Dealing with Anxiety!!

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In light of the recent sad event related to Kate Spade’s suicide has led me to think a little deeper & talk openly about this subject that is spreading faster than cancer these days. The issue of mental health is so prevalent currently that every second person I speak to or even know is kind of dealing with some or the other form of this illness. So many people are encouraging rather pleading others to come out and talk about these issues. It’s like coming out of the closet. Honestly I feel absolutely no shame talking about it. I have been dealing with Anxiety for past few years now. For the first few I didn’t even know what was happening to me till I heard people talk about it and I started reading and realised oh so THIS is what they call “Anxiety”.. I never knew it. I just thought that I am feeling sad & worried but I will be ok. I would become ok and then I would be back to feeling sad or worry about something again. I notice that its mostly women who seem to be going through this problem. Is it because we are the weaker sex ?? Or is it because we feel more??? I am not too sure what is the reason.. I have my own theories about it. Anyway the point here is not to find out what causes it and why it happens because I know anything can just trigger it. The point I wanna discuss is how to deal with it or rather how do I deal with it.

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First of all we need to understand whether its Anxiety or just normal Stress cos stress has an identifiable trigger whereas Anxiety can just come out of nowhere. One minute you are completely normal and the next minute it just hits you. Right??? It all starts with this deep feeling in the pit of your stomach that is kind of very unsettling and it kind of makes you so restless. You are like constantly worried about something. There is always something bothering you and it just can start at any point and anything can just trigger it. It could be stemming from a lot of factors – could be insecurities, relationship issues, childhood issues, too much pressure to prove yourself, too much pressure to live up to other’s expectations – parents, boyfriends , husbands, children or just “society”.
And extreme Anxiety could lead to Panic Attacks which means you are struggling for breath. Have you felt it? Well I have and it can get to you.
So what do I do to deal with it?

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First of all please know that you are not alone. I used to think I am mad and something is wrong with me but the more I spoke my heart out the more I realised that there are others going through the same things. This leads to my first point

1. Don’t hold it inside of you. Talk about it
It could just be a friend who understands you and can listen to you and with whom you can have a meaningful conversation. Don’t catch a random person.. Find a person with whom you vibe at that level. The one who is your confidante with whom you are not afraid to get judged. You will get the vibes.
BUT
If you don’t have anyone like that or you are afraid to talk to someone or your problem is more serious just see a Therapist. There is no harm. Trust me I have told so many people to go and see a therapist if things are bothering them. We go to a doctor so why can’t we got to a therapist?

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2. Unplug for a while
In today’s day and age Social media is an inherent part of our lives. Even if we know that everyone is faking it out there we still tend to get consumed by it. Happens to me all the time. At that time I just unplug from all the activities for a while. I retreat into a shell. Just lie low and take a step back to breathe. Unplugging for me also means taking a break from any kind of social activity. I just want a moment for my own self.
This is relevant for everything and I mean everything. If a job is not working , If your career is stagnating,  if a relationship is bothering you, if you are suffering from pains or aches, your life is not in order OR  just as simple as your comp/ phone is giving you trouble. Leave it alone for a while.  Just unplug.

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3. BRRREEEAAATHEE
Seriously breathe. Anxiety or panic attacks is actually you getting thrown out of your breathing rhythm. As soon as you are feeling anxious concentrate on your breath. I learnt 4×4 breathing from my Yoga teacher
Inhale 4 counts – Exhale 4 counts. Its called equal breathing. It will just calm you down and you can do it anywhere

4. Writing a journal
I am not very good at writing.. sometimes I wish I could give words to my feelings and create a poem out of it :-)
But what I do is I write my feelings. its like talking to someone. I write what I feel. I write my high point and I write my low points of the day
I make it a point to count my blessings. No matter how bad I am feeling, I know there is always something to feel thankful about. I bow down in gratitude about things that are going so well for me. I write them down and while I am thinking about it I get this nice feeling in my heart which makes me feel good. Also it humbles me down. So even if you don’t wanna jot down your feelings.. just write 3 – 5 things you are grateful for. It could be as simple as I am grateful that I can see. I am grateful that I have a fully functional disease free body.
Like writing this blogpost is also so therapeutic for me. I don’t care if anyone reads it. I am doing cos I am feeling nice while writing it :-)

5. Exercise
Believe me this is the only time when I am on a high. That my body can do what I want it to do makes me happy at another level. That I can kill a workout on that day is a different kind of Adreline rush for me. Its my biggest accomplishment of the day. Its just therapy for me. At that point I am with my mind and my mind is with me. Its my meditation. Yes somedays its challenging but most of the days its just focus and discipline. What I do is make smaller goals and try to achieve those. It could be as simple as I will try and lose 1 kg in this week. it just gives me a purpose , a goal, a path to concentrate on. Shifts my focus on something positive.

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6. Positive Affirmations
We have heard it countless times. We all know it. When we are in Anxiety mode we indulge in negative self talk and by the time you realise it, you have beaten your soul to the pulp. Imagine if someone constantly keeps telling you – you are not good, you are not deserving, you are a failure , you are a loser. Now imagine doing that to your soul.
You are killing it without even realising it. This is when you have to consciously (and forcibly) tell yourself to take it easy and then start talking positively to your innerself. Just start it simple by saying I am the best and I will get the best cos I deserve the best. Trust me it is the most difficult thing but if you can consciously do it you are in no time gonna pull yourself out of any negative situation and start feeling more confident.
What is confidence – Its just a reflection of Inner YOU :-)

7. Dissociate with Negative
Sometimes you just have too much toxicity around you in form of wrong people in your life. Cut them out. Anything that brings you down be ruthless and learn to say NO.
No I deserve better than this and better will come. Trust the universe.

So these are some of my ways and sometimes I am successful sometimes I fail miserably but I never give up which is what we should all keep doing. Failing, Learning, Trying……

Sending Positive vibes
xxx
Shonima Kaul

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