When The Anxiety Takes Over

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The other night I had the heavy weight of anxiety hanging over my shoulders. I couldn’t focus on anything, I was biting and chewing my lip til it bled and I didn’t know what to do with myself. My body started to react to the anxiety as well, by giving me “stress neck” (as I call it) where it feels like a tight pressure around your neck. I also got an unsettled stomach causing pain and weird bowel movements, as well as a dull, heavy headache.

I didn’t feel sleepy at all and ended up distracting myself with episodes of Parks & Recreation til about 1 in the morning. I woke up late and the stomach ache continued but with more aggression. I ended up having to go back to bed with a hot water bottle for a while, distracting myself with Instagram. After a while my brain felt fuzzy and I felt like the anxiety had completely conquered me, like it had taken not only last night away from me but today as well.

I almost slipped into my old pattern of a ‘down day‘. I could recognise the thought patterns (which is a luxury and abnormality, normally I am consumed by my depression and anxiety by this point), and decided to get up and try to get out of my head.

I did this by doing small things like:

  • having a shower
  • washing my hair
  • drying my hair
  • doing my make-up
  • putting on my favourite jumper
  • making the bed with fresh sheets
  • doing the laundry
  • tidying the living room
  • putting on my favourite songs on Spotify
  • lighting a candle
  • making a cup of herbal tea
  • preparing a roast dinner

These little tasks help me to think about something else as well as give me a little sense of accomplishment.

There are a number of helpful websites that give you advice on how to deal with anxiety, such as:

plus a load more. For me personally, those small, repetitive actions help me forget my anxious feelings and focus on completing a task.

Folding laundry is a great one because not only is it a monotonous task, but it creates a tidier environment. Making repetitive marks on paper (drawing lines, circles, any shape really) is a good way to focus your mind on something else. Cooking a meal is full of boring prep tasks and requires your attention, as well as gives you a tasty meal at the end of it. Just like the very popular colouring in books for grown-ups, these little tasks focus your mind on other things, are repetitive, calming and give you a somewhat sense of achievement when you are finished.

Different things work for different people, so I would love to hear what things you do to help when anxiety strikes – please feel free to leave your tips in a comment below!

4 Comments

  • […] Advice that I have given that I actually need to listen to: When The Anxiety Takes Over […]

  • […] Battling anxiety demons has taken it’s toll on me recently, physically and mentally. My body has been reacting to the stress of it with headaches, neck aches (stress neck as I like to call it), and tummy problems. Everything feltĀ up in the air, like nothing was certain and that this daily cycle was never going to end. […]

  • Gloria says:

    I always tell myself ‘this will pass’. I actually make myself say it out loud. ‘This will pass’. It always does of course.
    In the meantime, until it does, I put on my favourite music – I have a list of happy music and it makes me feel so much better. Music is great healer, literally.
    Then I do EFT tapping. It’s the quickest, most permanent fix there is, to shift how you feel. xx

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