Teen Shares 5 Coping Mechanisms That Helped Her Overcome Anxiety

Anxiety is living with nerves always flowing through your veins. I myself have struggled with anxiety for quite some time now. It stops you from thinking logically and makes you feel like you are in a constant state of panic. This has been written by a teen and how she’s overcome it.
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Blog written by Saara Mehta Tips on handling Anxiety by Happiness Is love

The sound of your heart stomping loudly in your chest when you hear footsteps of people walking by. The immense stress that prevails in your body when you are put in any situation which includes confrontation. The overwhelming desire to run away and hide in your safe haven when there is a chance of failure. The compulsive need to do things exactly the way you have planned them and when that changes the feeling of you being engulfed in your emotions and ready to snap at anyone who disturbs you. The perfectionist attitude which causes you to start all over again if even the smallest mistake is made . . It is the feeling of always being on high alert. A state of mind in which obtaining relaxation is near impossible.

Anxiety is living with nerves always flowing through your veins. I myself have struggled with anxiety for quite some time now. It stops you from thinking logically and makes you feel like you are in a constant state of panic.

In many situations, I  have felt overwhelmed by fear of the outcome. This fear caused me to run away from situations and experiences because I was scared of the result.

My anxiety has

  • Stopped me from going after things I have wanted and made me play it safe.
  • It made me rigid, tense and controlling. I wanted everything a certain way, a way that I was comfortable with, a way that suited me.  
  • This caused me to be stubborn and close-minded and lose out on a lot of experiences.

When I look back on situations in which my anxiety caused me to miss out on encounters and adventures, at a certain level  I feel foolish for letting my intrusive thoughts prevent me from living fully.  

But at another level I am grateful that I did as it has taught me a lot and has made me realize hiding and avoiding reality is not sustainable or smart. As you will have to eventually face what you are scared of and by avoiding it you are not fixing the problem you are just postponing your dealing with it.

I have now developed a strategy that I use every time I feel my anxiety is detrimental to my overall wellbeing. I imagine the worst thing that could happen if I faced my problem and I try to devise a plan with which I would deal with it.

Whenever I face something I was initially scared of I am always grateful I did as things are usually easier and better than you thought they were. Facing the problem cuts the fear at the root instead of letting it fester and grow. Even though facing your fears can be scary, nothing is scarier than the reality you have created in your head.

These are some other coping mechanisms and methods I use to try and deal with my anxiety

Start with a ‘growth’ mindset. Some people have a fixed mindset and are set in their ways of thinking. They start to think “This is how I am. I get anxious when I speak in public so there is no point in speaking ..” With a fixed mindset,  people limit themselves and stop themselves from growing and improving. They prevent themselves from learning and getting better. But having a growth mindset allows you to remind yourself that you are truly capable of doing anything as long as you put in the time and effort. 

Identify what anxiety feels like for you. Get to know what your anxiety truly includes. Understand them.

When you’re anxious, what indicators do you get? Do you feel butterflies? Sweaty palms? Shaky hands? A faster heartbeat? Understand that this is normal, it is just your body’s natural response to the situations it is experiencing. It does not harm you.

They fade on their own. Next time it occurs, try to notice the feelings without getting upset that they’re there. Accept them. Let them be there. You don’t have to push them away. But you don’t have to give them all of your attention either.  You should just focus on understanding what you are feeling, being self-aware and one with your body.

Breathe. Take a few slow breaths. Develop a pattern to help you feel more comfortable. For example, breathing in to the count of 5 and breathing out to the count of 7. You could also try to use your fingers to count four or five breaths.  These breathing techniques which make you focus on your breathing. It may not cause anxiety to disappear but it does help calm us down and reduce it. It helps distract our mind and power through our negative thoughts and feelings.

Positive self-talk. Have a positive mindset and a can-do attitude remind yourself that you can do it and that you are capable of anything. Do this instead of overthinking about the chance of failure in that situation. Remind yourself that feeling anxious is completely normal and natural and it is just a feeling which will fade away.  Try to focus on the fact that your anxiety is driven based on your emotions and not hard facts.

Face the situation — don’t wait for anxiety to go away.  That only gives it more power. You might think that you’ll put off speaking in class until you no longer feel anxious about it. Putting it off only causes it to fester and grow. Do not wait for anything to change inside you. It’s facing the anxiety that helps you manage it. This is called exposure. Remember that it takes time and patience to cope with your anxiety. It takes effort and strength to put yourself in situations that trigger your anxiety so remember that you do not have to do it all at once.

Take things one at a time and take small steps to help conquer your anxiety.
Blog written by Saara Mehta Tips on handling Anxiety by Happiness Is love

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