By Seamus Anthony
On three separate occasions I have been afflicted by terrible, ongoing anxiety which lasted for a number of months at a time.
It’s a nightmarish feeling: my heart would beat too fast, I felt like I was crawling out of my skin and every time a car drove down the street at night I thought they were coming to take me away – that the game was up. What I was guilty of, I have no idea … bad breath in the morning?
I am lucky in that I have been able each time to beat anxiety in relatively short time frames. Here’s a short list of how I did it.
Beat Anxiety Tip 1: Meditation Is The Bomb, Seriously
You might think meditation is something only weird, hairy alternative types (like me) do but nothing could be further from the truth. Meditation is a mainstream pursuit these days, recommended by doctors and NOTHING to do with any religion or sect (unless you want it to be, if that’s your thing).
Meditation is scientifically proven to help the body and mind to fight stress. It takes your body out of the “fight-or-flight” mode that anxiety sufferers are chronically stuck in and instead allows the Relaxation Response to help you to feel calm, relaxed and less fearful and jittery.
It is beyond the scope of this article to teach you how to meditate, but you can pretty easily find classes or books to teach you how, like for example, my own e-book – Anxiety Meditation.
Meditation isn’t always easy to do but even if you find it a bit difficult while you’re learning, it will probably still help.
Beat Anxiety Tip 2: Drugs Are Bad, Mmmkay?
I am a long-time lush who has probably drunk more brews than you’ve had hot dinners, but as much as I love a sweet, frosty lager, when it came time to try and beat anxiety, I had to face facts: the booze was just making it worse.
I mean to say, it was fine while I was drinking it – but the next day the anxiety would just as bad or worse (depending on if I had gotten, as we like to say down here in Oz, shitfaced or not).
So each time I needed to beat anxiety, I put the booze aside for a little while and I noticed almost straight away that the symptoms lessened noticeably. Alcohol is a proven depressant – why would you think it won’t make your anxiety worse too?
And as for cigarettes and marijuana – well, in my case, back when I used to indulge in these two smoky little nasties regularly, I definitely found that they made the anxiety way, way worse. These days I hardly ever touch either as it just doesn’t help my frame of mind.
Beat Anxiety Tip 3: Run For Your Life!
When I was suffering anxiety, I used to have this constant feeling that I just needed to get out of here – “here” being wherever I was. It was murder to sit still and chat politely. I was edgy and fidgety. I just really felt like I needed to run away, literally.
So I did.
No really – I started running. OK I didn’t run away never to be seen again, but I did start to regularly strap on my stinky old sneakers and go jogging. And it helped me enormously.
I was discussing this with a psychologist friend of mine at the time and she told me that this is something that medical professionals always recommend to people trying to beat anxiety. I suppose it makes sense, when you are stuck in “fight-or-flight” mode, and given that fighting is not an option anybody sane would recommend*, fleeing the scene for a bit makes perfect sense! Try it, worked for me.
*Some would say the same about jogging. If you’re one of them, try brisk walking instead. Or juggling cats. No? What about climbing a greasy flagpole?
Beat Anxiety Bonus Tip!
Speaking of psychologists, if you are suffering from anxiety, you probably should see a medical professional. I used to always try and sort everything out on my own without seeking professional help but then one time my anxiety was so bad that I went to see a psychologist and it made such a huge difference. I just didn’t really realise (maybe it’s a male thing) that merely telling someone how shit I was feeling would help so much.
My tips here are intended to complement, not substitute genuine, professional help and should not be used as a replacement for such help.
So get on the phone and call your local doctor. They can discuss your need to beat anxiety with you and then they can recommend the right professional to help you get better.
In the words of Kramer from Seinfeld: “Here’s to feeling good all the time!”
I have just released a detailed ebook that will show you how to beat anxiety using simple, non-religious meditation, just like I did. Click here to learn more.