Anxiety, be your own chill pill
I try to keep my blog a happy and positive place so have steered away from writing about my mental health, however important it may be. Although, it’s only recently that I realised that if a post like this could make a small, positive difference to someone’s day then surely that’s a happy thing. Ultimately it is such an important thing to talk openly about mental health so that’s what I’m doing today!
First of all I’d like to put out there that everyone experiences anxiety differently. I will experience it in a completely different way to someone else that is living with anxiety. But no matter how you experience it we should all treat our anxiety and mental health with as much care and attention as we do to our physical health. After all, our brain is one of the most important parts of our body.
” you mental health is just as important as your physical health, dot forget that”
Throughout the last couple of years, in which my anxiety first properly developed, I’ve met a lot of people, read a lot of books and researched for plenty hours to find ways of managing and overcoming my anxiety, as well as coping methods for when feeling anxious/panicky. What I like to call ‘ways of being my own chill pill’
Through these techniques and hours spent understanding my anxiety I’ve seen a massive improvement in my confidence and my ability to say yes, and do things I’d otherwise be afraid of.
So the main focus of today’s post is to share you some of the techniques I’ve learned to help you become your own chill pill.
The 5,4,3,2,1 method: Look around you and first pick out 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. This is called Grounding and acts as a way of zoning yourself back to your surroundings, focusing on what’s around you rather than what’s going through your mind.
Breathing: This sounds simple as we do it 24/7, but stopping to listen to your breathing is a great relaxation technique, as well as just focusing on slowly inhaling and exhaling.
The 4,7,8 method: A more complex and I find effective breathing technique is this one. Firstly inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breathe for 7 seconds (if possible) then exhale slowly for 8 seconds. Repeat. This one can also be used at night if you are struggling to sleep.
Playlists: I always have a playlist that I can pop my headphone in and listen to when I’m feeling panicky/anxious. You can put in whichever songs that help you make you take your mind of what’s worrying you the most.
Direct thinking: This one I find helpful to write down whilst doing. If possible, think back to a time where you were in a similar situation and overcame the same anxiety. Think of all the possible things you worried about happening that didn’t, reminding yourself of how you survived and were okay in that situation and will be again today. Write down or list in your head all the good things about the situation letting them overrule the negative thoughts.
Count back from 90: Simple but effective, the same works difficult with times tables.
Happy Place: Imagine yourself in your happy place, whether this is on holiday, your bedroom or a place you have created yourself. Think about everything that is around you in that place and how calm you feel when you are there.
Talk to someone: One of the best things to do when experiencing feelings of anxiety is to talk to someone. Phone a friend to talk about how you feel or talk to someone close by.
Apps: There are endless different apps designed to relax and calm you in anxious situations and overall keep a positive mindset. I have a few on my phone, which I find super helpful for day-to-day use.
Recolor: Recolor is a colouring book for your phone; I find it extremely therapeutic and a great way to channel relaxation in to creativity.
Headspace: Headspace is a brilliant app based around clearing your mind and promoting mindfulness. It provides lots of different guides for not just anxiety but various other areas such as fears, sleeping, kindness and many more as well as a kids section. I mostly use it for the mediation guide, containing meditation singles lasting 2-60 minutes. I use the free version, which still contains a lot of content.
SAM: SAM is my favourite app for everyday use. It contains so many different activities that can be used to take your mind of any anxious thoughts as well it’s own meditation guide and relaxing sounds such as waves and rainfall.
Flow: Flow is the last app I have found beneficial to my mental health. It wasn’t designed to help mental health however it’s one of those addictive games that requires a lot of thought, therefore I find it good for distracting myself from any worries.
Of course all of the above aren’t just for those who are living with anxiety or any other mental health condition, these can benefit anybody who wants to use relaxation techniques, or is experiencing general feelings of stress/panic.
Below is a daily dose of positivity to remind yourself of how much you are capable of, all thanks to Pinterest. All original picture links are in the Pinterest bored I have created to help anxiety and mindfulness are here.
I’d love to know if you have any other techniques or methods you find helpful.