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By Phoebe Smith

5 things to help stop your anxiety and panic

Anxiety can be debilitating and life altering when not closely monitored. It is very easy for the symptoms of nervousness and unease to control your daily decisions and even develop further into a full blown disorder. There are certain things that I have personally found to be helpful in these moments of anxiety and panic that I have endured, and I would like to share these tips with those who could benefit from them.

1. Do things to help you find peace within yourself.

This could be anything tailored to you and what you enjoy to do. For my mom, it is horse back riding and being outside. For my sister, it's going to the ocean every evening after work and reading novels at home with her cats. For me, it is painting and exercise, and any activity where i can be around animals. Never underestimate the healing power of animals. It is important to feed your soul every single day in some way or another. If you can't find even an hour of time to do something that makes you happy you will begin to feel the negative affects of our crazy world, and this will begin to wreak havoc on your mental health.

2. Feed your spirit.

No matter what it is that you believe in or don't believe in, it is very important to take care of your spirit, honestly even if you don't believe that you have one. Whether you are able to do this with yoga, church, self-help books, it is so helpful to learn to stop using your mind constantly and begin to enjoy the feeling of total relaxation.

3. Stop using true crime and other horrifying subjects as entertainment.

I recently found myself falling into in this habit of listening to true crime podcasts in my free time. It wasn't until I noticed how the incredibly upsetting subjects were affecting me that I was able to link it to the increase in my anxiety. I took a few days off from listening to this type of material, and filled that down time with listening to more positive podcasts and videos. I am a lot happier, and even though I didn't notice an immediate negative feeling from these podcasts, the lingering feelings from them were certainly being carried throughout my days. We are so disconnected and desensitized by these types of television shows and broadcasts, it really won't benefit you in any way to focus your extra attention on horrific events.

4. Make yourself.

This is the hardest advice that I follow day in and day out. There are going to be things that anxiety doesn't want you to do, things that you could really enjoy doing, and you are going to be tempted to turn them down because you are uncomfortable. But you have to make yourself do these things. You have to be above your anxiety in this regard, and teach your mind that there is nothing to be afraid of. Anxiety and feelings of excitement are normal, you have to make yourself work through them in order to overcome them. We are creatures of habit, as are the cells that make us.

5. Talk to a professional.

There is always one rule of advice that seems to be the most obvious, but talking to someone who is knowledgeable about what you are experiencing can bring you a lot of peace of mind. Just knowing that you have someone there to support you if needed can soothe feelings of anxiety. Plus if there are actually underlying issues causing this, then you can begin on your path to heal.

Anxiety sucks. Panic sucks. They're both more common than you think. But we are more than these feelings, and yes, you can overcome them. Make positive choices and decide to work towards becoming a new version of yourself who can throw fear away and live your best life each and every day.

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