Ever dealt with anxiety?
Updated: Feb 2
Have you ever dealt with anxiety? That crushing pressure, that voice inside that questions everything, that something that keeps you in bed?
It’s dark but it’s something i talk about openly – I suffer from anxiety and sometimes it’s crippling.
There are many forms of anxiety and phobias. I’m not a doctor, so I’m going to talk about things in a general nature from my own point of view, but if you’d like to learn more you can click here and if you are ever in need of any support, I’ve listed NZ numbers below that you can call – I can’t stress how important getting help is.
How do you define it? The best way I’ve heard it explained in simple terms is that it’s your brain tricking you into treating situations as “danger”. For instance, if you suffer from GAD (General Anxiety Disorder), your brain gets tricked into going into defense mode – it’s trying to stop those unwanted thoughts and exploring all of the “what ifs” to fully assess the “danger”…. rather than accepting the situation, assessing it, processing it and moving on.
Have you ever thought to yourself, “The harder I try to get these thoughts out of my head, the worse it gets?” well if you have you’re not alone!
Environmental factors: Of course, we need to first ask ourselves, is there anything going on in my life that I have the power to change? Have you over committed to something and you’re too exhausted to take it on? Is it actually impossible to be at a school fundraiser and a football game supporting your child at the same time? Do you have friends that are causing you unnecessary stress? Or are you working a gazillion hours a week which is actually making your stress & poor judgement much worse? We need to remember to be kind to ourselves and eliminate things that are within our control.
Being brave: Sometimes it’s bloody hard to put your big girl undies on. Especially when you’re feeling bleak and it’s way easier to stay in bed or scroll through social media to distract yourself but you need to ask for help – whether you want to take an online test to assess yourself, ask a friend to go for a coffee and talk out loud about your situation or just head straight to seeing a professional, you are not going to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel unless you take the first step to help yourself.
Unfortunately I don’t have the magic solution, but I do have a couple of ways I deal with the “black dog”:
Do whatever it is that gets you going and take it one step at a time or else it’s all too daunting. I start with a warm drink and a deep breath.
Stay off the caffeine – it’s likely to make you more manic. Even though I crave a coffee when i’m feeling average!
Eat something delicious for lunch! Lazy food / take out is only going to make you feel more sluggish. Maybe treat yourself to a cafe lunch?
If it’s anxiety from pressure and too many things to do… You’re only human, make a list!!
Talk to a friend. Nana always said a problem shared is a problem halved. And while it might not be “halved” – it will offer some relief and perspective.
Speaking of perspective, there is always someone that is going to be
worse off. Think about what other people might be going through in third world countries etc. And while it’s not a solution, it should bring a feeling of perspective and gratitude.
Accept that you cannot control everything and you don’t need to either!
Think about what “tricked” you into feeling this way and what you might say to yourself next time if you end up feeling this way.
Read more: If you’re interested in finding out more, we found this great list of blogs about dealing with anxiety. Check it out here.
What about you? I’d love you hear from you below if you’ve dealt with anxiety in your life & any tips, tricks or tools you’ve found for dealing with anxiety – share it with our Behind The File community!
Lastly, if you need to reach out for any help, we are blessed to have an incredible list of people in NZ who can help or a quick google should help you find someone locally in your area:
Lifeline (open 24/7) – 0800 543 354
Depression Helpline (open 24/7) – 0800 111 757
Healthline (open 24/7) – 0800 611 116
Samaritans (open 24/7) – 0800 726 666
Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.
Youthline (open 24/7) – 0800 376 633. You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or firstname.lastname@example.org
0800 WHATSUP children’s helpline – phone 0800 9428 787 between 1pm and 10pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 7pm to 10pm every day at www.whatsup.co.nz.
Kidsline (open 24/7) – 0800 543 754. This service is for children aged 5 to 18. Those who ring between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays will speak to a Kidsline buddy. These are specially trained teenage telephone counsellors.
Your local Rural Support Trust – 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)
Alcohol Drug Helpline (open 24/7) – 0800 787 797. You can also text 8691 for free.
For further information, contact the Mental Health Foundation’s free Resource and Information Service (09 623 4812).