How I Combat Anxiety


A while ago (four months ago, to be exact) I made a post listing a bunch of goals for the year ahead, and one of those goals was to ditch anxiety. Since then I've had one and a half job interviews (well, one interview, and one thing that was similar) and they were actually okay.

For me, anxiety manifests in its most extreme way when I try to do work-related things. Sometimes I get easily overwhelmed thinking things like "my CV is awful", "they're not going to like me", or the classic "I'm a horrible idiot who can't do anything". I think part of why I can panic easily is that I want to work so much. It's so important to me that I can't think about it rationally before mentally telling myself off for not having everything sorted already. Whilst I still sometimes find myself thinking this way before I can stop myself, I've definitely gotten a lot better, and having the one and a half interviews has really helped a lot.

I know that the more I familiarise myself with the processes that scare me, the more confident I will be with them, but I still need to be kind to myself and use as many tactics as possible to reassure myself and take care of myself. I'm going to list a few different things that I find helpful..

Touch & Personal Objects

Anxiety can have physical effects, of course. In particularly unpleasant moments, I've had my hands start to shake uncontrollably. The worst thing about those kinds of physical responses, other than that you can't stop them, is that they show anyone nearby how nervous you are. Once you start shaking or sweating, that's it, you've reached peak vulnerable. Just as anxiety has physical effects, though, it can also be soothed by touch. One of my favourite comforts, not just for nervousness but also for when I'm feeling sick or sad, is a small cuddly toy or maybe a cozy scarf. The feel of something soft is nice and calming, but I find it extra calming to pretend I have a little friend cheering me on wherever I go (especially if that little friend is something I can squeeze and cuddle).

Lots of other personal objects can help, like little gifts from friends or jewellery that you can fiddle with. I find necklaces the best for this. I've illustrated this post with some items that help me to feel comforted, including my card wallet where I always keep a photo of Elliot and a little note reminding me not to worry.


Warmth

This is obviously similar to making yourself feel better by touching soft things or squeezing cuddly toys, but using warmth is sort of deeper - an all over body comfort. A good coat or cardigan can make you feel so much stronger and more confident, but if you're inside you can bundle yourself up and have a hot drink. There's not much that makes me feel more cared for than being all toasty. When I don't want to drink more tea I often go for a mug of hot water instead (fun fact: Tommy Wiseau has a penchant for hot water).

Rewarding Yourself

Doing the things that make you anxious is really hard. Sometimes, no matter how much you try to psych yourself up and ignore your anxious thoughts, you can't do it. That's okay, but when you try, you should reward yourself. Get into the habit of getting something nice every time you face your anxiety and you can slowly condition yourself to be less anxious about it. In any case, you deserve a reward. My reward would most likely be something like drawing myself a cute picture, or having a really delicious meal.


Ultimately, all of these things are about being nice to yourself. The best advice for tackling anxiety really is to treat yourself with kindness and understanding. If you provide enough comfort and reassurance to yourself in anxious situations then eventually the situations themselves can start to feel comfortable! Try to be good to yourself.

12 comments:

  1. This is one thing I also need to get in control of- my anxiety. I've never seemed to be able to own it. I need to do things like this. Funnily enough, I do have a lipstick that makes a most satisfactory clicking sound when opening/closing it, and I do this when I'm nervous.x
    xx
    Jenny // Mish Mosh Makeup

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    1. Good luck, I'm sure there's lots you can do to make it a bit easier on yourself. Keep clicking that lipstick!

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  2. Hi Lil Ashton. Thank you for the tips. I also have this problem especially when I need to do a formal discussion with someone important (for example my university professor) I'll tend to fail to convey my research progress or worst I'll lost my words and look like an idiot.. *sigh~* Well I gonna give your tips a try! Thank you again :)

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    1. You're super capable! I wish you the best of luck. Take care of yourself and take it easy! xxx

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  3. THIS IS SO GOOD Y AM I ONLY READING THIS NOW??? This (or a version of this) should totally be in issue two of doll hospital??? XOX

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    1. THANK YOU! I've gotten such a lovely response to this post, lots of quiet Bloglovin' saves. I'm so happy I can say something that's uplifting/useful to be people! And I'd be super happy to Doll Hospital it :-)

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    2. Aaa I didn't click the notify thingy so just saw this!!! But yes it's a total gem, and so perf for doll hospital!!! <3 <3 In terms of warmth my friend bought me a minature hot water bottle which you can carry around outside? You squeeze it and it heats up! I think it is going to be such a good anxiety comfort! ^o^

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    3. The red knit thingy at the top of the post is a holder for one of those mini hot water bottles. Warm stuff forever!

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  4. This post is super. I still deal with anxiety, though it's not as bad as when I was younger. The best thing that works for me - if I'm home - is getting my cat Buu to come and snuggle with me. He's very obliging and has a huge purr which is very soothing. I need to figure out something for while I'm on the go though. I wish I had figured some of these things out earlier! Love your blog by the way. :)

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    1. Cats are SO soothing and nice to be around! It's a shame you can't take your pets everywhere with you. I guess that is sort of what I replicate by carrying a little soft toy around with me, maybe you could try something like that. I wonder if anyone has gone to Build-A-Bear and recorded a cat purring. I hope you will find lots of great ways of dealing with your anxiety! And thanks for loving my blog :-) xx

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  5. Awesome post, I would love to re-blog this at some point soon if you don't mind? Jo x

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Thank you so much for your comments, especially if they include limericks about skeletons.
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