Dealing with anxiety. Thursday February 23, 2017
I have experienced anxiety in some form for the past twenty years. For the most part, my anxiety has been 'managed' through avoidant behaviours which don't actually manage my anxiety at all. When anxiety is doing the thinking for me, I struggle to think and act. The simplest of acts becomes virtually impossible and I find myself retreating back to bed, unable to deal with things. This avoidant behaviour only reinforces anxiety's grip upon my brain, and so she will do more of my thinking the next time the situation comes around.
However, I am learning that I can fight back. It is hard work, and sometimes I really don't want to or have the energy in me to fight. Anxiety has had a grip on my brain for a long time and she has made herself well and truly at home over the past eighteen months when I have not been well, though I am firmly on the road to recovery now. I'm a very logical person when anxiety is not ruling my brain and I am fighting back with logic. Again, this is not easy and some days are significantly better than others. Anxiety does not like it when I question her decisions. Anxiety says 'no' when I want to say 'yes', so I'm trying to say 'yes' more often to those things which anxiety would usually prevent me from doing to show her that she doesn't matter and that I can manage, regardless of the fireworks she sets off in my brain to stop me.
As well as fighting with logic, I have added mindfulness and meditation to my anxiety armoury. Once, when a panic attack started when I was driving (the majority of my anxiety resides here), I even found myself swearing very loudly at anxiety and telling her in no uncertain terms to go away as she was not wanted. I'm not sure that's going to become a recommended strategy, but it certainly worked for me at the time!
So, I will continue to fight anxiety each day with whatever strategy I can find. I will continue to say 'yes' when anxiety says 'no'. Do you have any other anxiety busting weapons to add to the armoury?
A Moodscope member.
Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.