Welcome to our website !

Anxiety / When Thoughts Get Overgrown + Tips

By September 22, 2016

Hi all! Something a bit different and personal today. I haven't mentioned my anxiety on here before, mainly because opening myself up to the internet is a little scary, particularly on a misunderstood subject. Just to clarify, anxiety doesn't just mean worrying about exams or more so than normal. It includes constant fear of pretty much everything, dizzy spells, panic attacks, feeling low, stomach ache and headaches just to name a few things. Sometimes, it makes my head so busy  and full it's very hard to think of anything else- a bit like a tangled, overcgrown garden if you're a fan of metaphors. So I went to my GP earlier this year and she basically said the waiting lists for any kind of help on the NHS were long so it was a matter of grinning and bearing it. So over the last few months I've been working out what personally eases my anxiety and I thought I'd share them on here in case any of you experience similar emotions. These things are all good stress relievers too anyway, so I hope they help with going back to school/college/uni as well! 

1. Keep a journal. This is probably the thing that helps me the most, and although I don't write in my journal daily, when I do remember I feel so much better. It's a good way to have a little vent (or celebration) depending on how your day has gone.  I find if something  is worrying me, I'll write down on one side of the page these worries, then turn over the page and write down advice, as if I was helping a friend in my situation. Also writing 5-10 things you're grateful a day helps you remember all the good things when you're having a bad day.

2. Meditate. This one isn't just for hippies I promise! I started going to mindfulness sessions at college and will be starting again at university, because this has helped me so much. It teaches you the power of focusing on breathing, observing your thoughts in a non-judgemental way and also being present. I also use the Headspace app, which has lots of different packs depending on how you feel and what you want to focus on. 50 studies have found that mindfulness is as effective as anti-depressants, with no side effects- how great is that?! I got my membership free with my Anxiety UK subscription, which is £25 for a student or £30 for a normal membership. Here's the link if you feel it would be useful to you!
3. Do some exercise. It doesn't have to be running 5K every morning, just find something you enjoy and give it a go. For me, I've been doing yoga a lot because this uses breathe and mediation to relax the body and be present. The yoga also explains about chakras and connections, so I find focusing my energy on different point of the body makes me feel more grounded and feel a lot less anxious. I also do BodyCombat, which is a class which involves lots of running around, punching and kicking the air which helps me let off any extra steam!

4. Face your fears. Sounds like a strange one, but if I put myself in a situation I try and challenge my worries. For example, I don't like crowds so I might go to a night club with friends. Whilst I'm there I'll try and work out why I'm worried and if it's logical. In reality it's really just a room full of people, I have my friends there if I need them, and I can also leave if it gets too much. Knowing this makes it a bit easier to deal with. then after I've done it once and nothing bad happens, I'll feel much more comfortable next time!
5. Read a self help book. I read How Not To Worry by Paul McGee and the witty writing and dots of humour made it a really enjoyable read. There's a lot of tips in there that have helped me, such as questioning how logical my worries are, and why I worry personally. I would definitely recommend this book if you struggle with worrying too much! 

6. Notice what makes your anxiety worse. Sometimes caffeine and alcohol makes anxiety and depression worse, so you might want to avoid or limit them. I find that alcohol eases my anxiety a little to start with but then when it wears off my anxiety is a lot worse that it was to begin with- not a great way to finish a night out! I also want to work my way to feeling confident enough without alcohol, so avoiding it pushes me to to be a bit more outgoing and confident. Just remember that no-one else is going to remember your dancing in the morning ;)
7. And finally, practice self care. Something I learnt during mindfulness sessions is to try not to judge your thoughts. There is so much more to you than your worries and thoughts! Whether it's taking time to go for a walk, colouring, having  a bubble bath or allowing yourself the evening to relax, make sure you look after yourself! Surrounding yourself with positive people is also very important- don't let toxic people get you down and make you feel unworthy. Remember to try and sleep- take each day at time!
I hope some of these tips help you, or maybe a friend going through similar emotions! Let me know in the comments section if there's anything else you'd like to add :) I check my emails often too so if you feel like you need to talk privately at all then I'll always try and help!

Emma xo
All drawings are by the wonderful Chibird (http://chibird.com/)

You Might Also Like

8 comments

  1. those drawings by chibird are so cute - they take away the seriousness and are definitely true. and I agree on the caffein-part, that does add to the stress! have a lovely weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Lisi! They are lovely illustrations aren't they :)

      Emma xo

      Delete
  2. this is so brave of you to post on the internet!! stay positive!! p.s. I love the photo too x

    http://lovefromtasha.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Tasha :) it sat in draft posts for a few weeks before I had the courage to post it haha!

      Emma xo

      Delete
  3. That's all too right !
    Thanks for finding those good words.

    <3

    http://lornasharp.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Lorna <3

      Emma xo

      Delete
  4. As someone studying Psychology and having anxiety at the same time, I agree with all of this so much! For me personally, journaling or just writing my worries down helps a lot. From my studies (and partly my own experiences) challenging yourself to go into the situations that scare you is so important. It´s even a technique called exposition that is used in actual therapy.
    Hope you´re anxiety is slowly getting better!
    xx Lisa | Following Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment Lisa! I didn't realise exposition was used in actual therapy, that's really interesting. I'm glad journaling helps you too :)

      Emma xo

      Delete

Please keep the comments section a positive place, thank you! Have a lovely day!