Struggling with chronic anxiety involves experiencing symptoms such as headaches, shakiness, a rapid heart rate, uncomfortable stomach issues, and feelings of dread. Often, these feelings are unexplainable, and the feelings may come on unexpectedly. This is something that I know I experience, and then, as a result, I find I try to figure out what is causing the anxiety. This sometimes results in identifying certain anxious thoughts. An effective coping mechanism has been to challenge those anxious thoughts and reframe some of them.
I've learned how to self-care in 30 seconds or less because the last few months have been really hectic for me. I've been getting up to speed on several projects in my Ph.D. program, learning new statistical techniques, keeping up with coursework, and it's been really tough to build in time to focus on my own wellbeing. For me, it's been difficult having most of my work time at home because I really like working in a designated workspace and just using my home as a place to relax, so having my work and relaxation spaces completely overlap has made it even more difficult to create a space for self-care for 30 seconds or any other length of time.
Anxiety and anger feel a lot alike. An increased heart rate, feeling flushed, tense muscles, uncomfortable stomach issues -- these symptoms may be familiar to you if you experience chronic anxiety. They may also sound like things you felt the last time you were angry.
One of the challenges I experience is when the past makes me anxious. I sometimes find that if I think about events from the past, and those events made me anxious, I tend to feel immersed in my memories. I find that it is almost as though I am reliving those events and experiencing all of the emotions all over again. I often compare it to watching a movie or an "episode" of my "show" over and over again.
You've heard that laughter is the best medicine. It is not only a figure of speech, but there is truth to the saying -- anxiety needs a good laugh.
The last time you got a poor night's sleep, did you feel more anxiety during the next day? And on the other side, how often have you noticed your sleep was really bad before a big deadline or after a really anxiety-provoking day? I notice stress affecting my sleep more than I notice poor sleep affecting my anxiety, but I have experienced both of these, and it's actually pretty common for people experiencing regular anxiety.
If there is one thing I have learned since realizing that I struggle with chronic anxiety, it's the importance of a support system to lean on for help. While you can use many other coping strategies to manage anxiety symptoms, it is still essential to have others in your corner for support.
This past year was extremely difficult. Many good things happened throughout the year, but my family and I also went through some tough times. As so many recently have, we experienced loss. As a result, I would be remiss if I did not talk about how grief has impacted my anxiety and vice versa. Experiencing loss has made me stop to think about the emotional journey of grief. Furthermore, experiencing loss and the process of grief has taught me how to cope when enduring a deep ocean of emotions, which can be difficult to surface from.
How do we cope with anxiety during the transition to a post-COVID-19 world? For people experiencing anxiety, the return to a new normal can be really frightening and difficult. As exciting and positive as the transition may be as a whole, returning to typical social, work, or travel routines can bring with it a new set of worries or bring up old ones.
It's the start of a new year, and you may have decided on setting some New Year's resolutions for yourself. This is a great way to start the year, and it is something I try to do every year as well. What I have found over the years is that it is not only a great thing to set goals for myself, but it is also a helpful way to control my anxiety.