When you’re growing up you never know what obstacles you will find on the way, trust me there’s always something new you learn about yourself, and there are situations that might change you as a person. Getting to grips with life events is not easy, you either distracted by your studies, work, family or that odd situation that pops up that’s totally out of your control; those tend to be the issues we dwell on and there’s always a fear in the back of our minds.

I know people who say (including myself) “oh maybe I’m thinking too much” or “I’m overthinking”, but they never know why they are or who even gave them that information to accumulate all of those thoughts, asking yourself those questions either by yourself or the help of others can be a good thing as it increases your awareness on the issue. There are recent stories of young people that suffer from anxiety, who are not aware that some anxiety disorders are mental illnesses, that it is real, and it isn’t a topic to be taken lightly, the depths of it require a lot more attention than you think; so sometimes saying “get over it/ stop thinking about it” isn’t going to make one stop.

But I want to take the time to say:

ANXIETY IS NOT DEPRESSION

Anxiety is the feeling of fear or worry. The feeling of being uneasy about an unpredictable outcome. I was reading articles about anxiety, as (believe it or not; I still suffer from it) and I came across a piece in the Guardian stating that “Up to a third of the population will suffer from an anxiety disorder or panic attacks at some point of their life.” There are people who suffer in silence because of what their friends, family, colleagues might think about them especially if you know how a person acts when one thing is said. We hear a lot of people say “don’t always rush to assume a trait of someone as you don’t know their background” it’s true and that’s very important in cases like this.

OVERTHINKING IS THE THIEF OF HAPPINESS & OF ACHIEVEMENT.

Even whilst writing this post I thought what are people going to think and will it be as informative as I want it to be. But then the thought of comparison plays a huge role when you’re a person with anxiety, (shitting bricks rn) but I’m biting my hand because it needs to be addressed also it’s something I’ve always wanted to do (killing 2 birds with one stone). So what can you do for someone who suffers is having an anxiety attack (by the way you don’t have to think you’re superman to do this)

What you may come across:

Panic Attacks

Generalized Anxiety Disorder(GAD)

Phobias

Panic Attacks

If the person you’re with is having a panic attack (consisting of shortness of breath, dizziness, some but not all nausea) do this:

  1. Don’t panic. Their breathing is your first priority, you need to calm their breathing. (Count 1 2 inhale, 3 4 exhale etc.)
  2. Gain their attention, make them laugh talk to them, be creative (half the time they are looking down). If you have water or even something to chew it gives them something else to focus on.
  3. Whatever they say goes (trust me, you don’t want them to faint, if they want to sit let them).

You should be able to continue to your destination and get on with your day. If they don’t want to go home don’t make them and vice versa.

If you are by yourself having a panic attack:

  1. Breathing really isn’t your bestie right now but look around you and count the things you can see and use that to guide your breathing.
  2. TAKE YOUR TIME.
  3. Only when you are ready continue with what you are doing, if you have water you better drink it, if you’re out buy some before you reach your destination.

GAD

The simplest way to help an anxiety sufferer is to listen to what they say. They just need someone to talk to, not to make them uncomfortable and distress them any more than they already are. Reassurance is key because they are feeling really low. Take them out for a walk, it’s better than keeping them indoors. Make them laugh. I’m a firm believer that Laughter is definitely the best medicine in this case.

Phobias

Do not do anything that can provoke someone’s phobia, from experience you can make them have a panic attack. It’s not cool. They will appreciate it.

I’m a Christian so I would pick up my bible and read, having faith is a huge thing for me so I put my trust in God to guide me. For those who aren’t I found it so much easier when I was feeling anxious, to do some exercise I signed up to the gym (I actually went) it’s a great stress reliever especially when you don’t want to talk. You don’t need to go to the gym walking or taking a jog for 20 mins a day will do the trick. It gives you so much energy and I think when you have more to do your mind has less to wonder about other things. If you set goals i.e. jog 4 times a week for a month, it gives you the motivation to accomplish it and what’s 20 mins a day? Whatever you want or need to do make it a priority… The ending is sweet a reward to yourself (setting extra goals gives you more of a reason to treat yourself)

Don’t be ashamed to say you have anxiety, I wouldn’t be writing this blog if I was. It takes more out of you to keep it in than anything else, finally, talk to your friends they love you for a reason.

Love Jackie x

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