7 Simple Hacks To Help You Deal With AnxietyBy Lauren Rae
Published: December 8, 2017
An increasing number of young women are living with anxiety in 2017 and the numbers spike during the holiday season. Whether it be as a result of work, home life and/or a relationship, the number of individuals with anxiety has risen significantly over the years. In fact, this study actually shows that millennials experience far more stress than any other generation. Not only that, but we’re less equipped to deal with it. But with a social movement bent on openly discussing our mental health, it seems as though things are finally moving forward. Instead of stigmatizing our mental illnesses as many would have in the past, social media, in particular, has opened up a discussion in which we’re able to discuss with complete strangers, our angst. Sure, many of us may feel alone, trapped and altogether helpless during our attacks, but there are ways to help deal with anxiety.
Terrified that I’d never be able to get my attacks under control, I sought help from a therapist who gave me some quick tips on how to help ease my anxiety. Dubbed as ‘distraction techniques,’ these are reportedly great ways in which to help ease those feelings of worry and anguish when we feel most helpless.
1. Eat Strange Foods
Much like Marmite, you either love or you hate raisins, but did you know that they actually help you to focus on something other than your anxiety? In a strange twist of fate, I was advised to really take the time to examine raisins. Their texture, their taste, their smell. Focus on the (strange fruit) before actually eating it. However, if dried fruits don’t tickle your fancy, try biting into a hot pepper or chewing on ginger root. Disgusting, but effective.
2. Talk Yourself Up
It’s incredibly difficult to feel great about yourself when anxiety strikes, but one way to overcome the overthinking is to list as many good things about yourself as possible. While feeling negative, list all the great things that you do like about yourself whether it be your smile or your writing skills, anything! If still, you struggle to do just that, then read something positive that someone else has written about you or better yet, talk to someone who cares about you deeply.
3. When Feeling Empty Takes Over…
A feeling I often have is feeling completely empty, and it’s one of the most difficult spaces to get out of. My therapist suggested squeezing ice cubes to distract from that feeling. Even putting a finger into frozen food, ice cream, for example, can help just as much.
4. Focus On THIS Instead
It can be tiresome attempting to distract your mind from the bad, but here’s something that might ease you out of the ‘bad place.’ Select an object in the room, whether it be your favourite shoe or the random scrunchie you know you didn’t purchase and focus on it. Focus on that object and begin to list 30 different uses for it.
5. Do Something Mindful
Yoga, exercise, and meditation are particularly helpful with anxieties. Letting go of your thoughts and focusing on the task of centering yourself. If exercise is foreign to you, use it as an opportunity to try something new.
6. Express Yourself
Something I’m rather prone to doing myself is penning my feelings on a piece of paper while simultaneously crying. Let out your emotion through the written word and allow yourself to be vulnerable to a piece of paper. Crying is a healthy and completely normal way to express frustration or sadness.
7. Release Your Frustrations
My last resort, but a resort none the less is releasing frustrations out on objects. Punch pillows, or better yet scream into a pillow. And if you have any at your disposal, rip apart an old cassette tape.
Though I’ve only tried a handful of these techniques in the past few months, knowing that they’re available has been a great comfort. It’s also worth remembering that what might work for you, may not work for someone else.
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