Best Tips For Dealing With Anxiety, According To People Battling The Disorder

Anxiety disorder is one of the most common mental health issues in the world, affecting both adults and children every year. Everyone feels anxious now and then. It’s a normal emotion. For example, you may feel nervous when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision. Howevwe, anxiety disorders are different.

The distress they cause can keep you from carrying on with your life normally. For people who have one, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, and can be disabling. But with help, many people can manage those feelings and get back to a fulfilling life.

All anxiety disorders share some general symptoms:

  • Panic, fear, and uneasiness
  • Sleep problems
  • Not being able to stay calm and still
  • Cold, sweaty, numb or tingling hands or feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Tense muscles
  • Dizziness

On Men’s Health platform, actor and comedian Bill Hader spoke openly about his experience of living with anxiety, and the unique method he devised for coping — and now others are doing the same.

READ ALSO: Private: PARENTS MUST READ: Study Finds New Approach To Treat Childhood Anxiety

Offering his advice to younger people who might be struggling with the same issues, Hader said:

“I’ve had really bad anxiety my whole life. I’ve dealt with, you know, everything from if I knew there was a big test, to getting on the school bus and doing that by myself, or any of those things… I just didn’t think I would be able to do it, and there was always a little voice in my head telling me ‘here’s all the things that could go wrong.’

And as you get older, that sticks around. And so, when I was, boy, in my mid-30s was when I officially tried to do something about it, because it was affecting my job as a performer on live television. Which is, like, for someone with massive anxiety, that’s a crazy job to have. But I loved my job, so I was going to figure out how to deal with this.”

Hader said that a pivotal moment came when he realized that his anxiety was something he was always going to have, and thinking of it as a part of himself changed the way he would think. He stated further:

“And what helped me was learning that it doesn’t really go away. You manage it. And instead of pushing away your anxiety, and I always imagined my anxiety as this little monster that would attack my face or pull at my ears, you know.

And instead of pushing that thing away and trying to fight it, I would just go ‘hey, oh hey buddy’, like it was a little monkey, and I would just kinda go ‘Ok, sit on my shoulder, let’s hang out, let’s just chill out, there it is.’… And I wish I had done that when I was younger.

I think I would’ve done better in school, I think I would’ve done a little better in social situations, and I wouldn’t have lived life afraid.”

ALSO READ: Billionaire’s Daughter, Meram Indimi, Opens Up About Her Struggle With Depression & Anxiety For A Good Cause

In a thread on Reddit, people have also been sharing their best tips for dealing with anxiety. Of course, the first thing somebody should do if they are struggling is to seek help: a lot of the tools recommended by commenters on the thread come from their own experiences of cognitive behavioral therapy.

Many cited the “five senses check” as a means of grounding themselves during an anxiety flare-up: a popular method favored by psychiatrists.

One commenter explained:

“Identify five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.

It helps ground you in the present and take your mind off of whatever is triggering your anxiety in the moment. Although it may not work for everyone, it’s helped me through many panic attacks!”

Another user recommended:

“Identifying triggers and avoiding them if possible. Preparing for situations that I know will trigger my anxiety beforehand if they can’t be avoided.”

Another guy mentioned:

“I save compliments. Friend says I’m a good friend? I write that shit down. Boss gives me kudos on my work? I save that email. Stranger likes my outfit? I make a note of that. Twin Bro laughs his ass off at my joke? That’s going in my journal.”

READ ALSO: 10 Moms Coping With Anxiety Disorders Chronicle How They Scaled Through During Pregnancy

Others advised mindfulness exercises such as long walks, meditation and journaling, all of which can have calming effects.

Diet and routine have also helped some people: eating well, sleeping well, exercising and sticking to a schedule keep both the mind and body active, and less susceptible to intrusive thoughts.

 

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