No Matter What You Call It, Your Anxiety is Stressing You Out
Choosing an Anxiety Label that Feels Right
There is no denying that we all carry many labels with us throughout our life. We carry the label of daughter, wife, mother, student, employee, business owner, friend…all with pride. The weight of most of those labels feels fine on our shoulders. Other labels we are not as willing to take on. Often we find that choosing another label feels more comfortable so we call ourselves an overthinker instead of anxious. We may way we’re stressed out instead of full of anxiety.
We may even say that we have a worrier’s nature or say that we suffer from insomnia instead of saying that our anxiety keeps us up at night, or we have difficulty quieting our minds at night so we can sleep.
Whatever the Label There is a Solution
Whichever label you choose to use, whatever label feels comfortable to you, the truth is it boils down to you need some major relief. You need to figure out how to handle the thing you’re not calling anxiety so that you can achieve some peace of mind, some sleep, and some stress relief.
Just like the label you choose may be personalized just to you, so should the self-care you prescribe yourself to achieve relief. When we got to the doctor for an ache or a pain, there’s not a one-size-fits-all prescription they hand us that gives us instant and guaranteed relief. Some of us need physical therapy, some of us need medication, some of us need a combination of the two.
Finding relief from anxiety and our anxious thoughts is very much the same. Some of us need therapy and medication, some need one or the other, and some of us need something completely different.
And all of them are completely okay!
Let’s Talk About Options to Manage Your Anxiety
When it comes to managing anxiety there are so many options it’s a great idea to try them all on and see what fits you best.
Mindfulness: The dictionary defines mindfulness as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” When used in connection with handling anxiety and anxious moments it becomes a way to remind yourself that you’re here, and now, and the things you’re feeling anxious about or worrying about have not yet happened and are not super likely to ever happen.
Listen to: Mindfulness for Anxiety by Travis Baird
Changing Habits and Lifestyle: Simple but often overlooked changes to our lifestyle can greatly reduce the amount of anxiety we feel. Such as, reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption. Quit smoking. Reduce caffeine intake. Increase physical activity. Many of these items listed may have you looking twice, this is because often we tend to use things like alcohol, smoking, and caffeine as coping mechanisms rather than seeing them as adding to the issue at hand.
Listen to: Habits Made Simple
Practice Relaxation: Simple tactics like meditation, journaling, and reducing the amount of stress we take on in life can really make an impact on our anxiety levels. Meditation is the act of clearing your mind and relaxing your body. While it can take practice to feel like you’re successfully meditating many experts will tell you that even trying to clear your mind and relax your body is a great start.
Listen to: Learn to Meditate with Jenna Padilla
Start (or re-start) Journaling: Journaling is an effective way to pour out your worries and concerns onto paper, freeing up your mind to stop worrying about them and let them go. Many anxiety sufferers say they are someone who used to journal but fell away from the practice and find that by reconnecting with the hobby their anxiety levels drop.
Try Therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy is just one type of therapy that is used to treat anxiety and anxiety symptoms. Whether you’re just going through a difficult time in life, or finally ready to change what feels like a life-long pattern asking for help is always an amazing show of strength (not weakness!). Your therapist can also suggest medications that may help lessen your symptoms, this is a discussion you should have together to decide what’s best for you and your life.
If you’re not sure that traditional therapy is right for you just now, look at Chat 1:1 in the Sanity & Self app and get unlimited messaging with an expert who specializes in anxiety.
Do you use another name to refer to your anxious feelings?
About the Author
Angela Keck is the community manager for Sanity & Self. You can always find her hanging out on the Real Convo tab of the app, on our social media pages, as well as right here on the blog. In addition to being passionate about self-care, Angela is also a wife, a mother of two, and a writer (in her spare time).