How To Handle A Loss of Control

For people with anxiety, losing control can be something absolutely terrifying. I can liken it to standing on the edge of a cliff, waiting for the one last thing that will shove you over the edge. Personally, I want to have at least a little bit of control in all my decisions or I completely panic. It does get easier to manage a lack of controlling your environment or your circumstances as you age. It’s never going to be something completely easy to handle though. Thankfully, there are some things we can do to manage the anxiety that comes when we lose control.

Breathe

First thing to do is to take several deep breaths. We need to remember that it’s not as dire as we immediately assume it is. Take some breaths and let your body and mind relax.

Think logically

Your brain is already spinning out of control and panicking. Take a step back and think about this as logically as you can. You may need to sit down and journal to do this. You’ll work your way out of the panic and into a calmer mind. This calmer mind is what will allow you to adjust your plans and thinking. You should also remember that an outcome will happen. It might be good, it might be bad, or it might be neither. Either way, the anxiety you’re dealing with will end and a solution will be found.

Talk it out

Spend some time talking to someone you trust. Venting is a healthy coping mechanism as long as it doesn’t become a negative, victim mindset. Talk to a third-party. Venting will help you settle down, and you get access to a new or different perspective.

Remain in control of yourself

While it may not seem like you have any control over yourself when you’re panicking, I assure you that you do. 

Here’s the thing. We cannot always control what happens to us, but we can control how we react to it. Sometimes life will slap you in the face and throw you off the cliff. What do you do then? You breathe, assess the situation, and you make a new plan. 

Avoid taking it out on others

I’ve met people that take it out on others when they lose control. They get mean, aggressive, and sometimes cruel. Don’t do that. It’s damaging to your mindset, their mindset, your relationships and reputation, and it’s something that you can’t take back. 

Sometimes we lose control. It sucks, it’s scary, and no one really enjoys it. We can’t always be in control, but we can control ourselves and our reactions. How do you deal with a loss of control? Let us know in the comments down below.

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Creativity: How It Can Help Your Anxiety

Creativity is a very broad term for so many ways that you can express yourself and your anxiety. From writing and drawing to music and dance, creativity expands over many genres and forms. Pick an option and explore all the ways you can use creativity to grow and calm your anxiety. Personally, I enjoy writing over drawing, but everyone has different ways to express their creativity. 

Expression

Being creative when anxiety is high is a great way of expressing those thoughts and feelings. Journaling is one of the best ways to figure out what the problem is, work through the negative thoughts and feelings, and find and overcome your limiting beliefs. Sketching is another great way to do that. Find whichever way works for you and address your feelings.

Boost in mood and confidence

Creativity is a phenomenal mood booster and it helps build your confidence as well. Getting up and dancing your little heart out will give you a shot of dopamine that can leave you smiling for a while afterwards. Watching your skills grow over time will help you build confidence in your ability to persevere.

Distraction

As I’ve said in previous posts, it’s sometimes a good idea to distract yourself from your anxiety for a little while. This allows you the chance to come back to it later with a fresh perspective and clearer mind. Being creative is a great way to distract yourself from the problem or thought that seems excessive and overwhelming.

Problem-solving

Working through a problem that is causing distress is a hard thing to do. Embracing a creative way to go about it allows us to relax and approach it from a softer angle. It also helps us grow our ability to find creative solutions and think outside the box. I prefer to use my journal to write it all out and then reflect on the things I just spewed all over the pages.

Sometimes I can’t figure it out using words, so I pull out my sketch book. I’m no Gogh by any means, but I can express myself in other ways. Sometimes it’s writing out a sentence and then scribbling over it, aggressively scratching it out, and sometimes even just stabbing a blank page until my thoughts become less anxious.

Finding your roots

One of my favorite things about embracing my creativity is that it took me back to my roots. I have always loved writing and drawing. Music is my favorite way to pass time aside from a good book, and I take so much pleasure in a simple cross-stitch pattern. I forgot all of that over the years. It was only when I picked up journaling again that I started to find myself drawn back my creative self. I’ve always been a creative individual, but I got so caught up in stress, worry, and anxiety that I forgot something really important. Some of the most anxious and depressed people are also the most creative.

Take yourself back to your roots or try out a new path. Find something creative to try and just get started. Don’t worry about being perfect (you won’t be), and just enjoy the process. Let us know how it goes in the comments down below.

4 Ways to Keep Social Media Healthy

Social media is prevalent in modern day society. It’s everywhere and it’s easily accessible. With real-time access to almost anyone in the world with just a tap and a swipe, social media can quickly become detrimental to our mental health. Here are some ways to keep it healthy.

Avoid The Comparison Trap

We spend so much time scrolling through our feeds and seeing beautiful pictures and stories. We can fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to what we see and falling down the rabbit hole. 

Keep in mind that what we see shouldn’t be taken at face value. Everyone goes out of their way to make their feed look good, and some will even completely falsify what you see. View your feeds with an eye of skepticism. Enjoy the pretty pictures, but be careful of the comparison trap. If a blog makes you feel negatively about yourself or your life, unfollow it. It’s that simple. 

Take Time Away

We have a lot going on in our lives. In a world where “busy” is glorified, we overwhelm ourselves with a load of work. We also seem to spend hours a day on social media, and that’s a lot when you already have a full day. Your work will suffer, and you’ll find yourself pushing your deadlines just by getting lost in the swipe and tap. 

Set your phone down and take a step away. Set your phone in a different room until you’re done with your work. Set it in a drawer to keep it out of arm’s length. We’re much less likely to pick it up on a whim if it’s difficult to get to. 

If you’ve never taken a social media detox, I would highly suggest it. Put it away and leave it alone. Turn off your notifications, silence your phone, and do something good for you for a while. Read a book, socialize without a phone in your face, go for a walk outside, etc. Social media should not dominate your life, and you definitely shouldn’t be spending excessive amounts of time on it. 

Keep It Fun

Social media is meant to be a tool to connect with other people and have fun. No matter what you’re using it for, it’s meant to be fun. If you find yourself stressing about the perfect image or the perfect update, it’s a sign you need to step away for a bit. Be real, keep it fun, and connect with people as the honest and authentic person you are.

Step Away From the Follower Count

The numbers seem to be the obsession. Your social media is only worth as much as the number of followers you have or the number of likes on your latest post. There are tips and tricks everywhere for learning how to increase these things. 

If you’re running your business or side-hustle through social media, then knowing that information is great but it’s not the end of the world if you lose a few here and there. 

If your social media is just a hobby or something you do because everyone else is, then you really don’t need to worry about the numbers. They’re just that: numbers. Don’t get so attached that you get anxious if your follower or likes count decreases. There are so many ways that can happen that it’s not worth the stress. Let it go and have fun.

Social media puts a lot of pressure on people these days. From the excessive time spent on scrolling to the need for the perfect image and the obsession with follower counts, social media can become a stressor and trigger for people living with anxiety. This is even more prevalent in students. Guys, don’t let something meant to be fun become a trigger for your anxiety. Share with us how you control social media in the comments down below.

5 Benefits of Minimalism When You Have Anxiety

If you’ve been around the internet lately, you’ve probably heard of Minimalism. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not about having little to no things. Minimalism is about being intentional about the things that you bring into your life and cutting out the excess that we carry around as baggage. For someone dealing with anxiety on a regular basis, especially if you’re stuck in a tiny dorm room, Minimalism can be very helpful in finding some peace and calm. Here are five ways that Minimalism can be a benefit when dealing with anxiety. 

Calming environment 

When all the stuff you own is stuff that you love, your environment will be a calmer, more positive place. Your eyes won’t be catching on a pile of gifts that you received and hate but can’t get rid of simply because they’re gifts. You won’t find yourself staring at an overflowing closet and dreading the thought of cleaning it up. Instead, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the things you love and that bring you some joy. 

Fewer decisions

With Minimalism comes the ability to control the amount of decisions we make. For someone with anxiety, this can be a game changer. There are fewer decisions to make because there is less stuff. If you spend several minutes in the morning debating over what to wear that day, your time will be reduced when you own fewer clothes. Do you collect bags and have trouble deciding which to take that day? You’ll have fewer options to choose from if you only keep the ones you love. 

More time

With Minimalism, you find extra time in your day. You don’t have to spend as much time cleaning. This means that you get to spend time doing other things that are healthy for your mindset. Rather than spending 20 minutes cleaning up your mess, you can spend those extra minutes meditating, journaling, or relaxing. When there’s less stuff, there’s less to clean. When the only stuff you own is stuff you love, cleaning isn’t as much of a burden. 

Room to breathe

Perhaps one of my favorite aspects of Minimalism is the room we’re given to breathe. When your space isn’t crowded, there’s more room. Your space just feels bigger. When it’s clean, open, and uncluttered, I feel like I can truly breathe. This allows me a clearer mind, a more positive outlook, and I’m more productive. It’s just a better feeling overall. 

More intentional living

The best part of Minimalism is that it allows us the time and space to live more intentionally. We have time to spend with the people we love, doing the things we love, and building the life we want. We save money by not buying every impulse purchase, and we tend to spend money on experiences rather than things. This gives us more connection with people and we get memories rather than burdensome stuff to lug around. We have the time and space to be intentional about what we do, and that alone can lead to a completely different mindset. 

Minimalism is a trendy thing that often gets misunderstood. I won’t tell you to throw all your stuff away and sleep on the floor, but I will tell you to do some research. It’s a great tool for mental health if you know what you’re doing and you do it intentionally. Let us know if you’re a minimalist and how it’s helped you in the comments down below.

How To Get Unstuck When You’re In a Rut

What is a rut? This is the phrase I like to use when I find myself stuck in a phase of lethargy and apathy. These don’t happen very often for me, but I know people that deal with them regularly. During these times, I can’t seem to find any energy to do anything, nor can I conjure up the energy to care. I know I should be doing stuff; I even have a plan to do it. I just can’t seem to wade through the action of doing it. So how do we get out of this rut?

Be gentle with yourself

This rut is just a phase, and there’s no need to really beat yourself up about it. Accept that it’s happening and let it go. 

Create a plan and take it slow

Plans will help us get out of these ruts, but they’ll be detrimental if we push too fast. Take it an hour at a time. Take it slower if you need, or faster if you can. Start with your routines, and grow from there. 

Journal and meditate

Get really in depth with both your emotions and your mindset. Why is the rut occurring and is there an underlying problem you need to address? This may take some time and require digging deep for an answer.

Be patient

This rut might take some time to come out of. Be patient with yourself. This is not the time to push too hard. Ask others to be patient with you as well. Your boss, professor, roommate, friends, etc. Be honest and do the best you can. 

I hope some of these tips will help you overcome that moment of being stuck. Just remember that it’s temporary. You’ve got this. Leave us your favorite tips in the comments down below.

Self-Care List With My Favorite Ideas

If you’re new to the mental health scene online, you may have stumbled across something called a self-care list. It’s this awesome little list you keep close at hand of things that make you feel happy, lift your spirits, or just keep you on this side of a break down. I have one, and I think it’s a great idea for everyone to have one. The activities can be anywhere from a few seconds to a whole weekend. Just keep the list close and use it when you need it.

Some of my favorite areas to focus are environment, social, solitude, and peace. It’s important to remember that self-care isn’t just facials and baths, it’s really being aware of yourself and what you need at the moment. 

Here are some of my favorite ways to practice self-care. 

  • Read a book
  • Go for a walk
  • Spend some time coloring or reading with my nephews
  • Listen to music at full volume
  • Meditate in nature
  • Journal
  • Listen to ASMR
  • Bath bombs or hot shower
  • Cold shower
  • Do something that scares me
  • Reflect on my goals, thoughts, and limitations
  • Facial
  • Spend some time alone staring at the ceiling or wall while contemplating anything and everything

Self-care isn’t one size fits all. Hopefully, you get the idea of what self-care and the list is. Let me know if you were inspired by any of these ideas.

Why You Should Exercise When You’re Anxious (Even When You Really Don’t Want To)

Exercise is my least favorite thing. I absolutely hate it and will do whatever I can to avoid it. I know that it’s really good for us, especially when we have mental health issues. I’ve seen how good it can be for us first hand. So why do we still hate doing it? For me, it’s because I don’t like to sweat. Why would I want to spend my time sweating when I can spend my time reading? For others, it’s boring, too hard, or there’s just not enough time in the day. Here’s a few reasons why we should cultivate the habit when we’re anxious. 

Burns anxious energy

Exercise tends to burn the energy out of us. When we’re anxious, we’re basically a live wire thrumming with energy. Exercise allows us a productive, healthy way to cope and burn the excess energy. 

Time to silence the thoughts (or think them through)

This goes both ways depending on the person and the form of exercise. If I’m doing body weight exercise or walking, I can take the time to think through my problems and swirling thoughts. I find it easier to see a solution when I’m also burning out the excess energy. When I’m doing yoga, though, I find myself tuning into my body and I spend less time ruminating on the thoughts. 

Build confidence and endurance

With exercise comes confidence. We look better, we feel better, and we learn that we can do something we didn’t think we could. This all builds confidence. It also teaches us endurance. After all, if we can push through the pain to do just 5 more squats or pushups, then why can’t we find the endurance to do the thing that scares us?

Increase mood

Perhaps the best reason to exercise when anxious, is that it releases the feel-good chemicals in our bodies. Ever heard of a runner’s high? Exercise makes you feel good when you’re done. It’s an automatic better mood. All you have to do is get up and move for a while. 

There are so many more reasons to exercise when you’re anxious, and a million more reasons to make it a regular habit. Hopefully, these will inspire you to get up and move the next time you find yourself overthinking and building up to a panic attack. Let us know how you prefer to exercise in the comments.