I thought I would discuss what I use as my favorite tools and resources for learning about and dealing with my anxiety/ phobias. All of these are listed on the right hand side of the blog that I leave up normally so you can refer back to any of them anytime. Its a long post I know but its I believe its very valueable for those trying to figure things out.
- Reading Material- The biggest help that I have gotten (seriously it has changed my whole perspective on everything) has been from the book The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook Fourth Edition by Edmund J. Bourne. I am not one that buys books very often and I came across the Third Edition of this Series in my public library. It was so amazing I kept it until I wasn’t allowed to renew it any longer. I returned it sadly and then decided I had to have my own copy as a resource that I could use whenever needed. The guidance in this book is amazing. It touches on everything that I can think of on how to manage and get rid of your anxiety and phobias. I haven’t gotten to the getting rid of part because I am still getting used to managing my anxiety first. I highly recommend trying to find this book if you are looking for something to help you, especially if you can’t afford to see a specialist or a therapist. Before this book I was hopeless and it gave me the motivation to take control of my life again. Main things that helped me in this book was learning about Self Talk, Positive Affirmations and Mistaken Beliefs.
- Medication- I take a daily dose of 50mg of Zoloft. At first I was really skeptical about taking the medication because I didn’t want to be reliant on it. I fell into the stigma that most people have about mental health medicine- that you should be able to control your own thoughts. I have since learned that some brains are simply hard wired different and need the medication to work properly. If you are diabetic, you take insulin and no one questions it, its what you need. So I take that daily and have been doing much better since I have been consistent with it. I also take Clonozapam when I need it as an additional way to calm my nerves and that helps tremendously.
- Spiritual Belief System- I have a firm faith in my beliefs that we are put on this earth to be tried and tested. I know that we are only given adversities that Heavenly Father knows we can handle even though it might seem so overwhelming to us. I know that he helps me along the way as I continue to ask for it and pray for it. I encourage everyone to figure out their own spiritual belief system as it gives a firm foundation for when things get rocky. One of my favorite quotes says, "Therefore, how can you and I really expect to glide naively through life, as if to say, 'Lord, give me experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be forsaken. Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made Thee what Thou art! Then let me come ad dwell with thee and fully share Thy joy!'" -Neal A. Maxwell.
- Yoga and regular exercise- I am not as consistent as this as I would like to be, but anytime I finish a workout or a yoga session I feel better immediately. I have found yoga to be more of a help especially. An interesting article I found says, “Yoga's postures, controlled breathing and meditation may work together to help ease brains plagued by anxiety or depression, a new study shows.” I don’t need the study to tell me that, I have experienced it first hand. I used to Tivo a daily yoga show as corny as it was to do at home but when the show no longer played I had to find another method. I like to work out at home, its too hard for me to keep up with going to the gym and I never end up going. So I am borrowing an XBOX that hardly gets used and I bought a $9 dollar game at a used game store. This game is awesome. It’s a Personal Trainer that does yoga and exercising with lots of other cool features.
- Therapist- It was a blow to my ego but when things got really bad I had to face the music that I was in over my head. I went and saw a therapist who was able to help me point out my negative thoughts when I didn’t realize I was thinking that way.
- Journaling- Journaling is a great way to figure out your thoughts and feelings and mentally unwind. That’s why I started this blog. Its my journal and has been extremely therapeutic for me.
- Vitamin B Supplement- This is a daily pill that helps manage the nervous system that is an additional more herbal remedy as opposed to Clonozapam.
- Family and Friends- Having a support person is important. Someone that knows whats going on so that if you have to leave suddenly or have symptoms coming on, they are there to help you and be there for you. Sometimes having that support person with you in a trigger situation can be enough to help you stay calm. Plus as I have mentioned before, than your secret is out and you don’t have to try so hard to meet everyone’s expectations and you can focus on other things. I only tell my closest family and friends about it, plus all of you of course, but I try not to tell people that I feel aren’t on a need to know basis.
- Expressing Yourself Creatively- I find it important to express myself in relaxing ways that help me define who I am. I do this with gardening, playing the piano, scrapbooking, blogging, and photography. All of these hobbies give me a sense of accomplishment and let me know that I am worthwhile as a person. They give me strength to want to better myself in all areas of my life.
- Down Time- Its vitally important to give your mind some rest. This includes getting a full night’s sleep, time management, and making room in your schedule for relax time. Time where you do nothing but meditate or veg out, anything that’s relaxing. Taking a bath, watch tv, just exist.
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