazing feeling of belonging, happiness and tranquillity when I am around nature. Be it walking in the park or on the beach, seeing the plants and flowers, listening to the sound of animals, birds, ducks, sitting in a quiet place and admiring the water (river, lake, ocean). It is everything so relaxing and makes me feel so grateful for my life. If you can't be in contact with nature often, start a home garden. I did it myself, bought some pot plants and every day I take care of them. 

"Nature can sooth your soul and when your soul feels good, your mind will feel too." Via @ByAndreaB_ - Tweet this

7- Learn to say no: Don't overwhelm yourself with a busy schedule, even if it is only going out with friends. It is the least thing someone who suffer from anxiety needs. You need breaks and time for breathing.

8- Learn to say yes: The same way we need to learn to say no, we also need to learn to say yes. Sometimes we can hide behind our anxiety and we end up losing plenty of good opportunities in life. "Fear is good to protect you, but don't let it stop you from doing things" Elizabeth Gilbert. Choose courage over fear.

9 - Dress up and practice self-care: Have some time to take care of yourself every single day. Enjoy your time in the shower, hydrate your skin, style your hair, put on some makeup, choose a nice comfy outfit that makes you feel empowered and complete with your favourite accessories. 

"Taking care of your appearance helps to boost your confidence & consequently, it reduces your anxiety." Via @ByAndreaB_ - Tweet this

10 - Leave work at work: Don't overload yourself with work. It will only help to increase your stress and anxiety. Having a routine can help with that so you can have your time that is only for relaxation. If you work at home, set up a time to stop working and only go back to it on the next day.

11 - Be positive and avoid negative people: Anxiety contributes to our mind having negative thoughts. But we have the power to change it. It is all about mindset. One example that it really works just occurred to me last week. I was thinking: why I feel so tired in the end of every year and in January I feel with full energy to achieve my dreams? Mindset is the answer because we think that every new year is a new beginning. But in fact, we can have a new beginning every single day or every single minute if you want. Counting time is a human creation and it makes our mind believe in that. It shows that we can change our mindset to believe in whatever we want. Being positive doesn't mean everything will work out, but means that we know we can keep trying until we succeed and that we can also learn with our failures and mistakes. Don't be so hard on yourself!!! Being around positive people can also help to lift you up. Go find your tribe, be it offline or online!

12 - Look into the minimalist lifestyle: Nowadays a lot of people suffer from anxiety. Maybe it is our modern lifestyle, stress, social media or capitalism. I don't know. But it made me think that having a much more minimalist life without overspending or overconsuming and making time for the things that truly matter in my life could make me much happier, and also control my anxiety.

"Having less stuff also means less stress and more joy." Via @ByAndreaB_ - Tweet this

13 - Try creative things: Try some creative activity like painting, drawing, DIY stuff, and anything you can think of. Being creative releases helpful chemicals to the brain that makes you feel good.

14 - Have a routine: A routine is extremely important when you have depression or anxiety. It prevents you from having to think too much and also provides a sense of security and control. But make sure you include time for little breaks such as exercising, watching your favourite program, walking with your dog and anything else that feeds your soul and relax your mind.

15 - Listen to a motivational podcast or read an inspiring quote or book: Listening or reading positive things have the power to lift us up and boost our mood, energy and confidence. So the best time for doing it is in morning, after you wake up, during or right after your breakfast.

16 - Limit the time you spend on social media: Social media can be great for socialising, getting in touch with friends and family, or getting to know new interesting people around the world. It is also crucial for someone who has a creative online business, but it can also be very negative and overwhelming. So try to take some time off from it every now and then, like a day or a week without it for example, and control you daily access.

17 - Do something you love: Do something that feeds your soul, make time for it!!!

18 - Relax at home with family and friends: Having the support of our loved ones is very important, as well as spending time with them.

Of course, even when following these steps, your anxiety will always be there just waiting a moment of weakness. It is like living each day at a time. But believe me, having a healthy lifestyle does help a lot to reduce it. So I hope you like my tips and try some of them. Do you have anxiety or know a friend who does? Tell me in the comments! :)

See you in the next post!

xoxo,
Andrea

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2 comments

  1. This is a really wonderful, helpful post!

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    1. Hi, Lilly! Thank you for your comment! I wrote it from my heart because I really struggle with anxiety and I think it's really helpful to share our experiences. I'm glad you liked it :)

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