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How I Deal With Anxiety In Untraditional Ways

How I Deal With Anxiety In Untraditional Ways

| Amanda Paa | November 20, 2016 |

I feel like there’s an article telling me how to deal with anxiety in my inbox every day. Or a tweet. Or a Facebook post. They usually talk about the usual. You know, using exercise as an outlet, taking a bath, meditate, find things to distract. But as someone who deals with generalized anxiety (which I’ve talked about before), these approaches have never helped me. {Am I the only one? Maybe I should have titled this post untraditional anxiety.} But we all have different stressors, different brains, and different comforts. I liken it to those who think one way of eating is the answer for everyone, yet all of our bodies are different and need to be treated as such. It’s about allowing yourself to explore what works for you, and not judging the pace or the path.

For me, the distraction route (which is not always a bad thing), actually doesn’t address the root of the problem, nor the multiple underlying issues that ignite worry. Those “distractions” actually fuel more uncontrolled thinking, because it’s just me and the racing thoughts.

Really in just the last year have I figured out what’s helpful for me. I’d be contradicting myself if I said this is what you should do, but maybe you feel like you’re on the same wavelength. Even just the act of thinking about it in a different way can break up old patterns. So in an attempt to share openly, here’s how I’m working through anxiety ridden days.

1. Stop the thoughts in their tracks, physically and mentally. And walk backwards through them.

* I’ve learned that one underlying issue can spiral into many worries, fueling a tumble of anxiety. I can feel it in my breathing, and up through my shoulders/neck. At this point I know it’s time to stop what I’m doing, completely stop. And talk myself through each worry, one at a time, most often because the one that caused me to finally stop and assess isn’t really the main cause. (I’ve also found that this complete stop is hard for me because I tend to use multi-tasking as a way to try and run away from issues.)

2. Write. Even if you think you’re a bad writer.

* I find when I put the words on paper that are going through my mind, some sort of progress seems to flow out of my fingers. Much different than anything typing can do. Or even speaking sometimes. And where I’ve really made strides with writing is the aftermath. Rereading what I was worried about lets me see how irrational the thoughts can be sometime, which is completely normal when anxiety takes over. The problem is they feel real, so real, which is why they’re hard to find my way out of.

3. Talk it out with friends, but also have a therapist.

* Girlfriends are always good sounding boards. I have two that I know I can text at any time of day who will always listen, and help me calm down. They help make sense of what is bothering me, and lift me up. They talk to me in an honest manner, even if that means hearing things I don’t always want to. Yet I’ve learned that I need a therapist, who is completely outside of my life, who can really dig into the tough parts of the issues. Much of my emotional response to situations comes from my childhood, and ways my brain conditioned itself. And it takes a lot, a lot of work to unravel that, and then retrain. Without my therapist, I would never had made the progress I have. And when you think the money isn’t worth it, trust me, it’s worth every penny. But you might have to work to find a therapist that you clique with, so don’t give up if you go through a few. When you find the one, you’ll know.

For numbers 4 through 6, visit Amanda on HeartbeetKitchen.com.


This blog post was sponsored by MegaFood as part of my participation in their Ambassador program. All thoughts and opinions are my own.