How to Deal With Anxiety

Ah, the culprit to sweaty palms, nail biting, meltdowns and chest pains.
I have dealt with anxiety for as long as I can remember, probably since middle school and I have tried absolutely everything you can think of in order to "make myself better". I have currently been in such a funk with my anxiety and it has been the most defeating feeling to deal with. But honestly, it's something that I must work around in order for me to continue my everyday life which is probably the hardest part. For someone who has suffered from anxiety for years, I can tell you there is no way to get rid of it but THERE ARE WAYS TO HELP IT.
Anxiety is a battle within yourself and absolutely anything can trigger it - those of you who have anxiety know exactly what I mean. No one knows you better than yourself and fighting against your anxiety will make you feel powerful. Instead of feeling like walls are closing in, doors will open. Instead of you feel like you are constantly on the edge, you will pull yourself away before falling. Instead of feeling like you are drowning in your own thoughts and feelings, you will swim to the top and take a breath of fresh air.
So what can you do to help your anxiety?
Swim with me as I share with you my experience with it and how it plays in my head.

1. Think of all the things you are doing RIGHT instead of the things you are doing WRONG.
I actually figured this one out on my own based on my lifestyle, the way I process things and how I handle my anxiety. Everyone is different and this may or may not work for some people - what I have been doing is after doing my daily prayer on my way to work, I give myself the pep-talk to motivate my spirit. I tell myself what I am going to accomplish for the day, how I am going to do it, what I am doing right to get there, and what I need to focus on.
Coping with anxiety is about self-improvement, not self-destruction.
We want to stay away from bringing ourselves down and push for lifting ourselves up and I know that is easier said than done. I am probably #1 at bringing myself down when I feel useless. Most of the times, some people rely on others to bring them up in which I have learned the hard way that this is NOT the way to go because at the end of the day, it just ourselves and our thoughts. No one knows what you are thinking, so why leave it to someone else to make you feel better? Taking the empowerment into our own hands is what should be done because no one else can make us feel better except ourselves - it starts with recognizing you are doing what you can every day with full effort. We all make mistakes and it's okay to mess up sometimes. But remember all the good that you do as well, that will keep you going.
2. Whatever you may be going through, remember it's always TEMPORARY
Every obstacle we face can get real messy, last what may feel like forever, and be a complete shit show. You might feel so unsatisfied with the things going on, super-stressed out and turning to negative ways like drinking and partying to find your escape and distract yourself. All of that is normal... what's not normal is still feeling and doing these things AFTER everything is over (hello, Anxiety). I started feeling anxiety the most when my parents were going through their divorce, when our home got foreclosed and even after because I felt the worst pressure of having to make time for both of them. If I was spending more time with the one, the would get mad. It took until it was all over for me to realize everything that I felt was temporary because my parents get along so much better three years later. The road to get there was so difficult and I remember there was not one morning where I woke up and didn't feel anxiety. I was scared, crying, sad, heartbroken - and from all of that I learned that every fear and anxious feeling I get, it will be always be temporary.
3. Know your triggers!!!!
I cannot emphasize this enough.
NO ONE knows YOU better than YOURSELF.
If you don't familiarize yourself with your spirit, your mind and your body, you will lose yourself faster than you can speak. Knowing what triggers your anxiety allows you to look at things cautiously in order cope and stay away from it. It allows you to get along with yourself because it is possible to hate yourself for having anxiety. Just because you have anxiety, it does NOT depict you as a lower part of society. You are human. You feel stronger than others and you are stronger than you think you are.
Find your triggers and maneuver your way around them so they do not overcome you. My triggers are work, school, when I get sick, traffic, fear of thinking I'm always doing something wrong, and many others. These are all things we ersonal experiences that have traumatized ones spirit can cause anxiety as an adult, but your past does not define you. The present does. So take the time to analyze and ask yourself, "what are my triggers?"

 4. Distract your anxiety.

This is where you find peace.

I found my peace within EDM music, painting and now going to the gym. I can truly say if I never discovered going to shows and finding so much love and hope in music, I would not be the person I am today. Music got me out of a dark place and most times, I thought I would never get out. I met so many incredible people and the person who I can't see my life without today. I discovered my love for painting in my 8th grade creative arts class and I knew I was feeling a whole lot of anxiety then. All the bullying I endured during my younger years created a lot of self-judgement and doubt and to this day, I still carry that with me. To this day, you can find me painting or going to the gym more often than going to shows when I feel anxiety. It is my way to cope with what I am feeling and I have grown so much from drinking my life away every weekend to finding healthy alternatives. I guess when you see me painting or lifting, don't say "oh no, is she okay?!" Instead, rejoice in the fact that I AM okay because I am doing these things as my release and to find my peace. Find what makes you happy!
Whether if it's a sport, making pottery, cooking, creating videos, going on a walk, working, the possibilities are endless!

5. Practice looking at life in a positive way

From anxiety, I have learned to not sweat the little things and to really focus on what matters. Who cares if your friend is late for dinner or you arrived late for class. Putting in effort and positivity to find a balance in what you do on a daily basis is If you radiate positivity, positive things come back to you!
The same saying as what goes around, comes around. Positivity is a practice and you get better at it when practiced consistently. Doing one thing at a time, being collective and calm and giving your self that "me-time" that we all need, it will most definitely change your outlook and reality. The practice of positivity will bring gratitude and happiness :)

love you all so much and remember, you are not alone.


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