Anxiety can be terrible. Not only do these disorders affect your mental health, but your physical health as well. It is estimated that over 40 million adults in the U.S. alone are living with an anxiety disorder. While you may feel alone, you most certainly are not.
Anyone who has experience with anxiety knows how frustrating the experience is. From people saying to “just get over it” or “stop worrying”, the stigma of mental illness in general, can be a lot to deal with. I have encountered a multitude of advice and tips for dealing with anxiety, and I believe most fall short. For example, you will often be told to focus on your breathing or to meditate and practice mindfulness. While these techniques help your body, they do not prevent the anxiety and panic from coming back. However, that does not mean there is nothing you can do to get over your anxiety. I have learned a few methods that have greatly impacted my life.
Before I go further, let me state that I am not a medical professional, and this does not constitute medical advice. If you are struggling with mental illness, please contact a mental health professional.
With that being said, let’s get into it.
Do not run from your fears
This one is very important. When you feel panic setting in, the worst thing you can do is try to get away from the situation. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but it works! Next time you feel panic creeping up, tell yourself “Bring it on! Is that all you got?” It’s fear of the fear that keeps anxiety growing. Once you are no longer afraid of having an anxiety attack, your anxiety loses its power.
Accept that this is your life
Self-pity and denial are a recipe for disaster. If you pretend your anxiety doesn’t exist, or if you feel sorry for yourself, the anxiety will only be exacerbated. Just telling yourself that you are an anxious person and that it’s only anxiety that you are dealing with will re-center you and keep you in the present. That’s not to say you are stuck with anxiety forever, but admitting what you are dealing with is the first step to defeating it.