If you've read my blog or have been following me on social media, I've touched on anxiety quite a bit. A few years ago I started to see a therapist because I was suffering from daily anxiety attacks. Death was on my mind more than food was, and food is always on my mind. After countless therapy sessions, now I am able to manage my anxiety, but that doesn't mean that anxiety doesn't hit me every now again. With these recent tragic events, (feels like it's never ending) my anxiety has picked back up. In the blog below I will talk about how I work to calm my nerves.
When bad things happen in the world, I become very emotionally invested. When there is a shooting or terrorist attack, my heart immediately thinks about all of the people who have lost their lives and their loved ones who are impacted. I start to imagine myself in these tragedies, thinking about losing my loved ones or getting hurt myself. I spend the next few days quiet and working to stay calm.
Even though I still have anxious thoughts, I can control them far better than I could pre-therapy. I couldn't imagine being back in that mental space. Every day, multiple times a day, I would think about myself or a loved one getting hurt or dying. Heavy stuff, yes, but used to live like this and it can be totally paralyzing. Now, my anxiety usually calls for a night or day at home, cuddled up with my animals watching a happy TV show like Friends, The Office or Parks and Rec.
If you struggle with anxiety, below are my top three tips to stay somewhat sane post-tragedy.
1. Pray or say a kind word about those who lost their lives and for their families.
This may sound like the political approach where politicians avoid talking about real issues and say, "We pray for the families impacted", but it's really not what I'm going for. This is more of an internal dialogue I have with myself. At the end of the day, I can't control what happens, but I can work to spread positive thoughts and vibes to others. It may feel like nothing, but I find it helps calm my anxiety.
2. Try to focus on the things you can control, not the things you can't control.
I had the hardest time with this tip because if you have anxiety, you want to control everything. When it comes to big picture things, I need to remind myself I can't control what happens but I can control my voice. If something comes up that you feel very strongly about, use your voice to make an impact. There are are plenty of organizations out there that you can get involved with that will enable you to make a change.
3. Find a calming anchor
I like to find anchors that calm my anxiety. Anchors are different for everyone; it could be a piece of jewelry, a quote, a TV show or even a song. My anchor is watching a comforting TV show such as Friends, The Office or Parks and Rec. These shows are shows I've been watching for years and instantly make me feel better.
I think it's important to test out new methods and find what works for you. We all have our own story and our own way of coping with things. Feel free to test some of these tips out and let me know how it went!
Just a girl writing down her thoughts on life post-trauma, body acceptance and wellness.