I am not sure if it is the weather or what but I have had four people in the last week talk to me about problems they are having with anxiety, me being one of the four!! Yes I do talk to myself…. that is a post for another day!
For the rest of this post I will only be referring to my own issues with anxiety, please don't read this and think you now have the answer's for all your friends who have anxiety because like everything in life, what works or doesn't work for one person may or may not work for another.
I have had problems with anxiety my whole life. I was the kid in kindergarden who cried and wanted to go home for not one day, or one week, but the whole half of the year!
For those of you who are laid back easy going people who don't understand what all the fuss is about, can I enlighten you?
What causes an anxiety attack in me?
- Things being unorganized or cluttered.
- Decisions that need to be made quickly that I don't feel like I have had time to think through.
- People invading my personal space.
- Not being able to exit a place easily.** This is a BIG one for me!
- Not being heard.
- Loud, cluttered, places with tons of people.
What helps when it is happening?
- Go to a quiet place
- Organize something
- Help someone else
- Call a friend
- Hugging my husband
- Petting my dog
- Go outside for a walk
- Make a list
How do I try to avoid them?
- Sit on an aisle seat not in the middle
- Check out exit signs to know how to exit if I need to
- If I need to go somewhere with lots of noise, people, and such I make sure I am well rested and have had time to unwind before I go. Going to a place like that after a really hectic day is a big no no for me.
- If someone asks me to make a decision I tell them I am not a quick decision maker, could they give me some time?
- Get lots of sleep
- Write down scripture when I a calm and have them on index cards, and keep them in a handy place.
- Be intentional about my calendar and don't plan too many (what I call ) "people days" in a row
- If sitting somewhere where I am concerned about personal space I usually carry a large purse that allows me to sit it in an empty chair to give me some extra space.
- If I am having a conversation and someone is not listening I simply stop speaking until I have their attention
This is not an end all be all but a few things to consider. I am interested for people to comment on things that have worked or not worked for them. Let's all be considerate, and empathatic to the people we know who struggle with what can be an absolutely debilatating life struggle.