Disclosure: Always consult your doctor for medical advice. I am just talking about my experience, this should not replace a doctors advice.
After I graduated High School, I would think I was having an asthma attack. I could in fact breathe, but I felt like my world was closing in on me, and that everything was ending. I would continuously go to the emergency room and my oxygen saturation was nearing 100%. I was a young and healthy. I was having a panic attack.
I mistaken my anxiety for asthma. Anxiety can also mock an upset stomach or even a heart attack.
I was young and naïve. My Mom would tell me over and over again that it was anxiety and I just got frustrated.
Years gone by and 20 years plus anxiety is an after thought. I have conquered it and learned how to deal with it!
What happens to our bodies when we are having a panic attack? Our brains go into a flight or fight mode. This is a survival instinct, even though we are not in “danger”. Our heart rate goes up. Your breathing becomes fast, (this is where I thought I was having an asthma attack comes into play).
Sometimes it is biochemical where the brain doesn’t have enough serotonin, thus causing anxiety. Sometimes SSRI’s (serotonin reuptake inhibitors) or SNRI’s (Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), can really help whether it is biochemical or not, just to get you over that hump, while you work on self talk and lifestyle.
In my journey from recovering from anxiety disorder, I have learned so much, that I can share with others.
“Fortune Telling”. This is when you are worrying about the future, and what is going to happen, when in fact you do not know. When you do this, you imagine the worse case scenario. For example the other day I was thinking to myself “My manager is going to write me up and fire me, and find something wrong”. I told myself to quit thinking like this. I’ve been there 8 years, and have a good work record. Even if this happens, there’s better out there for me, and I’ll deal with it then.
Overgeneralization. All or nothing thinking. Viewing one single event as truth for the future. Goes hand and hand with fortune telling. Some examples “I didn’t get the job, after an interview, I’ll never get a job”. “Thinking oh I’m shy and quiet, I’ll never be able to give a speech in school or even graduate College”. This is an attitude of defeat. Not ever situating could ever produce the same result, life is too complex for this. This goes back to having a good self esteem and confidence as well.
Also take one day at a time. Live in the moment and enjoy it. This adds more quality to your life.
Most of what we worry about probably won’t ever happen. Worrying is a waste of time. This quote emphasizes this:
“Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.”
― Glenn Turner
You are not going to accomplish anything productive by worrying. It is just a waste of energy.
Self image, confidence, and self esteem. Sometimes we struggle with anxiety because we doubt ourselves. But we need to in fact work on our confidence, and look at the good qualities that we have, and to be happy with ourselves. We think to ourselves ‘I can’t do this”, but put your best foot forward and turn that can’t into can! We need to believe in ourselves and go after what we want in life.
Worrying about what people think, or what they will do our say. This is silly. Think about it. We cannot control what other people think, do, or say. You can control how you react. You can ignore, or not let it bother you. Certain things are not your responsibility, you are only responsible for yourself. You can logically talk yourself out of this way of thinking because it is just not true.
Letting go of caring what others think about you is freedom. Do not occupy your mind by being so self conscious. Have confidence and be yourself. “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken”. ― Oscar Wilde
You are uniquely you!
Do your best and don’t expect the worst. Look at the positives and be grateful!
Write down what you are grateful for, this is a great exercise to train your brain to be positive.
Don’t let others rain on your parade. Don’t get upset if people don’t give your the answer your a looking for.
Learn how to enjoy life. Sometimes when we struggle with anxiety and depression we want to sit in the house and mope. This makes depression worse. Get out and enjoy some hobbies, and have a social support group! Make sure you have a solid support system.
Exercise can really help anxiety as well. You will feel like you have accomplished something after a workout. Exercise releases feel good endorphins.
If something is bothering you, take action, think about what you can do about it, but don’t be too hard on yourself. Worried about money? Budget better or work more. Worried about weight? Eat healthier and exercise. Not feeling like you have control over life can make you anxious. Try to work on what is bothering you and your results will produce confidence. Take responsibility for your life, actions, and emotions. Realize you have control. Self control and discipline.
Helping others. When you are distracted helping others and improving their lives, somehow you forget about yourself and your problems. I’ve been a caregiver in assited living for 13 years! When you become less self absorbed and realize others need help as well, you forget about yourself in this regard and realize we are all human and problems of our own. “Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” – Booker T. Washington because you totally forget about your problems.
A great coping quote: “peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it.” Mahatma Gandhi
Life is short! Enjoy it, and do not let anxiety bring you down! I’m glad anxiety is a thing of the past. I freely enjoy life now!
Remember to be firm, but kind. Assertive, not passive, or aggressive or both. Find the balance. Work on it, and it is defiantly a life long process. Also forgive people, and forgive yourself.
These two self help books, have really helped me: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life Mark Manson