Guest blogger John Parrot runs Relax Like A Boss, a blog that teaches people how to reduce stress and relax in a busy world. Many of us suffer from anxiety, which can be incredibly debilitating for the person who suffers. Read John’s 14 reasons why anxiety sucks and how to cope.
It’s undeniable, anxiety sucks.
And if you’re struggling with anxiety, you’re not alone.
So what are the biggest problems with anxiety? And how can you fix them?
Well in this article, I’ll talk you through 14 reasons why anxiety sucks and how to fix each one.
Note: If you’re struggling with anxiety, it’s important to understand that there’s no ‘quick fix’.
Managing anxiety requires patience – these are just some of the strategies that worked for me…
1. Anxiety Sucks Because You Don’t Know When It’ll Go Away
When you’re dealing with anxiety, there’s no start or endpoint.
You don’t know how long it’ll take to recover from.
And you might even worry that you’ll never get better.
The problem is, everyone has to deal with anxiety in their own way.
And it could take a couple of weeks, or it could take a few years.
So how do you fix this?
The key here is to be patient.
You have to make small changes – and aim for tiny improvements every single day.
If you can aim for a 1% improvement in your mood every single day, you will see huge changes.
Now maybe your progress isn’t going to be linear, but if you make the right decisions each day then you’ll be on the right track.
This could include:
– Going to the gym for a gentle, feel good workout
Anxiety sucks the life out of your vitality. And it’s going to hurt your body as well as your mind.
So what can you do?
Do some gentle exercise: Even if you hate the gym, just go out for a gentle stroll to get some fresh air and get your body moving
Eat healthier: Foods like refined sugar and junk food give you a boost of energy and then make you crash again. Aim for a healthier balance, to keep your body and mind stable
Avoid caffeine: Caffeine can make your heart race. So go easy on the coffee or cut it out completely to avoid getting the shakes
Sleep: Get a regular sleeping routine, avoid electronics before bed and aim for 6-8 hours of sleep per night. Sleep has a major impact of your health – affecting your mood, your energy levels and your body’s recovery
9. Anxiety Sucks Because It’s Hard To Talk About
As much as your friends and family care about you, they may not totally understand what anxiety is or how bad it feels.
So it can be hard to discuss how you’re feeling with others.
However, you do need some form of release:
Try speaking to a counsellor
Book an appointment with your GP
Speak to your friends about it – but only if you feel comfortable
If you’re really struggling to find someone to talk to about your anxiety, don’t bottle it all in.
Try keeping a mood diary, and writing down how you feel.
Sometimes writing down your thoughts and feelings will help you release the tension and stress you’re facing.
Plus it gives you a way to see how your mood differs day to day, so you can measure your progress.
10. Anxiety Sucks Because It Takes Us By Surprise
No one ever plans to get anxiety.
Anxiety sucks because it creeps up on you slowly.
It can often start off as a tiny bit of stress that compounds into something more troublesome.
So what can you do about it?
Watch out for warning signs that your mood is getting worse
Have a plan of action ready – what will you do if you feel anxious? What are some quick things you can do to make yourself feel good again?
This could be simple ways to relieve anxiety and boost your mood such as practicing mindfulness, relaxation techniques or calling a friend that enjoy speaking to
11. Anxiety Sucks Because You Have To Make Changes
I’ll be honest:
If you have anxiety, it’s a sign that you need to make some changes.
Here’s a few of the lifestyle changes I made to alleviate anxiety:
Stopped drinking alcohol
Began going to the gym and exercising everyday
Improved my sleeping patterns
Stopped spending so much time on my own
Avoided working excessive hours
These are all tiny changes – and they may seem challenging.
And yes, you may not want to stop drinking or reducing the number of hours you work.
However, you have to understand that if you don’t remove the triggers for anxiety from your life, your symptoms may get worse.
So look at what changes you need to make, and get after it!
12. Anxiety Sucks Because It’s Hard To Get The Help You Need
I remember requesting a doctor’s appointment for anxiety.
It felt like I was about to break down any minute, yet the doctor couldn’t see me for several days.
So getting the help you need in a timely manner isn’t always easy.
What can you do?
If you feel like you literally can’t wait to get medical advice, express the urgency to your GP’s practice and see if they can fit you in sooner
Seek private healthcare if you can afford it
Avoid self medicating – even if you feel that’s the right thing to do, it’s probably not a wise idea in the long run
Speak to your family and see if they can help you
Call an anxiety helpline – they may be able to talk through your symptoms on the phone and give you some good advice (they’re used to speaking to people with anxiety)
13. Anxiety Sucks Because It’s A Daily Struggle
Yep, that’s right: When you’re hit with anxiety, every day can be tough in the beginning.
The mornings are long.
Afternoons drag on. And the evening, you dread what’s coming over the next day.
What can you do?
Take every day as it comes, one step at a time
Monitor your anxiety through out the day with a mood diary
Try to keep yourself busy (if you feel up to it)
Avoid sitting around on your own at first
14. Anxiety Sucks Because It Comes In Waves
Here’s the weird thing with anxiety:
It comes in waves.
It’s unpredictable. It’s tiring. And sometimes it seems to escalate very quickly.
Unfortunately, you’re not always going to be have complete control over how you feel.
But you can reduce the risk of your anxiety flaring up.
That’s why I’d recommend a mood diary because:
You can find the triggers for your anxiety by tracking your mood throughout the day
You can see at what times of day your anxiety is typically worse
You can see if you’re making progress
You can prepare for the time when your anxiety is worse
Yes Anxiety Sucks. But There’s Hope Too.
So there you have it, 14 reasons why anxiety sucks.
And yes, it’s not pleasant.
In fact, at times you feel like you’re going crazy!
But looking back, having anxiety helped me improve for the better.
It forced me to strip out the negative influences in my life.
It helped me discover more about who I am and what makes me happy in life.
And I now know how to manage my emotions properly, before they become a problem.
Having anxiety isn’t the end of the world, you just ahve to know how to deal with it.
And that’s why I’ve listed so many solutions throughout this guide.