Personally, I've struggled with anxiety for years. It started out as your basic Social Anxiety Disorder and has formed into General Anxiety Disorder. Over the years I have found a few basic things that help me deal with my anxiety issues and just make life a bit easier in general. So I wanted to share them with you, I figure we're like a community.

1. Try to leave the house
One of my major triggers is leaving the house alone. Every article about anxiety self-help mentions one thing or anything about going out for a walk to lower your stress levels. This is no different, however, I do have a motivator. I use a FitBit! I find that wanting to reach my daily steps target really helps me want to leave the house and listen to some great music, here is a playlist I made that helps me calm down. I found that at first, this was really tough. It was so hard to leave the house and know that I am alone, but after a while it became so easy and I found that it actually started to calm me down at the end of the day. I recommend leaving the house for a walk, or something. Just find something that works for you.

2. Stop Cancelling Plans
This one kind of speaks for itself. However, easier said than done, right? I'm shocking when it comes to keeping plans. I freak out and send an extremely apologetic message saying that I'm sick, or some other silly excuse. However, I've found that when I stick to plans, especially when I rock up to events alone, I feel so proud of myself and it makes me want to keep sticking to plans. Easing into this helps too. Maybe start small, and by small I mean big. Sometimes going to a party with a friend is so much easier than a one-on-one coffee break with someone. It's weird, but once again, it's whatever works best for helping your anxiety.

3. Let yourself say no
Anxiety makes you believe that if you say no to anything, that you're a bad person. Not true. Saying no is something that I deeply struggle with. It's rare that I do, and when I do, it's mentally draining. Which seems ridiculous right? Even if it's just a simple favour, people tend to use people that say yes a lot. Some people I know ask me before anyone else to help them, even if they know I'll have to cancel something to do it, because they know I just don't know how to turn them down. So, saying no isn't the end of the world. You'll feel 5 minutes of guilt and then relief that you still have your personal time.

4. Let yourself worry
There's nothing wrong with allowing yourself to worry about something... as long as you realise the problem is probably just something small. That's the catch. Excessive worrying turns your anxiety into a monster that honestly, no one wants to deal with. So, allow yourself to worry, to get that stage out of the way and jump in and do what you need to do. I find that's something I try to do in non-dangerous situations. To not think and just do.

5. Tell someone
Last, but not least. Don't be ashamed of your anxiety! Tell your family and your close friends that you are suffering. If they tell you to just get over it, you probably don't need them in your life anyway. It'll feel like a big deal to tell someone that you're struggling with anxiety issues, but it's just life. I have one close friend that I talk to most when I'm feeling an anxiety attack coming on and they really help me to calm down. I encourage you to do the same. It's healthy that the people you love know your issues, so they know how to help you. 

Please don't feel ashamed that you suffer from anxiety. I can't stress that enough. You are you. Everyone copes with things differently. I hope these help.



Published by Jenna Craine