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27 August 2016

HOW I DEAL WITH ANXIETY


I am a very anxious person, and being an over thinker plays a big part why. I get anxious being in social situations, speaking in lectures, being disorganised and not planning ahead... even answering phone calls! When I was very young, I would always want to be on time, if not early for school because I was so afraid to be late. I hated the idea of saying "I'm sorry, I'm late" in front of the teacher and the whole class. Now I worry, what the hell am I going to do after this degree? When I presented my research idea in front of lecturers last semester, I almost shat my pants. I was that nervous. There are bad days when I get anxious for the littlest reasons it's ridiculous. 


I think I am getting so much better at dealing with my emotions. As I was flipping through my journal, I found an entry that I wrote last year. It is a list of things I do to help silence my anxiety. I realised these things do help me and that's why I'm writing about it now so that hopefully whoever reads this can learn a little something.



1. Distractions (e.g books, movies, cleaning, writing, listen to music)
When those annoying anxious thoughts start creeping in out of nowhere, I distract myself. I do something meaningful that will prevent my brain from thinking too much. I find reading books and watching movies really help. Sometimes I even find my self cleaning my room in the middle of the night just because it is satisfying and it calms me down.

2. Fake it till you make it 
I learned that not everyone needs to know I'm anxious. Most of the time if I believe I can, and act that I can do it, I end up actually doing it and surprising my self. Back to the story of when I was presenting my research topic, deep inside I was extremely nervous; but I stood up there at the front, "faked" it, spoke loudly and clearly... and guess what, I got a good grade. 

3. Make lists / be organised 
Planners and notebooks are very important to me. Just that feeling of being organised by writing things down and planning ahead makes a BIG difference. I also love making lists and crossing them out once I've done them. It gives me the satisfaction that I am accomplishing something and that I am being productive.

4. Breathe 
Sometimes the anxiety could get overwhelming. I tend to stop for a moment and take deep breaths. I honestly also give my self pep talks, saying "I've got this". Haha. I also take time to just relax, pray, be in a quiet environment and write my thoughts down. Or I would run the bath, pop in my bath bomb and soak for an hour. Or simply, make a cup of tea.

5. Face it
I always tell my self, the more I'm afraid, all the more I should do it. Every single time that I win against my anxiety I feel ecstatic. I realise that all my worries and anxiety are irrational. That I am braver and stronger than I think I am.

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