Monday, 11 April 2016

HOW I COMBAT ANXIETY AND STRESS


All my life, I've been a notorious worrier. One of the phrases my parents and friends always used to (and still do) say to me is "You're overthinking it!" or "Stop worrying about it so much!". Now, if you're a worrier like me, you know that saying those things to a stress-head does not work. Over the years I've got better, but when I was younger (especially during middle school, are middle schools still a thing?) I would work myself up into such a state over the smallest thing - like an argument with a best friend or upcoming SATs - and I often gave myself the worst stomach migraines. Nowadays, I'm able to keep my stress relatively low, and I've managed to stop my anxious tendencies from preventing me from trying new things.

1. What's the worst that could happen?
I ask myself this often, and I find that it helps me evaluate the situation I'm in. At the end of last year I'd been out of education and full time work for almost six months, and I was on a fast track to a downward depressive spiral. But then the New Year rolled around, and I looked at something that I had always dismissed previously as I thought they were rubbish and a total waste of time - apprenticeships (in hindsight, I have no idea why I thought that, I was so naive). I found a course that sounded perfect for me and was the only thing I'd felt appealed to me in a long time, but I suddenly felt the familiar churn of anxiety and apprehension of trying something completely new and out of my comfort zone. But whilst normally I would chicken out, I suddenly had a moment where I thought: what's the worst that could happen if I do this? I mean, I wasn't doing anything at the time, so wasn't this better than nothing, surely it was worth a try at least? Now, I've never looked back.

2. Find the cause/s of your anxiety.
You need to dig down, and it will take a while, but if you find a pattern in your stress and anxiety you might be able to work out what causes it and that's the first step to sorting it out. If you already know your cause, like perhaps it's College or School or something much more complicated, good for you! You're already one step ahead of the rest of us. For me, I've recently realised that it's commitment. Now, that's a pretty broad topic, but for me my little stresses and big stresses all lead back to the fear of committing to something. I need to know what I'm getting myself into, and I get nervous if I don't know that/I can't get out of what I've got myself into. I'll give you some examples which lead me to this conclusion: University. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't apply. I couldn't go through with it - I visited so many and my whole family were pro-Uni but something told me that this wasn't right, and I wasn't comfortable committing to something that I wasn't 100% sure about. And University is a big deal, which freaked me out massively too, especially when I didn't know which career direction I wanted to take.

3. #YOLO.
Are we bringing that back, really Maia? I hear you say. On this occasion, we are indeed. This is another thing that helps me out when I'm starting to stress about something. #Yolo (you only live once) is a true enough statement, and whilst it doesn't mean you should go eat 100 hamburgers because #YOLO, it does mean TAKE THAT OPPORTUNITY YOU'RE BEING PRESENTED WITH, 'COS #YOLO. Are you putting off posting that first YouTube video because of the fear of the unknown? #YOLO (and refer back to point one). Try it, you never know where it will take you! (See: YouTube.com/Zoella as an example). I've been to Thailand because I said #YOLO, and using some of my savings for that trip was one of the best things I've ever done, and actually was a massive help in battling some of my serious anxieties amongst other things. You don't need to go across the world to be a crazy #YOLO hooligan, but it's just about doing something that you know the You from three years ago would never believe you'd go and do. For me, it was travelling somewhere far away without my parents for three weeks.

4. Speak to someone, find someone who will listen (and advise if you need that).
Personally, I don't need someone who will give me a 1000 document of all of the solutions to my problems, or for them to even tell me that I'll be okay. I just need someone who will listen to me whilst I vent and rave and go on and on about my problems. I'm lucky enough to have a friend in my life that is perfect for these situations. She listens and she can relate to me, and I'm so grateful for her in my life. If I want advice, she'll help me out as best she can, and if I just want to cry then she'll be the shoulder for me to dampen (I hate that word ahhhh). I feel so good when the problems in my head are expressed in confidentiality. But if you don't have that person you can a) talk to me (I'm an excellent listener), b) call a helpline, c) take to Tumblr (have you heard of Tumblr? I've sent messages to users just to ask for advice, even if I don't know them or have never spoken to them before, and the responses are amazing. The majority of Tumblr users are kind and caring, and I know that if I received an anonymous message where someone is asking to come to me for advice then I'd be as best help as I could), or d) get involved in blog posts, like these - comment and speak up, you'll feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders.

So I've got four points here, these are all that I can think of right now. I'm sure that everyone experiences anxiety and some point or another, and falls somewhere on the spectrum. For me, I've got better over the years as I've found ways to help myself, and hopefully in turn I can help others.

Maia xx


SHARE:

No comments

Post a Comment

© Maia Creed - UK Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle Blog

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig