In one word, having anxiety feels like a burden. The constant nervousness, the jittery instances, the loud thumping of the heart that is felt in the back of your shoulders, your neck, your throat; it is confusing, it is frightening and most importantly, it is as harsh as the first time you experienced it. That’s at least until you learn to deal with it. The worst part about being diagnosed with anxiety is how much the thought of that makes me anxious.
It happened 4 months ago, I was woken up by extreme palpitations. I took a sip of water, tried to slow down my heartbeat and flashes of painfully worrying thoughts that reminisced my dark corners. It didn’t work for a while, until I got exhausted of trying and eventually passed out. The symptoms have got interesting and dare I say, more apparent than ever, in the last 3 weeks – chest pains, jittery stomach, hands shaking, irregular breathing, the likes. I have to agree, I’m not the most optimistic person, so the anxiety really does add to my sour take on life; but more than that, the physical symptoms genuinely scare the shit out of me some days. Ironically, they usually get much worse on the weekends, you know the time when you hope to unwind, but end up thinking about everything that’s not working out. I guess I’m hoping by putting this out there, I could lighten the burden and perhaps open a debate that could help me and help some of you who are going through the same.
There are a few things that I’m working with as of now to ensure I have some control over my anxiety and they seem to working (most days). I hope these things help you out or if you have any alternatives, leave them in comments below.
- I’ve been meditating *GASP*. This has never been something I’ve been inclined to do, but this has really helped my sleep patterns. I usually go on YouTube, find sleep hypnosis/meditation rituals and listen to them in bed, relaxing. It has an unusually relaxing affect to my breathing, my physical jitteriness and in calming my thoughts.
- I’ve been focussing on eating healthy (mostly). I have my days when I chow down on noodles or pasta, but surprisingly enough, hefty food really adds up to the anxiety ( at least for me). So fibers, proteins and good carbs have been in my diet, followed by very little caffeine and plenty of water. I feel as if this has a psychosomatic affect on my mind; anxiety brings out a lot of physical symptoms that startle you, the fact that you’re taking care of your body instils this feeling of self-care and wellbeing. That thought really calms me down.
- Anxiety is really hard to explain or to talk about. Since this has been my second hit with this disorder, it somehow feels stronger. I guess it really depends on what you’re dealing with i.e. family, relationships, work or financial issues. Personally, I know I’ve made it a point to be a bit more shut down about my personal feelings; in friendships and at home. It’s a personal choice and I’m not sure if that’s feeding my anxiety, so I’ve made it a point to write in my journal every day! It helps me gather my emotions, my goals, things that are working out, and the ones that aren’t.
- Lastly, take a time-out! Just this last weekend, I had a major meltdown; I was shaking and panicking and a whole lot of mess. I took a second to breathe; went outside with a cup of coffee (decaf), forced myself to listen to each and every lyric to the music I was playing, did a few pamper rituals and made a to-do list for the rest of the week. You have to train your mind to allow distractions from the overwhelming feelings. It’s a slow race, but you have to win it!
I hope reading this helps you; as much as writing it has helped me.