Thursday, May 15, 2014

ways to let anxiety go

Thursday, May 15, 2014

if you will it, it will happen.

i wrote about morning anxiety in my last post. you can read it here. i had a long-term relationship with morning anxiety before i finally decided to stop letting it whip me around like an agile torero up on a raging bull. it wasn’t fair to my boyfriend and to our growing kids. letting anxiety rule over me felt like i was allowing my relationship with my family to wilt away while i willingly ingested the rubbish that anxiety was feeding me.

our earthly experiences have brought us gifts like happiness (too much or too little of it), fear (rational or not), sadness, anger (controlled or otherwise), disgust, anticipation, and some others that we sometimes claim we can’t name. these emotions have molded us into unique human beings—too unique sometimes that we end up not knowing our own selves.

i call fear, disgust, etc. “gifts” because without them, we’d be nothing but a blank canvass. 

if there is one thing that we are not designed to do is be that masochist gargantuan bowl that guzzles anything that comes our way. emotions will come the way bills do so it's clear that there’s no running away from it. since we can’t choose what life throws at us all the time, we need to find ways to anchor our ships when storms come. 

morning anxiety was one of the persistent storms in my life until i realized that there could be some way to ease my way out of it. better yet, turn my back away from it—completely.

helping yourself cope with morning anxiety will be far from a walk in the park, and will more be like being on a segway and not knowing what on earth you're doing. you’ll get better in time. it won’t work like magic, and it will challenge your will power.

as promised in my article “suffering from morning anxiety but don’t know why?”, none of these things will lead you to the doorsteps of a drug store, nor will i take you to a landing page where i can collect a fee so you could get “the tips”. like most of you, i’ve also fallen for marketing platforms by “creative” experts who give great advices—then ask for a fee. good thing i could never afford to pay for advice.

here are ways to help you cope with morning anxiety:

  hydrate. sounds like a silly advice on coping with anxiety, but well documented researches say that stress hormones called cortisol increase in level when you are dehydrated. sipping up will allow your body to function properly and keep it from getting stressed. i started feeling better in general when i started drinking more than a liter of water a day. but hey, whatever works for you, okay? just make sure you're hydrated.

  go easy on the joe. this is not entirely good news to coffee connoisseurs, but staying away from it will give you your much needed forty winks at night. a restful sleep will give your body a chance to recharge properly. water revs up the body better and faster than caffeine. it also does not cause a slump in your energy later in the day. if like me you can’t totally give coffee up, try your best to avoid the joe after 3 pm. 

  keep a journal. writing is still one of the most powerful tools in clearing up your mind. before you hit the sack at night, write down things that worry you and read it out loud. you’d be surprised at how less bothersome things could be if you put a voice to it. i keep a notebook where i write down short term goals, things i could get panicky about like budget and things “i think i might forget” and activities that i want to do. when i wake up in a panic attack feeling i’ve forgotten something, i go and check my notebook. it always eases me up.

  talk to yourself. make counter arguments with your own thoughts especially the long list of “what ifs” that time and again you’ve proven to be baseless and useless. remind yourself to stick to what is realistic, and if something you think is beyond your control (the airplane crashing, you losing a job because of a bad boss) then it’s beyond your control. period.  there is no use  fussing over it. i use the word “fine!” as an expletive and i always feel better after i say it out loud. 

  say “it is a great morning!” and believe it. when you wake up palpitating or in a panic attack and you don’t know why, accept this blissful ignorance. then tell yourself that if you can’t find the reason for you to stay in a panic mode then it’s useless staying all worked up for nothing.


kiss the sun. negative thoughts bind you in bed and that’s all the more reason why you have to push yourself out of bed and get out. sticking your head out the window where there’s sunshine helps a lot, if stepping out is too much. natural antidepressants in the brain called serotonin increase level in sunlight. good levels of serotonin will also give you a good night’s sleep.we get enough sunshine in the house, so i'm one lucky flower, but i still go out to get more of it.

  talk to a friend and make sure it’s the one who won’t hold your hand and overanalyze things with you. you will be sliding down a 45 degree slope with that one. we all have friends who always make us feel better in a truthful, sincere, honest way. call that one.

  tap your creative self. we’re not talking about creating exhibit-worthy artwork here. find ways to create something that will make you feel good. i like to pick up the paintbrush with my kids or other art materials sometimes. art is therapeutic and does wonders in ways you can’t explain.

    pamper yourself. if you live in the philippines, you’re lucky. the choices of spas with quality yet affordable services are aplenty. i’m pretty sure there’s one right around the corner from your home. if you hate massages (believe me, people like that are not fictional characters), there are other ways to be pampered. getting a good haircut is another simple way to refresh a weary soul. 

  go walking. it’s not only one of the most effective and safest exercises, it is also   beneficial in a number of ways. it’s calming and keeps your mind off negative thoughts as you engage your senses to what’s around you. 

  get quality sleep. it clears the mind, rejuvenates the body and does all the most wonderful things for your health.

     i’ve been free from the claws of morning anxiety for a little over a year now. i know you’ll get through this journey, too, if you grab it in the face, look it in the eye then wilfully throw it behind you. 

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