If you suffer from any form of anxiety disorder, chances are – you’ve googled information about it. You’ll find loads of articles about natural remedies and techniques used for coping with anxiety. But, what about the things you shouldn’t do if you suffer from anxiety?
Often times, the things you shouldn’t do when suffering from an anxiety disorder can be just as helpful, (if not more helpful), when it comes to coping with it. After my diagnosis of an anxiety disorder, I’ve tried lots of techniques. I’ve read countless articles, studies and books. Honestly, there has been a lot of trial and error when it comes to coping and not becoming overwhelmed, (which sadly, still happens sometimes & that’s okay).
We are all different and need to find our personal means of living with an anxiety disorder. Whatever your particular anxiety disorder is – these are the top things you probably shouldn’t do when you suffer from anxiety:
1. Don’t Hold it in
It’s hard for a lot of us to admit when we actually have a problem. I’m guilty of holding it in, gritting my teeth and just attempting to deal with it by myself. This is not a healthy means of coping. By holding it in, you’re allowing it to build up. Feelings of anxiety aren’t meant to linger inside of us. Either talk to someone about it or write it down. Holding it in can lead you straight into a panic attack or depression.
Let go of the stigma associated with anxiety disorders. Talk about it with loved ones, write down your feelings and let out the worries that run like the roadrunner in your mind. Even writing down your feelings is extremely helpful & much more healthy than holding it in. Here are some journal prompts for Anxiety.
2. Remaining Complacent
Doing the same things you’ve always done will not help you. Do not surrender! You need to make changes. Do not remain complacent. I know better than anyone that some days are just harder to deal with than others but you have to force yourself out of bed! Lying there all day will heighten your anxiety rather than help it.
Change can be scary but ultimately, making proper lifestyle changes will aid in your ability to cope with your anxiety disorder. Try new methods, new routines, new rituals and stick with what works best for you. I promise that if you keep looking and keep trying – you’ll find a means to ease your anxiety 🙂
3. Being Around the Wrong People
Nobody should keep toxic people in their lives but this is especially important for those of us who suffer from an anxiety disorder. You don’t want to be around negative people who almost seem to “feed” off your anxiety. Often times, people with anxiety are more likely to keep toxic people around out of guilt. Don’t do it.
Surround yourself with positive people who support, listen and want to see you living your best life.
Avoid people who:
- Worsen your levels of anxiety
- Are “Doom and Gloom” people who constantly say that nothing can ever change or get better.
- Thrive on drama
- Make everything about them, and them only.
- Encourage bad habits.
- Are persistently negative and/or complain constantly.
- Are petty and/or immature.
- Use you as a doormat. (Only are around when they need something from you).
- Bring bad energy into your life.
4. Eating Unhealthy Foods
Listen – Fast Food is the enemy! Do not fill your body with saturated fat and/or over processed foods. Unhealthy food will make you feel worse! Clean up your diet. Try to eat organic as much as possible. Making a change in the foods you eat will help your anxiety. Bad food = worse anxiety.
5. Self Medicating
Using drugs and alcohol not prescribed by a medical professional is highly dangerous for those suffering from anxiety disorders. Trying to find peace at the bottom of a bottle of whiskey is never going to work. Binge-drinking is not the answer and you’ll never find a single person who has truly found peace by self medicating.
You may feel better in the moments you are self medicating but later on, you won’t. You’ll feel a whole hell of a lot worse. Have fun in moderation but do not use it as a coping mechanism. It’s one of the most unhealthy coping strategies there is. Over use of drugs can lead to worse anxiety, depression and sometimes – much worse.
If you feel that you need medication for your anxiety disorder – GO TO A DOCTOR. The drug dealing your friend knows isn’t going to be able to help you. A doctor can.
6. Too Much Caffeine
I used to love Red Bull and Mountain Dew. One day, I had just consumed half of a Mountain Dew slushie and all of the sudden, I felt like I couldn’t breath. I was in the midst of anxiety attack. Too much caffeine is all-around bad for those of us who suffer from anxiety.
Caffeine increases our heart rates and for most of us with an anxiety disorder – that isn’t a good thing. Our anxiety levels rise with the number of beats per minute. Yes, you can still have caffeine but do not overdo it. Only have caffeine in moderation until you figure out how much – you personally – can have before it increases anxiety. Limit yourself.
7. Letting it control you
Do not be one of those people who let their anxiety disorder dictate their daily lives. Anxiety doesn’t control you – you control it. Yes, I know, sometimes there truly is no helping how you’re feeling but you need to find methods that work specifically for YOU.
I have good days and bad days when it comes to my anxiety disorder – like everyone. However, I refuse to let it completely define me. I am always experimenting with new coping mechanisms and finding techniques that work for me. The important thing is to never stop fighting it. Always look for ways to cope and ease your anxiety levels.
Learn to control IT, so it doesn’t control YOU.
This goes back to “remaining complacent.” As I’ve said: Yes, you will have bad days – days where you need to “reboot”, but remaining sedentary and inactive will only increase your levels of anxiety. The best answer: EXERCISE.
Exercise has helped me personally cope with anxiety better than any other natural remedy I’ve tried. Exercise increases your endorphins, thereby allowing you to think more clearly. The healthier the body, the healthier the mind: great words to live by.
9. Remaining “Alone”
Isolating yourself isn’t going to do any good. I know lots of days, I just want to curl up on the couch, turn off my phone and just be alone. While this is okay occasionally – isolating yourself will not help your anxiety. Of course, take “me time” when you need it but don’t withdraw from everyone you know every day.
Living with an anxiety disorder doesn’t have to define your life. Is it a part of it – yes. But, it’s important to always keep trying new techniques and allowing yourself to still live. Never stop striving to live your best life – no matter what!
It’s 100% possible to still have a healthy, fulfilling life with an anxiety disorder, even if it means we have to try a little harder than others. Never tell yourself that “it won’t ever be better”, because it will. There are always new coping strategies, techniques and medications you and your doctor can discuss.
Remember that millions of people in the United States alone suffer from some form of anxiety disorder. You are not alone. I hope this was helpful to you and that, if you are suffering from an anxiety disorder, that you remember to always keep fighting it. Find ways to control it, (even when it may seem like that’s impossible). It is possible but will require some do’s and don’ts on your part.
Keep your body as healthy as possible 🙂
Much Love <3
Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and am simply sharing my experiences with my own anxiety disorder in the hopes that it can be helpful to others.
Do you suffer from an anxiety disorder? What are your best coping techniques? Please feel free to share them with me in the comments section below 🙂 .