How to find alternative ways to combat an anxious episode
We all know there are ways to manage your anxiety but I wanted to think outside the box and give you some ways that I have used myself and that wouldn’t usually be used to manage anxiety. Sounds cray cray right?
When it comes to anxiety I tried everything to beat it, fight it and cope with it. All the usual recommendations helped slightly but it never stuck. The anxiety always found me again and it hit me harder than ever. The more I suffered the more I feared its grasps and guess what, the more it came at me! Again and again.
One day I decided that I wasn’t going to fight anymore, I wasn’t going to give it anymore power and use anymore of my energy. I just let it be. This worked for a little while but again it didn’t last.
That was when it hit me.
I had to think outside the box and start doing things differently. That is the first sign of craziness, when you keep doing the same things over and over and expect a different result. It was time to change the record and switch it up a bit.
Below is a list of things that I have tried myself and kept them going. I have started them while in an anxious episode and have come out the other end feeling more powerful and more at ease than ever.
I bet you are all rolling your eyes right now! HaHa. You means you want me to start planning something when I am anxious? Surely this is madness!
Yes actually it is when you think about it but I was at the stage that I had tried all the normal ways to manage it and this was thinking a little differently. Distraction in any form will always be classed as a safety measure. Most therapists will tell you not use safety measures because this only heightens your anxiety if you don’t have it. I want you to scrap this idea and think about this differently.
I want you to start thinking about anxiety as an opportunity to start something new, getting out of your comfort zone – we are almost going to relabel it. Anxiety is going to be known to you as something very different from now on. There will be no fear attached.
So lets get planning.
You can plan anything you want. A birthday party, a holiday, a night out, a passion project, what youll do when your famous, a recipe – anything. It can be real or make believe.
I want you to really go to town on it, research it, get excited about it, list all the ingredients needed, list the craft supplies you may need, list the people you want involved and most importantly capture the emotions you are going to feel at the end of planning it. What ever the outcome – feel proud and delighted that you even tried to plan something while in this state.
The point of this is to distract yourself from the reality that is your anxiety. It is important not to forget it’s there, check in with yourself by writing down your anxiety levels throughout the planning stages. Take note of how this is making you feel.
“When I applied this tool to my own life it helped me tremendously. I had tried EVERYTHING that my doctors had suggested but I was finding it all boring and not much help. I followed one of Abby’s articles and tried out her planning idea. I can’t tell you how much this has helped me find away to be at one with my anxiety. I have even taken it further with Abby’s help and use this planning solution with my manifesting also. It helps me to plan and visualise what I desire within my life. Great stuff and really helpful” Anne Marie
WTF am I harping on about? Again think a little less normal and little more out there. While I was searching other methods of helping myself I came across a YouTube channel that specialised in ASMR.
Autonomous sensory meridian response is a term used for an experience characterised by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine.
There are scientific tests being carried out as we speak in the connection to ASMR helping people sleep and helping with mental illness. I researched it and started to seek out my favourite videos.
Now this is something you can’t understand till you try a video yourself and see whether you are susceptible. You will notice once you start watching one you will feel a tingling sensation like someone is playing with your hair, this for me relaxes me and enables me focus on something other than the anxiety. There are some strange videos out there. More and more ASMR artists are trying different things so don’t be put off by the seemingly strange ones.
Be open minded.
“I was shocked when I first looked at these videos. I was like…was is this shit? Until I found one that made my scalp tingle. It was amazing. I found out afterwards that not everyone gets this, I am so glad I do because I now use this just before I sleep. It allows me to relax and sleep soundly. So strange that something so simple can really work well for you. I also found that wearing head phones helped the experience.”
You didn’t think I would miss that one out did you! Journaling is my go to everyday. Whether anxious or not I journal to release all the negative emotions and also to celebrate all the achievements I have made. Always make sure that you use a journal that you are attracted to otherwise you may not want to write in it. Try to start with brain dumping before anything else. Just put pen to paper and off load everything that is whirling around your head. Everything you fear. Everything that makes you happy. Just simply let it all go.
“I had never heard of journaling before but when I went to Abby for help she gave me this advice straight away. I was sceptical that just writing down my feelings would help reduce my anxiety but I am not joking when I say I felt a difference the first time I brain dumped in my new journal. It released something in me that I had been keeping hidden for ages. Once I started I couldn’t stop. It helps me so much.”
Journaling is so understated. It really helps people to connect with their inner world. They can begin to understand what their triggers are, they know when anxiety is about to strike and some use journaling to keep a track on their moods.
Book a holiday
I know, I know. This one is money permitting but I always say a holiday doesn’t have to mean spending loads of money. It doesn’t even mean getting a plane. A holiday in this sense is simply getting away from it all. Think about yourself for a change and have some time off. Stop stressing about the life you a leading and go be at on with yourself for a little while. Go take a weekend break, go stay with family or friends or even just have a spa day. It is time to put you first.
Help a friend in need
Some of us feel better if we are able to help others while we feel shit.
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