Monday, October 16, 2017

Wellness Challenge #2: How to tackle anxiety

Photo by Alisa Anton 

Guess who’s back with another wellness challenge! Raise your your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by your own anxiety. If you haven’t, I envy you deeply. Anxiety has been a part of my life ever since I can remember. Sometimes I appreciate it because it pushes me to do the things I’ve been avoiding, but usually, it cripples me. There are a lot of studies about the negative impacts anxiety has on our minds and bodies. If you are severely struggling with it, it might be a great idea to consult a professional and get their advice. Hell, finding an amazing therapist is at the top of my list right now. I even started a savings account last week devoted solely to my mental health wellness. I know seeing a mental health professional can be VERY costly. So until that account is large enough for me to book an appointment at an office that I feel is the right fit for me, I’m challenging myself (and you) to do 3 tiny things every time we feel anxious for the next two weeks.


1. Count forwards and backwards to the number 5, five times while deeply inhaling and exhaling. 
I learned this trick from the amazing Mel Robbins. Honestly, you can really calm yourself down if you just take a few seconds to breath and recenter yourself. This is one of my favorite tricked because you can do it anytime, anywhere and no one will notice! When you do this, you realize that you can handle whatever is causing you anxiety. You’re strong enough and smart enough to get through this. You might not think that you are, but trust me; you are, and I’m always right. So there! Now you have no excuse but to believe that you are strong and smart enough to handle this obstacle. 


2. Write down what's bothering us, why it’s bothering us, and actions we can take to solve or move past the broken down problem. 
This step helps me because it's a reminder that no matter the outcome, I’ll always have myself once this is over, ensuring that I’ll be ok. Then I also brainstorm everything I can do to fix this problem. For example, one of the MANY things I was anxious as hell about this weekend is my love life. I was telling myself all of these toxic lies such as “I’m not pretty enough to get the type of man I want to commit to me,” “don’t smile at that cute guy on the train because he wants someone who looks like her, not like you Nia,” or “you’re not successful enough yet to be with the type of guy you want.” 

These are all terrible, untrue things, and why was I even telling myself this story? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Attraction isn’t a universal truth. It’s subjective, not objective and I’m not a freaking mind reader, so that cute guy in front of me at startbucks might think I’m an angel sent from above or he might not. 


Number two, if someone only cares about my physical appearance, they aren't the person for me. Yes,having enough self-respect to present yourself in a way that makes you feel confident is very important, but looks should never be the foundation of a healthy relationship. Guess what the real catch is... it doesn’t matter what that stranger thinks of me at all. Yes, I truly believe that love is the most important thing to experience in life, but I should be practicing self-love on a daily basis instead of putting my self-worth  in the hands of other people. I'd be lying if I said this is an easy mindset to fix, but I know I should never depend on anyone else to feel fulfilled. 


Some of the actionable steps I can take to fix my irrational fear of being single for all eternity are: 
1.) I can devote more time to taking care of my physical and emotional state so I look, but most importantly, feel my best. 
2.) I can repeat a positive quote to myself whenever I don’t feel confident. This will boost my energy and change my mindset. Confident people are attracted to other confident people, so in this case, taking a break from dating and focusing on boosting that self confidence is essential. 

3.) I can push myself to be more active and social so I meet more people. Go to that hiking meet up event. Take up that happy hour invitation and talk to at least 3 new people! I won't die from being a little social. Netflix can wait. 

I use this list exercise for just about every aspect of my life: my career, apartment hunting, expanding my social circle, making more money... literally everything. Once I have my problems down on paper and brainstorm small things I can do to fix them; I feel like I can breathe again and put down the pint of ice cream I've been binge eating to distract myself. 

3. Freaking cry 

Sometimes you really just need to cry to get all of the pressure and anxiety out of your system. There’s nothing wrong with crying every now and then. It’s great for your facial tissue. I do believe there’s such a thing as too much crying though (ie. me every single morning my second semester of senior year of college (2016) when I stretched myself too thin in order to avoid dealing with my father’s death). So if you find yourself crying multiple times a week, I don’t think it hurts to explore seeking help from a professional. Believe me, no one should feel tortured by their thoughts 24/7. Life is meant to be beautiful, and I refuse to let us be held hostage by our own minds.

 What do you do to help battle anxiety? I can't wait to hear from you guys, and if you need someone to talk to, feel free to email me. Also, here's a cute puppy gif if you need something to help you smile today.




2 comments:

  1. This is great! Lists are definitely very helpful for me too, you can see things so much clearer. Plus, I want that puppy ��

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  2. Thanks Ruth! I like how lists help me get everything out of my head, and I want that too! I have really bad puppy fever at the moment, haha.

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