Weapons Against Anxiety

Hello World −

Last week I wrote about a recent panic attack and the steps I took to get through it. So, I figured that maybe other people might want/need to add a few weapons to their arsenal.

Now, I know everyone’s anxiety is different and some of the things I do to combat it definitely won’t work for everyone. But if anything I say helps even one of you out there then that’s what’s important.

I also want to say that I am not therapist or any kind of mental health professional and I don’t pretend to be. I can only offer my own experiences and hope that you can learn from them. If you feel like you’re in danger or a danger to yourself then please reach out.

Here are a some resources and number that you can and should use if you don’t know who else to turn to:

  • Boys Town National Hotline: 1-800-448-3000 (Available 24/7)
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
    • 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
    • Spanish Speakers: 1-888-628-9454
    • The Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889
    • Veterans: 1-800-273-8255 (Available 24/7)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Helpline:
    • 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (Available 24/7)
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline:
    • 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) (Available 10AM – 6PM EST, Mon-Fri)
  • Teen Line:
    • 1-310-855-HOPE (4673)
    • OR
    • 1-800-TLC-TEEN (852-8336) (Available 6PM – 10PM PST) (Also available by texting “TEEN” to 839863)

That said, here are a few things I hope will help:

1 | Deep breathing/breathing exercises.

I mentioned this in my last post and described a breathing exercise that works best for me.

Breathe in for 4 seconds. Hold your breath for 7 seconds. Then breathe out for 8 seconds.

There are also visual breathing guides that I find extremely calming.

Geometric Shapes

Breathing Circle

Box Breathing

But there are countless breathing exercises out there and even if none of these work for you, I’m sure you can find something that works for you. It’s just important that you’re able to slow yourself down enough to assess things logically.

2 | Physically “ground” yourself.

What I mean is for you to remind yourself that your body is somewhere safe and there really isn’t any danger, it’s just the anxiety trying to overwhelm you. Just be careful.

Here are something that you can do to ground yourself:

• Snap a rubber band on your wrist.

• Hold an ice cube and let it melt in your hand.

• Splash cold water in your face.

3 | Make something:

I mean it. Make something. Anything. If you feel the need to self destruct, making something can be one of the greatest ways to fight against that desire.

Here are a few examples:

• A cup of coffee or tea

• Your favorite meal or even one you’ve never made before

• Cookies, brownies, any dessert of your choosing

• Learn how to make origami (I like making these little paper stars)

• Write a story or poem or song

• Write out your thoughts in that moment, try to capture those feelings on paper.

• Draw. Even if you think you don’t have any artistic skill at all. Take a pencil/pen/marker/crayon/whatever and just SCRIBBLE.

• Record a video of yourself talking or ranting or just swearing like fuckin’ sailor.

Whatever you choose, just do something to express your feelings and don’t let them stew inside you.

4 | Put yourself into a different environment.

Literally.

Remove yourself from wherever you are and go somewhere else.

It can be as simple as going on a walk to get the mail or around the block. Find your nearest library or a park and just be outside.

You might be surprised by how much more at ease when you’re not stuck in the same environment as when you were feeling anxious.

5 | Create a mental health crisis kit.

Get a pencil case or some other small container and use it to carry items that help curb your anxiety.

Here are some things I keep with me, whether I’m at work or school or just out and about:

• Earbuds or earplugs to block out any noise

• A small notebook/journal to write down my thoughts (I also keep a list of people I can call/text when I feel cornered)

• A marker/Sharpie® to draw on myself instead of hurting myself

• Hard candy so I don’t bite my lips or cheeks

• Lavender oil to help myself relax

• Eyeliner pen

I’ll be honest, this kit isn’t really complete. I still want to add a few things but for the most part, these items really help when my anxiety acts up or I have a panic attack.

But anyways, that’s all I really have for now. These “tricks” are what help me fight through my anxiety. I hope they can help you through your own trials. And if this helped you in any way, then share it with someone else who you think it could benefit.

And once again, I’m in no way a mental health professional and if you feel like you’re a danger to yourself then please reach out to someone you trust. And if you don’t feel like you can do that, then use any of the numbers I listed at the beginning of the post. There are professionals that WANT you to reach out to them and they CAN help you.

Stay safe everyone and until next time,

~ Miss Misfit

(Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the above images or websites)

P.S. When I started writing this post, I had no idea that it was World Mental Health Day until I saw it on Twitter. This is just a reminder that there’s no such thing as having to be “sick enough” to get help. Your mental health is important and your feelings are valid. It’s okay to put yourself first. It’s not selfish, it’s self-love and you deserve it. Please take care of yourself.

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