In today’s world of social media, it seems like everyone is constantly on holiday and has the perfect body, relationship, home and job. It can be very easy to get caught up and think that your own life pales in comparison. In reality though, everyone (and I mean everyone) has bad days – days when it seems like your to-do list is 10 times too long, when things at work or home seem too demanding to handle, and when you just feel badly about yourself in one way or another. All this can often lead to feelings of anxiety, which can surface as intense feelings of worry, nervousness, unease, or even panic. I haven’t been diagnosed with anxiety in any medical capacity, but I certainly suffer from regular bouts of severe worry, jitters and often feeling irrationally anxious. It usually lists a few days, and no matter what my husband or family say, it just doesn’t help. Little things feel like huge things, my confidence wavers, and I’m overwhelmed and intimidated by things that normally, wouldn’t phase me in the slightest. Anxiety is a common feeling that many people face, and while some may need medication to help them (always speak with your doctor), there are things that you can do today to help ease some of these feelings if you find yourself having a moment of anxiety.
1. Breathe. It sounds cliché, but it works. Focusing on your breath (literally concentrating on the sensation of air entering and leaving your nostrils) for as little as 2 minutes has been proven to slow your heart rate, and is great for bringing you back into the present moment if you find yourself in a mental spin.
2. Talk/cry/laugh it out. Take 10 minutes to call your bestie, vent to your boyfriend, or even seek out a therapist. Talking out your problems and having someone to lean on can instantly make you feel better and less alone. If you have to, cry it out. Studies show that crying washes certain chemicals out of the body that are linked to stress, which is why we often feel much better after a good cry. Or do the polar opposite – laugh it out. Laughter releases all kinds of feel-good chemicals, aids muscle relaxation and even stimulates circulation. So get searching Will Ferrell on Netflix (oh and if you really want to knock those jitters on the head, I find a glass of red – ideally Malbec – goes really well with laughing til tears are streaming down your face!).
3. Get outside. It sounds like something your grandmother would tell you, but get some fresh air. If you’re at work, instead of taking your break at your desk, go for a walk around the block or even sit on a bench outside for 15 minutes. Look at the trees, the clouds – anything besides your phone or computer. It can be so grounding and calming.
4. Move. Similar to the above point, it’s so important to move your body and change your physical surroundings. Go for a walk, run, to yoga, spin, or whatever class you enjoy that gets your blood pumping. This is by far my favorite cure for anxiety, and I always feel better after a good sweat. It releases endorphins and moves you out of your head and back into your physical body.
5. Listen to your body Lots of things can lead to a buildup of anxiety, including a lack of sleep, too much sugar/coffee, long stressful hours at work, etc. Focus on self care by recognizing when you might need an extra hour of sleep and giving it to yourself, or making yourself something healthy for dinner. Stress can often present itself physically, so make sure you are paying attention to your body and giving it what it needs, including rest, healthy food, time off, and plenty of water.
Shop The Look:
What I’m Wearing: Dress by Misa Los Angeles, Heels by Cecelia New York, Earrings by Rebecca De Ravenel, Bag by Charles and Keith (similar here)
This came at the perfect time for me. I’ve actually been thinking about writing you an email (both just to get it out and because ever since your Plain Jane days I’ve seen you as a fun, fairy godmother type – also I simply think you’re really great). I’m so stressed with work but also completely drained – I actually just came down with a cold (but that might just be the Danish summer). I hope that it won’t be too long till I feel energised again.
I have chronical hyperventilation for almost 3 years now. It has been and still is a struggle. I’ve tried therapie and breathing practices and i’m a reguler client with my fysiotherapist. At this moment i’m at this breaking point, it has taken over my life and i am anxious every single day.
A few months ago i started doing yoga, with a great teacher and besides the group lessons i take some private ones to really deal with this. I’m not there yet but i hope one day i will not be anxious or have a panic attac. It will come i’m sure. (I’m from Belgium so sorry for the grammer flaws)
Thank you for sharing this, there are many people facing it every day.
Thsee are all amazing tips and thank you so much for sharing. I find that moving around and exercising as well as talking it out really help me deal with my anxiety bursts too!
What a lovely post, Louise! It seems like after so many years with anxiety, it keeps feeling like a breath of fresh air reading someone else’s ways to deal with it and to know that we are not alone & even if we don’t know each other, we can definitely help each other. Have a wonderful weekend!
Sports is the best so I think Louise – Your look is amazing, I love the dress and the shoes 🙂
I’ve been dealing with anxiety and panic attacks for years now, and it’s always great seeing somebody talking about that. I really appreciate that you decided to make this post, Louise: it can be really helpful, especially for those who are experiencing these feelings for the first time and feel quite confused.
Thank you for sharing this – so uplifting to read through it and recognize the signs! And that it is OK to be feeling like that xoxo
Hey Louise thank you for your five tips about how a person can became calm indeed I will write it down to try it when I get the chance cause I am so hopeless I am without job, and I am in home averyday I just can’t leave the house because I feel always scared from the world outside, my mother is with me in the house she is controlling everything even my life , I am male around 32 years old and I am still can’t take care of my life, when I go out for long time I feel I am like a small kid and some one will hurt me and I should come back to my mother side, when I was little young I used to watch a plain jane and I learn some of excellent things about how to develope personal and communication skills, now a days I need a therapist urgently, or I think your five steps could help, cause I am thinking to runaway from my life but I don’t know where to go I don’t have money no friends and also for sure my family will find me specialy my mother, the bad thoughts always running. In my mind I am affraid from myself, but it’s OK, I knew there is a positive side in me