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A few months ago, in my post “What’s in a Name?- Dealing with Invisible Scars”, I talked about my own issues with anxiety and depression and the stigma that sometimes comes along with this. In the US, Anxiety Disorders affect approximately 40 million adults between the ages of 18 to 54 (National Institute of Mental Health, 2017) and in the UK surveys indicate that approximately 3 million people suffer with anxiety disorder (AnxietyUK.org). The holiday seasons are upon us and for many it can be stressful, so I wanted to share a few ways to overcome anxiety.
1. When you are feeling anxious, Listen to Music – With music being easily accessible via music streaming apps like iTunes, Amazon Music, Sound cloud, Pandora and iHeartradio, the distractions and overwhelming feelings can be calmed just by popping in your headphones, turning up your music and tuning your surroundings out. I use this trick quite frequently when I have to go grocery shopping or to the mall during peak hours or during high volume times like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
2. Journaling – I know, I know… People are always suggesting journaling, but journaling or just jotting down your thoughts will help quickly transfer those overwhelming feelings from your mind into your journal. By journaling, you’re helping to clear your mind of these unnecessary and overwhelming thoughts and feelings. I carry a notebook in my car, have one in my purse and/or I will use the notepad app in my phone for those moments when I need to let go of the anxious thoughts.
Don’t have a journal here are some great suggestions
3. Phone a Friend or Family Member – *Now this tip comes with a disclaimer* Please reach out to a non-judgmental friend or family member who can calmly talk you down off the ledge. Don’t reach out to someone who is going to further stress you out and make the situation worse. Many years ago when I lived in Phoenix, I remember attempting to attend a job fair, which was being hosted at the then Jobing.com Arena (the name since been changed to Gila River Arena). As soon as I pulled into the parking lot and saw the sea of cars I knew I wasn’t going to be able to make it. So, I immediately called my Grandmother who listened to me voice my objections, helped calm me calm my anxiety and encouraged me to try again another day.
These tips aren’t just for the holiday season and can be used anytime your feeling anxious.
Casting all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. ~ 1 Peter 5:7
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