So in this blog post, I want to briefly discuss mental illness and coping mechanisms, specifically how I deal with Anxiety on a daily basis. When it comes to anxiety, everyone handles it differently.
While having been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder for about four years now, I don’t think I have any one particular solution that helps when I experience an anxiety attack. Instead, I have a list of activities that help ease the tension and worried thoughts. I have about 5 activities that help relieve my stress and anxiety.
Listen to Music
It helps so much in calming me down. Whenever I get a rush of overwhelming negative thoughts or feel a panic attack coming on, I turn on my favorite playlist to help calm my nerves. It takes me up to an hour to start calming down.
But music helps me enter a space that is near euphoric and helps move my body toward a positive note when I start moving to the rhythm of the beat. I even end up singing along, which helps in connecting me to peaceful emotions.
Take Time to Watch Movies
They are a huge, huge, huge, helper. They place me in a storyline alternate to mine and help divert my attention to the main character and their experience that in turn makes me feel for them rather than my own worries.
I can experience what they felt and carry that back into my life. While I know that the movie is fiction (or based on a true story), I imagine the storyline as a reality and it definitely helps me be grateful for what I have instead of worry about what I lack.
Take a Break to Read
Reading is another mechanism that helps me place myself into a different storyline. It is extremely calming and helps me gain alternative perspectives in my life. Reading fiction is my favorite genre overall, but I love learning about other people’s lives in their memoirs.
Something about memoirs helps me feel less alone in the world.
Go Look at Some Art
As an artist (in my mind), this is big in calming me down. Anxiety stems from doubts and negative thinking. Looking at art helps me understand others’ emotions. It helps me see how an artist deals with their anxiety/emotions and inspires me to pursue a project that can help strip those worried thoughts down and pinpoint the stressors that feed the negative thoughts.
Looking at art also allows me to feel as though I am a part of the bigger picture. I often think that my life is just as important as the next person, and perhaps I can help change people’s views about mental illness if I were to try the techniques that various artists use.
Be Creative! Make Some Art Masterpieces!
I try to take from the artists that inspire me and put their techniques mixed with my emotions into the art to create a piece that is both meaningful and cathartic. I am not entirely sure if my art is good, but I always have fun doing it. The best types of art to make while you are experiencing anxiety is painting, drawing (doodling too), and even doing mixed art using stamps and paint and mod podge. The best art comes from getting your emotions out on the paper.
Anxiety is difficult to handle.
It alienates, and degrades, and strips you of your self-esteem. But if you are open to the world, then you can find ways of defeating anxiety each day.
If you have anxiety too, don’t let it define you or rule your life. If you try coping mechanisms when you start to feel anxious when you are so much closer to living a happy, anxiety-free, life. Some of the coping techniques on this list may help you, but everyone is different. Do whatever feels right for you!
If you have a specific technique that works for you, I would love to know! Comment down below and we can start a conversation!