What I do to keep my anxiety under control

How to keep anxiety under control and live a happier life (learn how to stop letting anxiety control you, and become happier and more positive)

Having anxiety can be really hard, and I’ve struggled with it for years. The last few months I’ve been able to control it pretty good, and felt happier than ever, even when faced with anxiety triggers. It wasn’t easy getting to this point, and it takes quite a bit of effort, but everything I do to keep my anxiety under control is more than worth it. I’m a stronger, happier and more confident person now, and I’m no longer letting my anxiety sabotage myself. So what has helped me get to this point?

Therapy

Therapy is what’s helping me the most when it comes to managing my anxiety. Ever since I started, in January 2016, I’ve seen my mental health improve drastically. Therapy helps me get to know myself, discover my anxiety triggers, and teaches me how to deal with my emotions. I’ve become so much stronger and more confident, and I sometimes go days without noticing my anxiety now!

Helps me with: Getting to know myself and my anxiety triggers, teaching me how to deal with my emotions, reducing anxiety

Meditation

I had a rough start with meditation. I tried it for more than a year, but it made my anxiety worse and I became hyper-aware of my flaws, which I couldn’t deal with. However, therapy taught me about guided meditation, which works way better for me. I now use the Headspace and YouTube videos, and I love it!

Helps me with: Becoming aware of my emotions, destressing, clearing my head, reducing negative emotions

Making art

I’ve always enjoyed being creative, and making art has always been a big passion of mine. It’s not only fun and relaxing, but it also helps me express my feelings better. It’s so much easier fir me to describe how I’m feeling using pictures or other visuals, compared to using words (although I am getting better at writing about my feelings as well). I’m also selling my art, and getting sales is definitely a little confidence booster as well!

Helps me with: Expressing my feelings, having fun, gaining confidence

Making ArtMaking Art

Blogging

Writing about my mental health helps me understand it better, and sharing my story with the world makes me feel empowered and helpful. Knowing that I’m helping people is giving me a lot of confidence and positive energy. And blogging has also helped me connect with other people with similar struggles, showing me I’m not alone and helping me pull through difficult situations.

Helps me with: Gaining confidence, understanding my mental health, knowing I’m not alone

Doing things I love

This is something I’ve often struggled with, as prioritizing your own happiness is sometimes looked upon as selfish or narcissistic. But I’ve learned that doing things you love, and saying no to whatever makes you feel bad, is a must for feeling happy. I’m starting to travel more (even do solo-travel) and visit all those places I always wanted to visit. And on a daily basis, I try to do at least one thing that makes me happy, whether it’s hot yoga or watching RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Helps me with: Feeling happier, becoming more positive

Expressing gratitude

I’ve written about the gratitude challenge a couple of times on my blog. It’s something I absolutely love doing, either alone by writing in a gratitude journal (it’s easy to create your own), or together with my boyfriend by asking each other what we’re grateful for each evening. I’m one of those people who remembers negative situations way better than positive situations, so forcing myself to think about my day/life and list things I’m grateful for is helping me become a much more positive person.

Helps me with: Seeing the positive things in life, putting things in perspective, feeling grateful

Winter Self-Care: Gratitude Journal

Self-care

Whether it’s setting off time to drink my favorite cup of tea, filling in a self-love or anti-anxiety printable, getting a massage, going to the spa, lighting candles or practicing yoga, I love taking care of myself. By doing that I can show myself that I matter and that I deserve happiness. And it’s also a perfect way to relax and clear your mind.

Helps me with: Loving myself, reducing negative emotions, relaxing, destressing

Talking to others about my mental health

This is by far one of the scariest – but also most important – things I’m doing to improve my anxiety. There is so much stigma around mental health, that talking about it with others becomes very scary. Not everyone knows I’m in therapy or suffer from anxiety, but most of the people that are close to me do, and that’s what matters.

I can always talk to my boyfriend or friends about what’s going on, and I have my therapist and Twitter friends as well. There will always be someone to support me and make me feel better. Plus, now that people know what I’m struggling with, they understand me a bit better as well and saying “Sorry, can’t go out tonight because I’m not feeling well” becomes a lot easier.

Helps me with: Building a support system, dealing with negative emotions, feeling safe and loved

Artworks in this post are made by me. Check out my Society6 store if you want to see more.

Do you have anxiety? What are your tips?

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22 Comments

  1. I suffered with anxiety for years. I found it helped me to blog as it’s a great form of escapism. Therapy was also helpful, plus I wanted to get back into work.

  2. This is such a great post! I suffer with anxiety too – sometimes it gets so bad I can’t seem to do anything!! I’ve got it more under control than I did have a few years ago that’s for sure! These are really great tips and I’m glad you’ve found things that work for you! I find talking to others so scary but something that really really helps! The reason I started blogging was also because of my mental health! 🙂 x

    Victoria | VictoriaaHelenn

  3. Anxiety ca be debilitating. I am so glad you Meditate, and practice Gratitude.Such a great way to keep positive thoughts top of your conscious mind…and all the other things you do. Keep doing and Happy 2017!

  4. I am so glad more people speak about their anxiety because it has gone unnoticed for so long now and the more that do speak out, the more help is there x

  5. These are great tips! I practice mindfulness almost every morning for 10 minutes and it helps a lot to focus on the present and avoid thinking on stressful situations that may happen or may not. I also learnt that anxiety is a state of fear for a situation that it’s in our mind, so being able to let it go it’s very important. Also being confident enough to leave those fears apart helped me a lot 🙂 I think I may start painting again, I think it’s really relaxing x

  6. Lots of people I know have anxiety. I think it’s a lot more common than people think! It’s great that you’ve found some ways to keep it under control 🙂

  7. I have both depression and anxiety, which in combination is really hard for me (like having the combo must be for many). Depression makes me take more risks or want to try new things, because in a positive way I feel less fearful, but when I’m suffering with anxiety it can make going out difficult. I find triggers to stop anxiety attacks are important i.e. being late sets them off, or if I’m doing something new I try to keep in touch with friends/family to improve it. Your tips are great. Some have helped me in the past too! Keep writing and motivating others 🙂 xx

  8. I have suffered with anxiety for years, it’s horrible. I woke up this morning feeling anxious. I find bullet journaling and writing down my thoughts and feelings really help me! Talking to others truly does help so much! So glad I read this post today, I don’t feel quite as alone. Great post and advice/tips! xx

  9. This is such a brilliant post! I’ve always suffered badly with anxiety (mostly social) and all of these things have helped me, especially therapy (CBT) and making art… I became a photographer which helped me overcome a lot of my anxiety.

  10. You are so helpful! I’ve had similar problems for quite some time and was looking for help. So happy to have stumbled upon your blog! Subscribing ASAP!
    P. S. Thanks a million for liking my Facebook page!

  11. Great tips. I’ve been having trouble doing what I love because I feel like I don’t ‘love’ to do anything? I feel like the more obvious symptoms of my depression have subsided much, but the more dull, persistent ones like apathy and fatigue and more still persist. Then those work in a cyclical fashion with the anxiety. Do you have any tips for trying to re-discover likes?