Wednesday, January 14, 2015

5 Things to Help Alleviate Anxiety

Ok, this isn't an anxiety blog but I definitely suffer from it and it. I also know that many people going through transition deal with anxiety at some point so I want to post a few techniques I am trying to help alleviate mine. Hopefully this article will not only help my transgender readers, but anyone else who happens to stumble upon it.

I wish this list was longer but sadly I am not very good at this... Any suggestions would be great!

1. Distract Yourself

Focusing on your anxiety, or specifically the symptoms of your anxiety (for me it is mundane pains) can definitely make things worse. I try to distract myself and when I do manage to get pulled into something; be it a movie, some activity I enjoy (like this blog), or even a conversation, the pain seems to go away and my anxiety levels tend to decrease... At least for a short time. Additionally exercise can help you as it can release "feel good" chemicals in your body that will improve your mood and help you feel better. One other thing you might want to try is trying to focus on things that are meaningful. If your anxoiusness if preventing you from doing something you want to do focus on the task and do it. You will be amazed at how well this can actually help.

One other thing you might want to try is trying to focus on the things that are meaningful. If your anxiousness if preventing you from doing something you want to do, try to focus on the task and not what is preventing you from doing it, and do it. You will be amazed at how well this can actually help.

2. Talk to Someone

Here is a another reason to talk to your therapist or even a close friend or relative. Just verbalizing that you are upset of scared or whatever and having someone there for you can help a bunch. I do suggest talking to a therapist however, especially if you tend to dwell on the same thing... My best friend can attest to this and is probably sick to death about hearing about my leg pains and all the other anxiety related things that run through my little noggin.

3. Avoid Caffeine and Other Stimulants

This is a  HUGE one for me. I have been trying to cut back on the amount of caffeine I drink but it has been hard. Either way this is solid proven advice. Don't forget, nicotine is a stimulant... so quitting (or at least cutting back) will help.

4. Try to Relax

Don't rush, take a deep breath, and just relax sound cliche but they are all great advice. Realize that anxiety is real and that the feelings you are having are because of that. Some things that may help are below:

  • Positive and calming self talk 
  • Try a relaxing activity like yoga or meditation. 
  • Take a hot shower or bath. This in particular tends to help me if I can't sleep... which leads me to the last one...

5. Get a Decent Night Sleep

Also, make sure you are getting enough sleep. If you aren't or can't you may want to try a few things. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Make sure your bed is comfortable. Like shoes, a good matress is definitly worth the investment. 
  • Try taking melatonin. I was just talking to someone about this and they told me you should take it 7 hours before the time you want to fall asleep for it to be effective. Anyone have any experience here? 
  • Set your alarm for a time that is based on a 90 minute sleep cycles. This means you should set your alarm for 6, 7.5, or 9 hours of sleep a night. I read an article (somewhere???) that said that this can help if you feel particularly groggy in the morning. 

Anyway, these last few things are actually suggestions I am going to start implementing. I will update this post if they work for me.

Please put your suggestions in the comments!