Stress, Anxiety & How I'm Dealing With It
Ever experienced stress on a physical level? Whether it be heavy breathing, a fast-paced heart-beat, or even painful headaches -- have you ever had to step aside, raise your hand to your chest and gather your peace of mind before continuing your daily duties?
Well for the past few weeks, I've been having sporadic episodes of exactly that. Heavy breathing and occasional chest pains which I believed was nothing more than a phase. However, with research and a couple doctor visits, I've concluded that I've been unconsciously stressed out.
Whenever something serious happens in my life, whether internal or external, my usual defense-mechanism is to contemplate on the way things could be worst. For example:
Financial problems (i.e losing your job) - I'd just think of the possibilities of being homeless or the countless adults and children that aren't exposed to the same opportunities we are (ex. Getting paid a less-than-fair amount an hour to make ends meet).
Personal issues (i.e family and friends) - I'd think about the people who don't have any friends or family support and have constantly taken suicidal routes as a result of that environment.
School - I'd think about the people who have more responsibilities such as taking care of their children and maintaining a home, all while holding a steady school attendance.
The scenarios are endless.
For everything I've experienced, I always believe that there could always be something worst. I've governed my actions day to day based on this mental construct. I would work harder and become my best self and nothing less because of it. I truly believed I was okay.
However, even this defense mechanism wasn't as effective, as I consequently suffered internally with occasional anxiety attacks. Thereafter, I used the same method once more to combat my disappointment. Constantly beating myself up about how I don't deserve to be stressed out but of course, it remained useless. It's like I was fighting a losing battle, no matter the situation.
How I'm dealing:
Write a list
Lists are my version of Sherlock Holme's mind palace: In using this method, everything is organized and laid out in front of me. It's the perfect way to clarify and deduct the core of my stress. I wrote a list of everything that made my mind go crazy and categorized them accordingly -- All personal, financial, educational, and anything else related. I then narrowed them down to the biggest issue and worked from there. Starting with the biggest issue, I tackled some off the list. As the days flew by, each one I crossed-out afterwards, made me feel the slightest bit better.
I've learned developing proper breathing patterns can help pass anxiety with ease. As soon as I begin to experience any chest pains or irregular heart beats, I collect myself outside of reality and take deep breaths at steady paces. Inhale 1...2...3...Exhale 1...2...3... I've learned with time, meditating help in aligning your mind. You'll know when your ready to return to reality.
In addition to breathing, a healthy and active lifestyle also does wonders. It could be a quick at-home workout or a yoga class (my top recommendation). Controlling my breathing and anxiety comes easier with balance and physical exercise works greatly in that regard.
Last but not least, you could never have balance without focusing your mind, body, and spirit on attaining that balance. In our current world filled with technology and plenty of other distractions, it's easy to lose ourselves in the all the chaos. It's important to channel our energies appropriately, and only then will we achieve optimal satisfaction.
In a perfect world, everything could be crossed off my list and the rest of my life would be worry-free but, lets be real. There will always be another list to replace my current one. With that said, I found that the best way to deal with stress and anxiety is confrontation. In applying effective methods like the ones mentioned above, they eventually become habits that'll conquer any potential fears impeding my way.
Be brave and conquer your worst fears.
Have you ever experienced stress or anxiety? If so, what mechanisms have you tried in battling such? Comment below!