Posted on June 28 2020
By Dave Brennan:
It's hard not to let anxiety weigh you down. Just when you find some relief, something else happens. Going to therapy and medication could only help so much. That is when you need to take charge and learn to control your anxious thoughts and feelings so that your body could be in a relaxed state more often. There are some things you
can do that I will share.
Mindfulness meditation is something I first learned in a therapy session with a psychologist I saw in college. Coincidentally, Emma Stone practices this technique.
Update: Living with the fear of contracting or transmitting COVID-19 has increased the level of anxiety for almost everyone. It's especially hard on those of us who were already combating anxiety issues before the pandemic.
Here are some ways to cope with the additional anxiety and fear caused by the Coronavirus:
Download this Healthy Coping Ideas workbook from Canadian Dr. Sachiko Nagagasawa which includes handy checklists and planners to help you thrive in times of anxiety and stress. This is an amazing resource that covers destressing activities, coping strategies, emotional health, sleep assistance, and more.
For quick Coronavirus anxiety relief, check out this handy help guide which provides a common-sense approach and tips to reduce anxiety for anyone living through this pandemic. You can also check out these inspiring images to color in our Hope Gallery.
Talking about it with others seems to help
Staying busy seems to distract from destructive thoughts, but mostly Emma Stone finds relief from anxiety by working with a therapist, meditating and being open with others about her condition. She admits that talking with others can be scary but it seems to help. She has been generous about sharing these struggles in the hope that it will help others. About Emma Stone's battle with anxiety.
Managing the anxiety monster
Emma Stone revealed to Dr. Harold Kopewicz from the Child Mind Institute that she had her first, terrifying panic attack in the summer after first grade. While at a friend's house, she was convinced it was on fire and would burn down even though there was no fire. This was the start of often paralyzing anxiety which prevented her from activities such as sleeping at a friend's house.
Generalized anxiety disorder affects millions and can be a serious impediment to normal functioning in day to day life. But, there are ways to cope and Stone found different techniques to manage her anxiety, including seeing her anxiety as a little monster on her shoulder that she could try to ignore and participating in activities such as community theatre which helped make her negative thoughts disappear.
What is Mindfulness and how do you do it?
The idea is to focus on a particular thought and let the mind go to its happy place for about five minutes at a time with your eyes closed and head down. Don't forget to breathe as you normally do. You could choose any thought, anywhere you would like to be at that given moment. Just escape. By the end, I would raise my head back up and open my eyes. Suddenly, I felt much calmer. My heart rate was normal. I was able to think clearer. Now the issues causing my anxiety seemed so far away, at least for the moment.
See 7 Easy Steps to Mindfulness
Writing down your thoughts can offload negative energy
What I find particularly helpful in taking charge of my mental health is journaling. Writing has always come naturally to me, so I don't mind it at all. I always have paper and pen nearby and am ready to write. The idea is to jot down your thoughts, what happened over the course the day, how you handled any stress triggers. Now you could keep a running journal, writing as often as you like, or do it for a short amount of time and put it away. Either way, you're doing your mind a terrific favor by cleansing it. You're also transferring that negative energy that comes with anxiety to a quarantined area.
See Advice On Anxiety No One Tells You.
Leaning on family and friends
Never forget the importance of leaning on your family and friends. That's what helped Ben Zobrist stay in the game because he realized how important it was to him to stand up against his anxiety and reach for the stars. He was not alone and neither you are. A good support system can do wonders. I am grateful for the family and friends I have who remind me to count my blessings each day. Ben Zobrist shares his message of hope.
See 4-minute video: 4 Ways to Stop an Anxiety Spiral - Oprah Winfrey
From the perspective of a long-term anxiety sufferer, these are some of the many techniques you could use to get you through the day. In order to be successful, you'll have to work at trying these approaches. Then they just become second nature.
Remember that no one is without anxiety. Well-known people like Lena Dunham and Oprah Winfrey are outspoken about the impacts of their anxiety. They don't let it get them down for long. And you shouldn't either. Oprah's anxiety story.
You are stronger than you ever imagined
Reaching out for help to cope with your anxiety is not a sign of weakness; it's a sign of strength taking initiative into working hard to become a stronger person. There is always hope. So even if you're feeling discouraged, don't throw in the towel just yet. Find what works best for you and stick to it. Together, we will conquer the effects of anxiety.
B.A. - Psychology
B. A. - Communication