How do YOU cope with anxiety?

posted 3 years ago in Wellness
Post # 16
Member
237 posts
Helper bee

sassy411 :  it is! that’s not to say I don’t suffer from anxiety at other times of the day, but I have been finding that the cycle of negative thinking and panic attacks is at it’s worst in the morning, from the time I wake up until about lunch time. I used to think it was associated with my job and not wanting to be the, but I’ve changed jobs a number of times since the onset of my anxiety and the timing of my attacks has stayed constant, and I’m never really thinking about work/having to go to work when a panic attack starts. 

Post # 17
Member
2923 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I sometimes have really bad days with my anxiety.  I have found that limiting caffeine helps a ton.  I cannot go caffeine free altogether, but I cannot have any after like 3pm as the anxiety is way worse in the evening.

Getting enough sleep also helps as when I’m super tired the irrational fears tend to overtake me.

I work out quite a bit but I know I won’t be able to keep up this pace forever (doing extra just before the wedding).  I find physical workouts like kick boxing are therapeutic because it’s a physical release for me.  I don’t have time for yoga classes because I usually focus on strength and cardio, but sometimes before bed a do a few yoga stretches on my own.

I also wish I had more time to read, but I listen to music quite a bit.  I discovered these guys called The Piano Guys that combine classical music with modern songs using the cello and piano.  They are amazing and always take my mind off of whatever is bothering me.

Post # 18
Member
2494 posts
Buzzing bee

Gym to raise endorphin level and release excess energy

Writing to externalize anxious thoughts

Meditating to retrain brain away from anxious/negative/paranoid/loop thinking and toward productive/accepting/happy thinking

Post # 19
Member
372 posts
Helper bee

 

sassy411 :  You are definitely right. My sister who’s a physician has explained to me that cortisol (the anxiety hormone) levels peak in the early morning hours, and then gradually decrease. That’s why some people experience severe anxiety in the morning – I tend to be more anxious before midday too.

As for the OP’s question: I also find physical exercise really beneficial. I do moderate exercise three times a week and it’s a godsend for me.

On the other hand, I disagree with the “having a drink” tip. Although it’s true that it can help reducing anxiety in the short run, it makes things worse later on for me. Plus, it’s not always doable – if you’re at work for example or just coping with a delicate situation. But, to each their own. 

 

Post # 20
Member
1128 posts
Bumble bee

There are a few great breathing apps out there/ sounds silly but they help a bit in a pinch.

 

I also track my sleep with an app called sleep cycle- it can be customized to record any details you’d like (when you last drank coffee, significant stressful events…)- thus doesn’t help directly with anxiety but understanding triggers ect makes a big difference.

 

Also I know you said you prefer not to use meds, but if you are ever having a severe and scary panic attack, Benadryl can actually help.

Post # 21
Member
1747 posts
Bumble bee

Here’s some things that worked for me until I got better control on my anxiety:

1. Get your thyroid checked, if you haven’t already. Thyroid imbalances can cause anxiety/depression. Actually, get all your bloodwork done! Things you didn’t even realize could be causing increased anxiety symptoms to include hormonal imbalances (I have PCOS), vitamin deficiencies  (I have low Vitamin D), etc. Rule out easy(ier) fixes like that before going medication route.

2. Cut out caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine amped me up to where I felt in a constant state of tension. Alcohol became easily abused because for once I was feeling better, but too much would cause anxiety symptoms and lead to an attack (think dizziness, feeling hot in the face and neck, etc.) 

3. Aromatherapy. Your sense of smell is HIGHLY linked to memories and is one of your most powerful senses. Scents like lavendar, peppermint, and eucalyptus all have very calming effects on the mind and body. You can diffuse them, apply them topically, even ingest some. Also, peppermint is a natural anti-nausea which I’d get when anxious. I keep altoids with me and pop a few when I feel anxious or nauseous. Double duty!

4. Mindfulness. This. is. huge. Anxiety is the devil of getting lost in the future. You need to be able to bring yourself back to the present. Find something that you can do/picture in your head while breathing in for 3 counts, out for 6, until you start to relax. Sometimes I’ll try to picture a blank peice of paper, or if you have a favorite song you can play on your phone with headphones, I’ve even kept rubber bands on my wrists before and snapped them a few times (not super hard, but) hard enough to feel a little sting that redirects my thoughts. I saw a PP mention something about telling yourself that you’ve gotten through it before, you’ll get through it again. HUGE. After major anxiety attacks, half the battle is just being scared to have another. 

5. Find someone to talk to. Friend, family, SO, whatever. Sometimes you just need to call someone to talk and distract you about anything. For some reason, my anxiety would get really bad on my way home from work. I think it was the quiet. I’d call someone to chat about my day, or ANYTHING, while focusing on calm breathing until I could get home to SO, or whatever. 

6. Definitely second the yoga or exercise of some sort. 

7. OH! Last, but not least for me…. learn your bodies first tell that you’re feeling anxious. It could be anything. Maybe your breathing picks up, your heart flutters, you start talking fast, picking your face/hands/whatever. Learn that sign. And learn to the second you notice it, shut that shit DOWN. “I’m fine, I’m safe, etc”. Practice your mindfulness/being present mantra immediately until it goes away. Don’t feed it, don’t panic. There’s nothing wrong with you, your body is going haywire (anxiety as a separate entity). If you can calm your mind, tell your body to get its shit together, whatever you gotta do. I’ve had plenty of times where I feel my mind start cycling, and then my heart starts going and my hands get clammy, and then I stop. I literally tell myself “Stop it, Margaritaville. You are fine. Everything is just fine. Get your shit together.” Sometimes the nonsensical yelling at myself makes me laugh enough to shake it off. 

Good luck!!

Post # 23
Member
1542 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I know it’s minor but I find rubbing my earlobes helps calm a lot. I also do breathing exercises. Can you identify the triggers?

Post # 24
Member
973 posts
Busy bee

My anxiety was really bad a few years ago, but I’ve mostly brought it under control naturally despite my extremely stressful life. 

-Magnesium Glycinate Chelate has been life changing for helping me get restful sleep, which is especially important because my anxiety gets worse when I’m tired.

-I think the biggest change for me has just been to be brave enough to tell my Fiance what my inner monologue is. Half the time, in the middle of telling him why I’m feeling anxious, I feel silly. Other times, he is able to pinpoint what’s bothering me even when I can’t.

-When things are really bad, I figure out what the “worst case scenario is”. Then I figure out how I’d deal with that if it came to it. Having a plan to get through the worst case scenario makes me feel so much more in control.

-Get outside. Go for a walk in nature.

-Getting a dog has helped me so much. It’s so calming to be able to have a “legitimate excuse” to drop what I’m doing and focus on a familiar routine of feeding, walking, playing ball, etc. plus snuggles are the best

-I absolutely can’t drink any caffeine except decaf coffee and tea. If I’m having a bad time, I take a moment out and drink tea or hot chocolate. Sometimes during finals weeks I’ll start again with “just one cup” of coffee and it just ratchets my anxiety up to a new level. Not worth it. I also can’t take allergy medicine with decongestants as they have a similar effect.

-Exercise. I know it feels like you just don’t have time and it’s too much. Find a 20 minute body weight workout you can do at home and pour yourself into it anyway.

Post # 25
Member
9595 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

mrs2014 :  MEDITATION !!!! Seriously please try it, it has changed my world/my mind. I feel the difference after every session and I get better and better at turning off the negative mental clutter between sessions too. There are many many studies about the benefits for people with depression and anxiety. It’s good for your health in general. I use an app called Insight Timer and listen to guided meditations. There’s a massive playlist about anxiety/stress/letting go. Try it everyday for 10 days and see how you feel.

Scientific Benefits of Meditation – 76 things you might be missing out on

Post # 27
Member
1091 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

mrs2014 :  changing my diet, more sleep, no birth control (I was on nuva ring and had terrible anxiety the same few days of my cycle) and CrossFit 5x a week. I’m a completely different person. 

I didn’t want meds, so I tried to find other ways to calm myself. I’m not against medication if you really need it. But I think as a society we depend on it too much. 

Post # 28
Member
237 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

My anxiety has been worsening over the past few years and became terrrible after I had my baby. I had a panic attack walking into the bank. Completely unprovoked. 

I have tried two different medications without luck and a friend recommended lemon balm. I have an oil from Whole Foods and I just put it in water about 3 times a day. Within 3 days I noticed a dramatic decrease in my symptoms. Things that before would spiral out of control I am now able to realize as just my anxiety- not dangerous, just kind of shitty. I also have a lemon balm tea but I haven’t tried it because the concentrated oil has changed my life. 

Panic attack? Fresh air. Walking around. Removing myself from my current location. This website. Listen to the audio too. http://www.duffthepsych.com/stopanxiety/

Post # 29
Member
10668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

MargaritaVille :  

Allow me to cosign on the thyroid check.  Mine is under active and once it was diagnosed and properly treated I was able to cut way back on celexa and abilify.  My depression and anxiety improved dramatically, which I found out is typical.  

 

Post # 30
Member
1747 posts
Bumble bee

anthonyswife :  Oh, yes! DIET! Meaning, don’t let your blood sugar drop. Eat regularly and keep emergency snacks if you need to. I find that if I haven’t eaten in awihle, boom – anxiety like symptoms. There is something to eating a Snickers and helping get back to yourself…

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