I’m currently writing this from my tablet, while sitting on my bed, as I fight this anxious feeling clawing at my chest and throat.
Very few people actually know that I suffer from anxiety at all. Possibly because it only showed up later in life, but still, it’s there.
The reason I’m currently so anxious is due it being “Window Day” in my flat. Or as I’ve come to know it: “Oh noooooooooo.” This has been bothering me since last night, enough to make me share on Twitter. The windows throughout the flats in our complex are being replaced and that means 3 of my major anxiety triggers in one place, happening at the same time.
Strangers in my personal space. Extreme, unsettling noise. Dirt I can’t clean.
It’s silly, it’s illogical and it’s also something that I can’t control and is not my fault. Thankfully the strangers are very nice and have let me hide on my bed until they need me to move.
I did a little Google and found a couple of techniques that help when it feels like a full blown panic attack is going to set in and these are the ones that work for me.
Feeling anxious? Do this.
Breathe: As soon as the anxiety starts to build in my chest and makes my heart pound so hard, it’s hard to inhale – BREATHE. Deep, chest-expanding breaths. There’s a breathing method called the 4-7-8 method and it really helps. You breathe in through your nose for 4 counts, hold for 7, then exhale slowly through your mouth for 8 counts. All the while, you focus on the action of breathing. It’s very calming.
Get warm: Being cold when feeling anxious only makes the anxiety much worse. Your body starts to shut down, making it hard to focus and being warm can help combat that. Grab a jersey or blanket. Get in a hot bath. Sit in the warm sun. Something. Anything.
Eat: This is a tough one for me because as soon as the anxiety sets in, that stomach-clenching ache makes it hard to eat anything. Oh and the nausea. That doesn’t help either. But it’s important not to give your body another reason to stress and that can happen if you’re hungry or thirsty.
A few other methods that help me are reading (escaping into another world is great), crying (releasing the pressure is a huge relief) and sleeping (if I have the opportunity). Oh and I pray. A lot.
Do any of you suffer from anxiety? How do you cope?
Now wish me good luck as I try to hide from the strangers in my home while they wreck everything and then put it back together. I’ll be in the corner breathing and reading.