First of all, I’m not embarrassed to admit that I do suffer from anxiety, as do millions of people all over the world. We’re all in the same boat so none of us should feel ashamed as we’ve all experienced it at some time in our lives. But some of us struggle with anxiety more than others. Only a couple of years ago I couldn’t even pay for something in a shop without feeling extremely anxious, and I know that some people would find that ridiculous ― why would someone get nervous over something so simple? For many people, going to the shops, being in a crowded environment and talking to new people is a difficult thing to do. There isn’t a cure for anxiety yet (don’t worry, I’ll let you know when there is one) but there are some things that you can be doing to help manage your anxiety.
My best advice is to take it one step at a time. Start off with the smaller challenges and work your way up, this way you won’t end up completely overwhelmed and it reduces the chances of experiencing panic attacks. I think what I’m trying to say here is: know your limits. Know what you can do, and what you can’t do. More importantly, just because you’re not capable of doing something right now, it doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to do it. Set yourself a goal and work towards it. You’ll get there.
Secondly, it might be a good idea to reward yourself after you’ve achieved something. If you went up and ordered something in a café or you bought something in a shop, and this is something which you usually struggle with, then you should be proud of yourself. Why not treat yourself to a bit of chocolate or a slice of cake? Another lipstick? A new car? (Probably a bit too far at this stage). Write a list and start ticking things off. You’ll feel good looking back at how far you’ve come.
Another proven method to manage your anxiety is meditation. I cannot recommend this highly enough. I’ve recently just started this and already I feel so much calmer. On YouTube, you can find quite a few tutorials on meditating for beginners which I’m sure will be a lot of help. Some people like to listen to music while doing this, (I don’t mean Eminem or Dubstep) I prefer wave music but it’s entirely up to you. Whatever floats your boat – see what I did there? I was just talking about waves and now a boat . . . OK, I’ll leave now.
Lastly, just make sure that you’re exercising regularly, eating healthy and keeping hydrated! All three contribute largely to your overall mood and will affect how you are feeling throughout the day, so make sure you don’t start getting lazy (I know, it’s a bit rich coming from me) and forget to stick to your dieting and lifestyle, as this will only worsen your anxiety. The last thing you want is to take five steps backwards.
Keep going, you’re doing well!