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Coping with anxiety Anonymous 139336

My anxiety has been so bad this week I feel physically weak, its hard to breathe and my chest hurts. Its debilitating. I've got like this often but I can't stand it anymore and I am meeting up with my LDR bf for the 2nd time in forever which is making it even worse. Last time I was so anxious I could barely talk to him or move or go outside, and this time I just really want it to be better, I want to be able to have normal conversations and to not feel like I'm out of breathe and dying constantly.
How do I cope?

Anonymous 139340

>>139336
>How do I cope?

Stop it.

Anonymous 139341

C63D9C78-4B72-40F6…

Inb4 everyone says go to therapy

You can do cognitive behavioral therapy on yourself a bit. Talk to yourself as if you were a friend giving advice, explain to your friend-self what the feelings are like, where they are in your body, and what happens to them over time like when they peak and then subside.

Explain to friend-self what the triggers are . Can you avoid them? Can you practice gradual exposure to them in the same way you would treat fear of the dark?

Next, probe deeper into whatever underlying fears there are. E.g if the trigger is a place, what happened at the place? Why did that thing upset you? Does that thing play into some core belief such as fear of rejection or unworthiness? For most people anxiety gets worse as the mental self-talk approaches the core fear.

Once you’ve identified the deepest fear you can, imagine the worst case scenario for that fear coming true. Is it reasonable? If it happened, how would you deal with it? (If this is difficult to figure out, again imagine giving this advice to a friend.) You are more capable of strategizing and overcoming this scenario than anxiety leads you to believe. Next time a trigger happens, lead your train of thought down this strategizing path rather than the catastrophizing path.

Finally, start practicing living in the third person. What this means is that you start observing the feelings and things that happen to you, rather than experiencing their grasp on you. (You can also think of the anxiety as an external force rather than identifying it with yourself.) E.g. instead of “I feel butterflies in my stomach”, think “I notice Mary is having a feeling which is being caused by memories of this place, interesting.” While in the third person you can experience instead compassion and love for yourself. This helps because it seems that emotions of love and anxiety cannot be felt simultaneously. Welcome the anxiety as a guest, allow yourself to feel it, and let it leave when it does. It only has power over you if it is a real part of you. And I’m certain it’s not the real you.

One last thing, expect results in the course of a few months rather than same day. The last thing you want is anxiety about not getting rid of anxiety ;) that’s typically the biggest cause of spirals but also the easiest to snap out of. You got this sis.

I’ll be around if you need me to clarify anything . I’m in the process of purging out traces of my own anxiety, and it gets so much easier when you have momentum for managing it.

Anonymous 139349

>>139336
>How do I cope?

I'd first start by recognizing if you actually have an anxiety disorder or just a shitty life(very similar surface level wise). You wouldn't happen to be someone who has middle class income, friends, a college degree, can afford rent and food, has a meaningful hobby, with good physical health, and has a fulfilling relationship, would you?

Anonymous 139352

>>139341
>You can do cognitive behavioral therapy on yourself a bit. Talk to yourself as if you were a friend giving advice, explain to your friend-self what the feelings are like, where they are in your body, and what happens to them over time like when they peak and then subside.
I do this a lot. I havr a narrative running through my head, sometimes I pretend I am talking to myself or just explaining to someone I know. I put a lot of it on paper in a diary, thousands of pages of this.
>Explain to friend-self what the triggers are . Can you avoid them? Can you practice gradual exposure to them in the same way you would treat fear of the dark?
I don't wanna be particular about what I'm anxious over with this date, but it really isn't unavoidable. I am directly exposing myself to this and its got a chance of actual occuring and fucking ke over.
>Next, probe deeper into whatever underlying fears there are. E.g if the trigger is a place, what happened at the place? Why did that thing upset you? Does that thing play into some core belief such as fear of rejection or unworthiness? For most people anxiety gets worse as the mental self-talk approaches the core fear.
Its pretty simple and tangible and rooted in real events.
>
Once you’ve identified the deepest fear you can, imagine the worst case scenario for that fear coming true. Is it reasonable? If it happened, how would you deal with it? (If this is difficult to figure out, again imagine giving this advice to a friend.) You are more capable of strategizing and overcoming this scenario than anxiety leads you to believe. Next time a trigger happens, lead your train of thought down this strategizing path rather than the catastrophizing path.
This is good. I do this sometimes to make myself feel better but I feel like if I do things to make myself feel better instead of mentally preparing myself to handle catastrophic events by living out the worst case scenerio in my head, then when it does happened I will be to weak to handle it, or that it will happen simply to spite me.
>
Finally, start practicing living in the third person. What this means is that you start observing the feelings and things that happen to you, rather than experiencing their grasp on you. (You can also think of the anxiety as an external force rather than identifying it with yourself.) E.g. instead of “I feel butterflies in my stomach”, think “I notice Mary is having a feeling which is being caused by memories of this place, interesting.” While in the third person you can experience instead compassion and love for yourself. This helps because it seems that emotions of love and anxiety cannot be felt simultaneously. Welcome the anxiety as a guest, allow yourself to feel it, and let it leave when it does. It only has power over you if it is a real part of you. And I’m certain it’s not the real you.
This seems hard but I'll try it.
>
I’ll be around if you need me to clarify anything . I’m in the process of purging out traces of my own anxiety, and it gets so much easier when you have momentum for managing it.
Thank you for sharing this, I'm gonna try this and see if it helps and I hope yours gets better too.
>>139349
Its a shitty environment. I know I have a tendency to over worry over things, but most of my anxiety is rooted in actual events that have taken place.
Ex. Afraid to leave my house and my stuff behind for fear someone will rummage through my personal papers which has happened on multiple occasions.
Ex. Afraid cameras are watching me and checking new rooms for them because one time my dad lied to me when I was little and told me he installed cameras in the house
Its all HAPPENED, there is a reason for me being anxious but I do tend to get carried away in it.

Anonymous 139366

>>139352

> I do this sometimes to make myself feel better but I feel like if I do things to make myself feel better instead of mentally preparing myself to handle catastrophic events by living out the worst case scenerio in my head, then when it does happened I will be to weak to handle it, or that it will happen simply to spite me.


Seems like the most work needs to happen here. The point is to actually be prepared for things that may reasonably come to pass, not just cope. Based on your reply it seems a lot of things could come to pass, so it’s not all in your head.

For me as well it was the home situation that induced anxiety. Things I had to be prepared for that actually happened were having my phone stolen, books confiscated, given glares/shouting throughout the day, being told not to play with my siblings since I was a bad influence, and refusal to accept my wedding. I’m not gonna lie, there was a lot more to fixing this than mere coping. You’re right, feeling better only helps somewhat and can blind you to what you need to do in these situations. I had to make all the preparations to leave home at the drop of a hat: saving money, buying a car, reducing possessions to fit in said car, getting my own phone plan…basically avoiding any potential financial leverage my parents could use to coerce me (I was 21). The stuff I said earlier was more how to cope when you’re in the grip of anxiety , but it sounds like you need more preventative measures. Unfortunately having an LDR may not be compatible with your current situation , I’ll leave that to your judgement though.

Couple more tips I forgot, if you want to avoid being weak when the worst comes to pass, the anxiety state of mind is actually counterproductive. Why? It’s not you, it’s a primal fight/flight response. So
1) the earlier you can push down the anxiety feelings the better since it gets harder as you wait. If the feeling is in the early stages, you may have to decide “nope, not going to listen to that passing emotion bc it’s not helpful now. Maybe later”. If it’s getting bad, this is counterintuitive but lean into the feeling. Imagine it has a shape in you and feel every aspect of it as if it felt good. This oddly enough can cause the bigger pains to subside; they are like those optical illusions that are present at a distance but fade when you get close. The anxiety wants you in fog, not clarity.

2) your mind is currently riding on a cycle. Only limited perceptions and memories are presenting themselves to you. The way you can get off the cycle is by engaging in very engrossing activities with a physical component that force your train of thought off the track, such as a group outdoor trip, a crafting hobby or class, or MAYBE vidya, ymmv. You’ll know the first signs of progress when you start getting surprised at noticing your surroundings. At that point hopefully the anxiety subsided to the early stage where you can decide not to engage with it.

Anonymous 139376

>>139341
A lot of low level therapists just sit there in silence anyway and let you talk yourself around to a solution. You might as well save your money and just do it yourself, with some selfhelp books to guide you in the right direction.



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