5 Ways I Reduce My Own Anxiety

Long term readers of my blog will know that anxiety is something that affects me. I'm an introvert and I think sometimes those two things combined together can make things feel worse. I am a big believer in talking openly and freely about anxiety and mental health because it can affect anyone, no matter how good your life or how happy you are. I believe that there shouldn't be a stigma attached to discussing either our emotional sides or our physical sides. At the end of the day, aren't we all just human? Don't we all go through things and deal with things?

As I've got a bit older I've realised that my anxiety is very much connected to my perspective. The mind is a powerful thing and I've realised that changing my thoughts really can change my world. Sometimes though, changing my thoughts can be hard work. But there are a few things that help me during the times that my mind becomes a bit too overloaded and can be hard to make sense of and today I thought I'd share those things with you. 

tips for coping with anxiety

1. Talking and opening up

The first thing I do if I start to feel anxious is to tell my Husband. I feel so fortunate to have grown up with and now be married to someone that though doesn't get anxious himself, is always there and happy to do what he can to help me feel better. Talking helps me to 1. get things off of my chest and 2. make sense of things through someone else's clearer perspective.

2. Starting small 

If I am feeling overwhelmed and anxious about the thought of doing something, I find that starting small and taking the initial steps but not going face first in generally helps. For example, when it comes to getting out, I find starting off with a small trip just to the shops or to the library with my little boy makes the thought of a longer/bigger trip feel much more manageable.

3. Facing whatever is making me anxious 

I don't like the thought of my anxiety stopping me from doing things, so I try not to avoid doing things all together. Things like driving can make me feel a bit anxious, but I try to ensure I drive at least once a week or I challenge myself to drive routes that I might feel anxious to avoid. When I started youtube, I could barely open my mouth to talk as I felt so anxious. I got really upset with it and nearly quit. But I  didn't want to feel defeated by my own mind and so I practised a bit a day and I pushed myself a little more each time. I found a way to edit my videos together in a way that made sense even if I'd fallen over my words completely and I kept going until I felt like I'd got the hang of it and felt less anxious about doing it. I did the same with a job I had before blogging, I took a job where I had to drive quite far and where I had to answer emergency phone calls. Talking on the phone worried me a lot much, but forcing myself to do it phone call by phone call helped me to overcome my fear.

I do believe in knowing your limits though, never push yourself too far in one go. I did this recently by attempting to go too many social events in London and after the second event I was left feeling drained and really anxious and I had to come home. I now know to push myself, but to not try and push too far.

4. Reading self helps books/quotes

As a Mum and a blogger, I don't get that much time to read if I'm honest, but I love picking up self-help books that you can read in small doses. One of my favourites is, 'One Minute Mindfulness' - it's the sort of book that you can pick up and read one page at a time and it's always something that changes my perspective when I do. I am a huge fan of it! I also love scrolling through Pinterest and reading empowering quotes and then pinning them to go back to look at and read again when I need to.

5. Being honest with how I feel 

This sort of relates to talking and opening up, but it's also more to do with feeling like it's okay to admit when you're struggling. I share aspects of my life online and I wouldn't feel like I was being totally true to myself or to the people that read or watch my posts and videos if I didn't also share my anxiety struggles. And I know that anyone and everyone can read or watch my videos, but honestly, I'm okay with that because I'm not ashamed.

I've had such a positive response to my honestly with it. I've had lots of people message me or leave me comments sharing their own stories and saying thanks for keeping the conversation around mental health going. Anxiety can often make you feel like it's just you dealing with it, but there are so many others who struggle with it too. And as much as it's not something that you'd wish on others, it's comforting to know that we're not alone at least I think.

Thank you for reading. 
  Alex xo 
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