Dealing with anxiety
Anxiety is something that so many people face. It can be generalised anxiety, social anxiety, or a mix between the two. Having anxiety and being anxious about an event that is upcoming are two completely different things. Anxiety is illogical. It takes a hold, even though you know that what you are feeling isn’t always rational. It can stop you from performing even the most basic of daily activities but can also have physical side effects. Some of these include fast heart rate, feeling shaky, getting light headed, and can induce full blown panic attacks where you can’t control your breath or your emotions. Of course, there are many options for dealing with anxiety. You should always visit your GP. They have many ways to handle anxiety, depending on each person’s situation. There are anti-anxiety medications that can be prescribed and a range of vitamins, herbs, and essential oils that can help reduce the effects of anxiety. There are also some coping strategies that can be implemented to help ease anxiety when it occurs. I have found a way that has always helped me when my anxiety is starting to feel out of control. For the most part I use the grounding strategy. I use it when I am public mostly, but it is also effective at home.
Grounding is a strategy that forces your mind to focus on the small things happening around you. It takes the focus off the big picture and allows you to calm down and take control of the situation you are in. I have used this on many occasions, and it hasn’t failed me yet. The trick is to just really focus on completing the exercise and allowing your mind to focus on what you are doing. Grounding is a 5-step process. You can do it anywhere you are, and it isn’t an obvious process. Using your surroundings, focus on look for the following:
5 things you can see
4 things you can feel
3 things you can smell
2 things you can hear
1 thing you can taste
Doing this will take your minds focus away from the stress and anxiety and force it to look for each of those things. I’ve never had this fail me, but I know some people will do it the first time, then move to a quieter area (when possible) and do it again.
Living with anxiety is tough. It can take a normally functioning, happy person and force them into a highly-strung mess. But it is manageable. As I mentioned earlier, seeing a GP should be your first port of call if you or someone you love is struggling with anxiety. They will be able to give you information, treatment plans and other coping strategies. You don’t need to suffer on your own. Seeking help can be the best thing you do for yourself.