Finding the Calm in the Midst of the Storm – Overcoming Anxiety

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Many of us suffer from anxiety from time to time. When we’ve taken up the huge task of care giving, we experience a lot more stress which can trigger anxiety. There can be a million reasons why we go through restlessness and nervousness but there are things we can do to change our predicaments. There is also great information available that will help us understand why we might be experiencing these very troubling feelings. So hang on and we’ll see what could help both you and me!

First of all, if your anxiety has you feeling like you might hurt yourself — call 911 now! Some of the strongest people I know have suffered from anxiety and even panic attacks. You need to get help immediately.

For those of us who sometimes find our minds racing and even feel our bodies are just out of whack, there are some things we can do to feel better. This slideshow on WebMD has some great tips on changing a troubling mood. The key word here is CHANGE.

Change Where You Are

Often just a change of place can make you feel better. If you’re inside — go outside. Just get outside and look at the sky, the trees, the birds or the people walking by. Use all your senses. Look all around you and focus on what’s pleasant. Breathe deeply and smell the plants and flowers outside. Use your hands and touch the plants in your yard. Listen to what is going on, even if it’s just the street noise. A change of place can help you focus on something besides your anxiety. Nature has a way of just helping us to feel better. The simple act of looking up can relieve short-term, mild depression. It’s just a mood lifter. Give it a try.

Change What You Are Doing

For me, the best way to get over anxiety is to get busy doing something. Sometimes I just straighten up the kitchen or go outside and sweep off the porch. I love the summer months when I have a small vegetable patch growing. Just a walk to the garden to see if it needs some water or if another gopher has been up to mischief can make me feel better. Get your hands in the dirt if you can. I know it sounds silly but dirt is actually therapeutic!

Exercise is a great way to change your thoughts. Take a walk if you can. If the weather is not good, try a little yoga. I record some sessions on the DVR, so I always have some yoga I can do. I love Happy Yoga with Sarah Starr because she has sessions that I can do on the floor or just sitting in a chair.

Change Who You Are With

Often when we become nervous and anxious we’re actually by ourselves. Having someone to talk to can change how we are feeling. We start to think of someone besides ourselves and our focus changes. It’s best to reach out to someone who’s generally a calm person. Leave the high maintenance friends for another day. The last thing you need is someone who brings more drama to your life.

If it’s too late to “phone a friend,” spend some time with your pet. They are great companions and are a proven remedy to anxiety. Even a goldfish can relieve stress if you watch it swim around for a while. The WebMD article also says that even house plants can help. They bring a little nature inside and are pleasant to look at.

Change Your Thoughts

Open up a photo album and look at happy pictures. Put on some music that makes you feel good. Move away from the bad thoughts and look for what is good in your life. The WebMD article says to meditate and clear your mind. If you’re a religious person focus on your faith. Read inspiring literature. Can you change what is bothering you? Some things are out of our control and we have to learn to let go.

Making Notes to Self

We all need to do our best to find out why we have these episodes. I’m not an expert in this field but I believe we all have triggers that make it more likely to have anxiety. Keep a notebook handy for writing down your thoughts and include these details.

  1. Am I hungry? Or what did I eat today?
  2. Did I have too much caffeine? Did I have more than one alcoholic beverage?
  3. Did I get enough sleep? Have my sleep patterns changed?
  4. Am I alone with this happens? If I am with someone during anxiety, who am I usually with?
  5. Is there a time of day when this tends to happen?
  6. Have I had a check-up lately?
  7. Has the weather changed a lot?

Answering these questions can make us more aware of what might be going on inside of us. Taking good care of ourselves by getting good rest, eating good food, limiting our caffeine and alcohol, getting our exercise and having good relationships with our family and friends — all these things contribute to the quality of our lives. Even a change in the weather can affect us more than we may realize.

Again, if you are experiencing thoughts of hurting your self — get help immediately. If you’re experiencing a lot of anxiety to the point of panic attacks — see a professional! There is help out there and you deserve to feel your best.

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