Feeling Alone in Anxiety
We’ve heard some of the typical advice about what to do with anxiety: Meditate, eat right, work out, and the worst advice is “just let it go.”
The problem with this is if you are feeling anxious, others might not understand that it varies from person to person, ranging from mild anxiety to severe anxiety. When someone has a high level of anxiety it can feel debilitating. Some of the symptoms of high level anxiety include, but are not limited to: exhaustion, not able to get a full nights rest, feeling like you are going crazy (not able to press the ‘stop’ button on your thoughts), shakiness, chills, dry mouth, irritability, lack of patience, brain fog, dizziness, poor memory, chest discomfort, startle easy, etc. The list can go on…
“When you get to the end of the rope, tie a knot and hang on.” –Franklin D. Roosevelt
If your anxiety is high, every day can feel like you are just hanging on to a rope. One can imagine what it would feel like to be suspended in midair hanging on to a rope every day! Exhausting! Stress, anxiety, and worry are a part of people’s every day life, but if you feel like you are “hanging on” almost every day, the anxiety can turn into something more permanent and continue to interfere with your daily life and ability to function. The best solution for this is to find a therapist for support, because if friends, family, and/or your partner have never experienced this level of anxiety, they will not understand. They may sincerely try to give you advice, but unfortunately if they can’t empathize, it will backfire- reaching out to someone who can’t help can leave you feeling more anxious and the worse: feeling alone in your anxiety.
Here are a few ways to cope with anxiety until you find support:
Stay busy – Although spending time alone is good, too much time alone with your thoughts can increase the anxiety.
Stay away from bad foods – Certain foods have been found to increase anxiety, such as, alcohol, fried foods, caffeine, and sugar.
Exit route – Whether you are in a restaurant, movie theatre, or any other public place, sit closest to an exit or bathroom to remove yourself if the anxiety is unbearable. Having an exit route ensures you can quickly leave to take a moment to calm down without the feeling of shame of others watching you.