Anxiety is something I’ve dealt with my entire life since I was a child, only I didn’t know what ‘anxiety’ was back then, and to tell you the truth, it’s only been about a year since I’ve actually come to terms with what it is and learned how important mental health is. I am now at the point in my life where I embrace my anxiety and understand the tools to cope with it. Which is why I am writing his blog post, to help others who experience anxiety.
In my younger years, I definitely experienced a lot of anxiety. I was brought up in a happy home life, but that doesn’t mean certain things won’t happen to you or you won’t go through things that change you completely. A lot of us can say we’ve had something happen to us or witnessed something that’s changed us, and that’s exactly how I feel.
Fast forward a couple years, and I shut my feelings out. If my best friends are reading this, they’ll know that I had good days and bad days, and that’s because when you go through something or get anxious, certain things or words can trigger you. It wasn’t until one of my best friends’s really opened up my eyes on the subject of mental health. I used to walk around thinking that I’m totally fine or, “shopping is therapy, who wouldn’t be happy buying that purse?.” SO NOT TRUE!!
Materialistic things will only make you happy temporarily, and I learned that the hard way. Sure having nice stuff makes me feel good, but if I’m anxious about something, no expensive item can trick my brain into thinking that I’m really ok and expect me to be happy forever. Life just doesn’t work like that.
I pushed away my anxiety and taught my brain to not think about it, and that will f*** you up. It’s tough, I completely understand that. It’s so tough feeling a certain way and not being able to talk about it. There’s a whole stigma behind mental health— if you’re in bed all day, people will think you’re lazy, you don’t hang out with your friends or family members for weeks or months, it’s because you’re anti-social. This can become very overwhelming. But If there’s one thing I am 100% sure about, it’s that hiding from your truth won’t make anything better.
Last year, I noticed myself getting upset constantly and wanting to break out of this bubble that I was stuck in. Accepting anxiety was a part of me was the biggest struggle I faced. And so I decided to see a therapist, and that changed my life for the better.
Therapy has taught me how to be in control of my life. All my life, I felt I was in the passenger seat, unable to speak my mind, unable to share my truth, incapable of expressing my true emotions, and after months and months of therapy sessions, I am finally in control— I am the driver.
It’s not easy sitting for an hour and expecting your therapist to make you feel better after 3 sessions, and sometime’s you may not connect with the first therapist you visit. I had to pay a lot of money to go to therapy, and I didn’t have any benefits, so what I earned from my self-employed job was going straight to my therapy sessions, and if you had told me this years ago, I would’ve without a doubt said, no thanks, I’d rather drink a bottle of wine and vent to my friends about it.
Now, as I sit here and write this, I can say that I’ve changed so much. The amount I’ve grown from my first therapy session makes me so proud. I’ve learned to put my mental health first and to be mindful, (if you go to therapy, you know how important this word is). I’ve learned to stop giving in to toxic energy and that it’s ok to cancel plans, it’s ok if you don’t want to do something that doesn’t make you happy, and most importantly, it’s ok to say NO. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. If you don’t want to go to a certain event because it gives you anxiety, don’t go. I’ve finally learned to be in control of my life and it is the best feeling ever.
There are days where I still get anxious but because of therapy, I now understand how to cope and ways to calm myself down. I can’t tell you how to cope with your anxiety, but I can give you an insight into ways I’ve dealt with my anxiety and mental health.
WAYS I DEAL WITH ANXIETY
Stop Overthinking. Definitely easier said than done. But this is such an important one. You can’t waste your energy on toxic people. Don’t let someone ruin 24 hours of your day because of a little comment that took them 10 seconds to type. Don’t overthink your conversation from a week ago and analyze what you could’ve said instead, the conversation is over, move on.
We get so caught up in giving our energy where it’s not needed. This is something I work on to this day, but when I catch myself doing this, I immediately know what I have to do— go on Pinterest. When I’m feeling down, or in a bad headspace, I go to my private Pinterest board that I have created, which is filled with tons of positive, spiritual and growth quotes that instantly help with my mood.
Journal/Write It Down. I had to get used to doing this one but it’s helped so much. And there are different ways to do write down how you’re feeling. I’ve had prompt journals, Pour Your Heart Out by Gayle Forman is a good one, which allows you to express yourself with topics already curated. You can always find topics online as well and get an empty journal to write in.
Keep in mind, you don’t have to write out a story of what you’re going through, if you do, that’s completely fine, but for those who struggle with saying what’s on your mind, try writing out words instead of sentences. Scribbling one word on a piece of paper 100 times and then ripping it up is even helpful, been there done that.
Excercise. Going to the gym has always been my happy place. Working out includes no distractions, so sweating out your anger or sadness can sometimes help. Even going for a trail walk or hike is a way to re-charge yourself. Surrounding yourself with nature is always a good idea.
Talk About It. This is so important. Whether it’s a family member, your best friend, significant other, or therapist, talking about it can help. However, be careful who you open up to. To support someone dealing with severe anxiety, just listen without judgment.
Not everyone understands what anxiety is and I’ve learned that there are some people I can open up to and some I can’t, and that’s completely ok. No one is ever being “dramatic” about their anxiety or “over-exaggerating,” please remember that.
There are just a few tips. There are so many other ways to help make yourself feel better when you’re down— take a bath, listen to music, binge-watch a show, hang out with people who make you happy or go for a drive.
I’ve even tried a CBD (natural) oil from Birch + Fog Wellness and that’s been so helpful. It keeps me not only motivated throughout the day, but also calm and focused. Click here to read my blog post about CBD Oils for Anxiety.
Let’s take care of our mental health.
Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blogger – Keep up with Davneet Dhillon on Instagram.