Trying to find things to keep me calm. The worst thing about suffering from anxiety, is that feeling of utter panic that can rise from just about anything. The thing that I find most difficult is trying to get other people to understand. I went through a bad phase where I would have a panic attack if I didn’t have the right change for the bus. And it made it worse that people behind would complain, despite the bus drivers always being lovely. I don’t know what started me feeling that way, but it is something that could spiral pretty quickly out of control.
The best thing that I did, that helped, was try and find things that would help avoid the situations which panicked me. Like, the bus thing, I’d make sure I always had plenty of change in my purse whenever there was a possibility of me having to catch the bus. It helped. I felt in control with it. The same when shopping, particularly food shopping. I have mentioned my issues with food on here before, and I would get the wrong thing, which would end up with me freaking out. A lot of the time, I would just go home empty handed. And I tried to get round that, by writing up a list, be in it a notebook or on my phone. Thinking about what I needed before being in the store, actually took a lot of the pressure off. I felt like I could just pick up what I had planned, and even had a sense of achievement that I made it out with a load of shopping.
The two examples that I have given are things that have happened most frequently. For the vast majority of the issues that I had with my anxiety happen at random. So, I have to just find ways to try and cool myself down. Force my breathing, the way you have probably heard of. In through the nose, and out through the mouth. By slowing things down, it can sometimes allow your brain to start thinking a little bit, and stop the irrationality that comes with having a panic attack. I always carry my ipod in my bag. On it, there is a playlist of all my favourite songs. From Spice Girls to Cradle of Filth. The music that makes me feel good, and that can make a huge difference. The music distracts me from whatever is going on in my head. And then, when my mind isn’t so ‘racing all over the place’, I can take out my notepad, or my ever reliable phone, and just write stuff. It could be words, complete sentences, or even a rambling post on Tumblr. It helps. It makes me feel like I have let the thing frustrating me, go.
The thing is, that what calms one person down, is different from another person. If anyone is having any problems with anxiety or panic attacks, is to try and think of solutions. Try to have what relaxes you, with you at all times. The biggest solution that I have found is planning. A good plan, can ease many fears that your mind may try to conjure up.
When I was looking for help I went to Mind, whose website has a lot of information about mental health. The page I have linked, deals specifically with advice on dealing with anxiety. Hopefully, it helps someone else, like it helped me.