Coping with Anxious Days

uivwdk2ifrg-andrej-chudyI’m having one of those anxious days, one of those days when I feel unsettled, like I can’t relax, like I can’t be left alone with my own thoughts.

I haven’t been feeling quite right this week and it’s causing me to jump to horrible conclusions like I usually do. Maybe I have lung cancer. Maybe it’s a blood clot. Maybe I need to have my gallbladder removed. Or maybe my appendix. No, definitely my gallbladder. Unless it is a bloodclot…

And Jonathan’s not home, so I’m resorting to my best coping mechanism: binge watching television shows. Right now it’s Mr. Selfridge. I’m not sure it’s the healthiest thing to do, but it sure beats sitting around thinking I’m dying. Because if I am dying, and no one’s here to take me to the hospital, well, things are pretty hopeless, aren’t they? Much easier to just watch my favorite show and forget about everything else.

Do you ever have days like that? How do you cope?

2 thoughts on “Coping with Anxious Days

  1. Amanda McKinney

    I’m so, so sorry it has been one of “those” weeks. Just thinking about “those” days makes my own heart beat a little faster…

    I cope different ways depending on how long the episode has lasted. Sometimes it’s best for me to face my fears head-on if I can, as an act of faith in God and to prove to MYSELF that even my own personal worst-case scenario isn’t too much to handle. It’s sort of my own version of exposure therapy, where I will actually TRY to trigger a panic attack, since the panic attack is what I’m most afraid of. For example, I start to worry that my panic attacks will keep me from falling asleep and that I’ll eventually go crazy from lack of rest. So I will intentionally LAY DOWN when I’m not tired and dare my panicked body to do its worst… It sounds crazy, but it actually can be very empowering after the panic subsides. The key is to keep pushing through the experiment until the anxiety has come down a little.

    But, if I’ve been struggling for awhile and I really need a break, then I GO somewhere. I’ll go to my parents’ house or to a group exercise class at the YMCA, or just to the grocery store, where there are other people doing non-anxious things, and I can be reminded that I’ll be less anxious like them again eventually. Most of the time, I don’t FEEL like “going,” but I make myself do it anyway. And, most of the time, I’m glad I did afterward.

    Anyway, those are just two of my own tricks. I’ve also tried meditating on scripture while playing soft music or watching videos of massage therapy, if I’m trying to calm down. OR, if it’s the middle of the day and not necessarily time to relax anyway, I’ll get up and GO somewhere, regardless of whether my introverted self thinks it’s a good idea. :)

    Whatever you do to pass the time, I’m praying! I know I get tired of telling myself over and over, but it’s still true: you won’t feel this way forever.

    1. Sarah Post author

      Thanks, Amanda. I’m not sure if I could bring myself to force a panic attack, but I’ll definitely keep it in mind. Knowing it works for someone else makes is sound a little less horrible :) My panic attacks are almost always triggered by health-related fears, which are often much scarier than the panic attacks themselves. It’s a self-feeding cycle: worry about my health (usually for a legitimate reason), have physical reactions to the stress of worrying, worry about my health . . . Anxiety medication is the only thing that has brought lasting relief, but some days it’s just not enough.

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