I had no intention of writing a recap this week once I realized I was slacking on my recap notes, and barely had any pictures to share, but I figured I can always make something out of nothing. And I was right!
Since my usual recap was a complete bust, I thought I would turn my recap into an informative how-to for anxiety sufferers using my life from this past week. I’ve really honed-in on my own personal anxiety triggers lately, and I would say this is one of the top ways I’ve found to handle anxiety, so I really wanted to share it with you.
If you have anxiety, then you’re most likely aware that the majority of your fears are completely irrational. You may even be able to understand the logical side of the situation at the same time that you’re feeling anxious about it, but you just can’t shake the fear from your mind!
It’s all a very nasty cycle, and it’s very frustrating to deal with. No argument there, right?
But, while it may be frustrating, there are ways to tone down that feeling of fear and handle these situations with a little more dignity than you’re probably used to.
You need to learn your triggers & be mentally prepared to take them on!
I’ve learned that mental preparation is very important. If you can recognize a situation or circumstance that will make you anxious, then you’re able to mentally prepare yourself for how to handle any scary thoughts or fears that may be coming your way.
Now, here’s how you do it: (I’ll use one of my own triggers as an example)
Make a list
Every time anxiety strikes, take a minute to sit and think about what caused it. Do you fear that your boss will hate your idea? Do you feel like you said something wrong and made a fool out of yourself? Are you struggling with something in your relationship? Whatever it is, write it down. Making a list in a notepad on your phone would probably be the easiest thing to do. These situations are what we would call “triggers.” These scenarios trigger an irrational fear in your mind, causing you to feel anxious.
Here is one of mine: I would write down, “my boyfriend just told me he is going out with his friends tonight.”
As most of you who read my blog know, I suffer from relationship anxiety.
Write down the emotions you feel
You probably won’t be very proud of what you’re about to write down. Mostly because it’s completely irrational, but be honest!
Unloved, scared, alone, abandoned, out of control.
Figure out why this particular situation is a trigger
Go down your list and take each trigger one at a time. Do some research online, speak to a professional, do some deep soul-searching and find the true source of why you feel anxious when each situation arises.
When my boyfriend tells me he is going out with friends, I feel anxious because of the abandonment I suffered in childhood. I fear being abandoned again by someone I love. I also suffer from low self-esteem. I fear that I am not good enough and if someone I love has an opportunity to leave me, they will. Knowing that this is a possibility makes me fear the unknown and feel out of control, seeing as I also suffer from trust issues.
Keep in mind that I have gone through therapy, a LOT of research, and I’ve been soul-searching a very long time to find the sources of my issues. It takes commitment and honesty. Be patient while you search for these answers.
Make an anxiety-helper list
Now that you’ve recognized your triggers and you understand where they come from, you can prepare accordingly. Make another list for each trigger. Fill it with videos, articles, reminders, quotes, old text messages, etc. Fill it with things that will be healthy reminders that what you’re feeling is not real and it is only your anxiety. This is a super helpful way to combat the anxious thoughts, get out of your own head, and see the situation from a clearer point of view.
My list might include a Youtube video about how to trust, an article on the importance of independence in a relationship, a list of self-love & care ideas I could practice while my boyfriend is out, and some quotes about being a strong, independent woman.
Going to my anxiety-helper list during any anxiety trigger is extremely helpful, and there are times it has nearly erased my anxiety. Of course, I still have the scary thoughts floating around, but I have enough information to fight them off without too much effort. Fill your mind with positivity, and it will replace the negativity.
Use this system for every trigger, big or small. And please NEVER allow anyone to tell you that what you’re anxious about is stupid, or ridiculous, or my personal favorite; no big deal. What you are feeling is real to YOU, and that is all that matters. You’re feeling anxious because you’re human and you have feelings and emotions. You might be an empath, or more sensitive than most. Maybe you’ve been burned severely in the past. Unfortunately, I’m all of the above, so anxiety is really no surprise for me, but that doesn’t make me any less of a person, and it doesn’t make you one either.
Use these tips at your own pace and remember, be patient and be kind to yourself.