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My 4 Step Routine for Keeping Anxious Thoughts at Bay

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Desk with a round gold mirror and pink peonies in a bag

Anxiety has been popping in and out of my life since I had my first panic attack at 11 years old. My most recent spell hit earlier this year following the loss of my mum, it made the grieving process so much harder because I had wanted to go back to work and find distractions but it forced me to stay home and think horrible thoughts. Since then it’s been an uphill battle to get back to ‘normal’, I’m still having the occasional bad days but I feel like I'm past the worst of it now. I thought I’d share some of my ‘anxiety routines’ with you just in case they help anyone who is suffering.

Watch Law of Attraction/Positivity videos

The Law of Attraction is the belief that you can attract positivity into your life simply by thinking positive thoughts (the same applies to negativity and negative thoughts) this is usually referred to as manifestation. I properly discovered the Law of Attraction earlier this year when I was feeling really low, in my desperation I searched ‘how to be happy’ on YouTube and noticed how many of the videos mentioned manifesting positivity. I think focusing on these principles helps to soothe my anxious mind because it makes me feel like I am in control of my own life, the universe answers to me and all I need to do is tell it what to do. The concept might sound a bit weird from my very basic description so I highly recommend that you check out OhhMyAnnie on YouTube, her videos are so informative and she comes across as the sweetest person! I’ve also been reading ‘You Are a Badass at Making Money’ by Jen Sincero which is incredible, it’s everything I could have ever asked for in a self-help book and it’s already boosted my self-confidence so much - when Jen tells you to do something you just do it!

Clean

Toward the end of last year I followed a cleaning account on Instagram called mrshinchhome, you might have heard of her. At the time she had about 30k followers so the ‘hype’ was yet to arrive, but I was obsessed with watching her cleaning stories, I’d watch them late into the night and then find myself having to get out of bed to go wipe down the kitchen surfaces. When my mood is low I tend to neglect self-care, the house becomes a tip and my personal appearance a little shabby, which only serves to make me feel more overwhelmed and hopeless. Completing small tasks like cleaning the sink or plumping the sofa cushions and spraying Febreze make me feel like I’ve accomplished something and my day hasn’t been a total waste after all.

A cup of tea surrounded by pink flowers and candles

Read/watch something familiar

When I’m having a bad day I surround myself with the things that make me feel comfortable, I usually grab one of my favourite books or pop on a feel-good movie, even if I’ve seen it 1000 times before. My go-to nostalgic choice is anything Harry Potter related because nothing makes me feel more cosy and safe than escaping to the wizarding world. I've read the books so many times now that I can pretty much narrate the story from beginning to end but I like that I can half guess the next sentence, it means I don’t have to focus too hard on the task, providing a welcome distraction from negative thoughts without the need for too much concentration.

Tell someone how I am feeling

For so many years I refused to tell anyone about my anxiety, I would scurry into the toilets at work to hyperventilate and pop back into the office as if nothing had happened. It took me a while to realise that it was my anxiety telling me that I should keep my feelings to myself, it told me that people would think I was overdramatic, childish and weak. Since opening up to just a couple of people I’ve found myself becoming less stressed about being anxious (if that makes sense!) Having the knowledge that I can always let my boss know if I’m feeling overwhelmed in turn makes me less likely to feel overwhelmed. They say a problem shared is a problem halved and though I’m not sure that’s strictly true, it really can help to talk.


So that’s my routine for dealing with anxious thoughts and low moods, please let me know if you do any of these or if you have a different routine that works for you.

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