Most of the time, things around here don’t get too personal. I like to create a positive space where women can come for tips, tricks, and advice on how to style an outfit, beauty recommendations, and delicious recipes. Today I’d like to delve a little bit deeper into dealing with some tougher issues that don’t get talked about as much as they should.
Anxiety is one of those things that creeps up on you when you least expect it. For me, it was something that was always a minor annoyance in my life: just enough nervous tension to know it was there, but not severe enough for me to seek treatment. I knew that everyone dealt with some level of anxiety in their lives, and I didn’t feel like mine was a huge problem. In fact, it didn’t become a problem for me until recently, when I had a panic attack on my morning commute into work.
Subconsciously, traveling on public transportation was a massive trigger for me. I hadn’t fully realized it until I was relying on public transportation as my means of travel every day of the week. I’d board the train in the morning and feel my gut tighten and my heart start to race. Every time the doors closed at a stop was agony, and I’d wish that I had gotten off because I wasn’t sure if I would make it to the next one. By the time I got to work, I felt exhausted. On the day of the panic attack, I had to get off the train. I ended up being late to work because it took a while to work up the courage to get back on. I knew I needed to take steps to make sure this never happened to me again – so I sought help.
MY TIPS TO RELIEVE ANXIETY
Establish a relationship with your doctor. Many times people are afraid to see their doctor about anxiety because they’re worried the doctor will only prescribe medication and therapy. As I’ve found out, this is simply untrue. Your doctor has a wealth of knowledge beyond the realm of prescription medication to aid in alleviating your anxieties in a holistic way.
Try acupuncture. I was a non-believer at first (seriously, isn’t acupuncture only for granolas or something?), but I think it’s really helped me manage my anxiety. I’ve only been a couple of times, but I leave feeling more relaxed than I’ve been in a long time. Many times, acupuncture is covered under insurance, but if it’s not or you don’t have insurance, community acupuncture is another option. They operate on a sliding scale, so you pay only what you can afford. I’ve been going to San Francisco Community Acupuncture and I highly recommend them!
Download The Mindfulness App. I find this app particularly helpful to listen to on my commute. It was created by the VA for veterans struggling with PTSD, but can be used by everyone and has both silent and guided meditations. You can also set reminders in the app to remind you to meditate throughout the day.
Take GABA. An inhibitory neurotransmitter found naturally in the brain, GABA works in your enteric nervous system and helps to alleviate the gut symptoms associated with anxiety. GABA binds to the same neuroreceptors as Xanax does, but it’s much less potent and has no addictive properties.
Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. For many people struggling with anxiety, there are clear triggers. One of my main triggers is public transportation. The goal of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is to change your way of thinking about the things in your life that trigger your anxiety. CBT is usually only 4 – 5 appointments, and people who successfully complete CBT have a very low chance of relapsing.
I hope that these tips will be helpful to you! If you’d like more information on any of the things I mentioned in this post, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.