Anxious? You’re Not Alone.

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Anxiety. Ugh… It comes in many forms; generalized, social, phobias, PTSD, OCD & those horrid panic attacks. Unless you’ve personally fought the battle, it’s nearly impossible for you to comprehend its debilitating effects.

The chest tightness, heart palpitations, & shortness of breath; all of which mimic a heart attack. Fight or flight kicks in. Flight wins out but we can’t always fly away. So we’re trapped. Overcome with an overall feeling of fragility. We may get hot & sweaty or cold & clammy… restless, weak-kneed, nauseated, dizzy. On repeat, the image of our safe-place plays in our head.

One thing is for sure, “anxious” is an unparalleled feeling.

My personal battle with anxiety began in elementary school. My pediatrician told my mom that I would “outgrow it.” HA! I showed him!

Though I’ve not “outgrown” it, I have learned to manage it. With the help of a therapist I’ve acquired a toolbox full of coping strategies. If one doesn’t work, I reach for another. Of course this is easy for me to say when I’m not in the throes of a big ‘ol panic attack; which is thankfully rare these days. I’ve at least come to learn many of my triggers, which sometimes allows me to prevent, eliminate or prepare for them.

Aside from my toolbox, what I’ve found helpful is knowing that I’m not alone. Anxiety is SO common yet it’s not spoken of in a common manner. It’s as though it’s still perceived as a sign of weakness. It is NOT. What’s worse than someone battling anxiety is that same someone feeling: alone, or that they “should just be stronger,” or worrying about being judged because of their anxiety.

Anxiety is real. However, it’s a battle that can be won. We have control over anxiety, not the other way around.


ANXIETY FACTS

¤ Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S.

¤ Anxiety disorders affect 40 million {18%} U.S. adults ages 18 & older.

¤ Women are 60% more likely than men to experience an anxiety disorder in their lifetime.

 ¤ Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, however, only approx. 1/3 of those suffering receive treatment.

¤ Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, incl. genetics, brain chemistry, personality, & life events.

¤ Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children.

¤ Anxiety disorders often co-occur with other disorders, such as depression, eating disorders, & ADHD {attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder}.

¤ Treatment options for anxiety disorders incl. medication, psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, diet & lifestyle changes, relaxation therapy.


If you are battling anxiety, know that you are not alone. 40 million other Americans are fighting the same battle. You are NOT weak. And don’t lose hope, because anxiety can be successfully managed.

If you think you are struggling with anxiety visit your doctor. I personally think everyone can benefit from therapy. It’s important to fill a tool box with as many tools {coping strategies} as you possibly can. Test them out. See which ones work best for you.

Coping Strategies

Anxious moments are often impulsive ones, and impulsivity can be dangerous. With anxiety it becomes especially important to plan ahead. In anxious moments we’re more likely to choose coping strategies that don’t serve us well or even harm us. To prevent this from happening we want to minimize the number of decisions and choices we have to make.

This is why it’s a great idea to fill-up an actual (physical) box with soothing and distracting tools that you’ve come to find helpful. You can set it in a dedicated place, like the corner of a room or a closet, for easy access. But there are also items you can carry around with you, like keeping a rock with textured edges in your pocket and mints, for grounding purposes.

Check out these Coping Tools (blog posts)!

Deep Breathing: A Basic “How-To” | Grounding Techniques for AnxietyJournaling: My Favorite Healthy Coping Tool


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What are your most effective coping strategies?

Krista-Lee-Pfeiffer


10 comments on “Anxious? You’re Not Alone.
  1. Tanya Haskin says:

    This was a perfect time to send this Krista…I needed this! I just need to relearn some new coping mechanism’s all over again, and I really like your grounding techniques given. I went to a new therapist just this morning and will be doing co-occuring therapy…that my insurance will actually cover. Yay!

    • Glad to hear it Tanya! I think it’s awesome that despite how far you’ve come and how much you’ve grown, you continue to stay open and willing to learn new coping strategies. We can never have too many in our coping toolboxes! Good for you! I hope your new therapist works out!

  2. Joe Thomas says:

    I listen to music a lot, I even have a special anxiety playlist on my phone and I’m hardly ever without a set of earbuds.

    • That’s a great idea Joe! Yes, earbuds have become a lifesaver of mine. I think that I just might have the loudest family in the world, lol. I love them dearly & wouldn’t change them. But I’m easily overstimulated. Even if there’s nothing attached to the earbuds, they’re good to have on hand in my opinion.

      Thanks for sharing that awesome tip! I’ll probably update the post to include it, crediting you of course =-)
      Take care! -Krista

  3. Judith says:

    There are so many methods or approaches introduced to get rid of this mental illness. One thing that I usually try is expressing my feelings bottled up when someone or something is bothering you will only make your anxiety and other fibromyalgia symptoms worse, it is indeed working. I tried to calmly talk to the person but since I happened to tremble talking, I preferably write my feelings down in a journal. Grabbing a cup of ashwagandha tea is another antidote to fight anxiety because it improves resistance to stress, possibly decreasing cortisol production. I hope that the stat with regards anxiety will decline.
    Judith recently posted…3 Effective Stress-Management MethodsMy Profile

  4. stupidgirl45 says:

    This is a great, positive post about anxiety – it explains it well but I feel better for reading it 🙂 I like your go-to’s as well, some great ideas there 🙂
    stupidgirl45 recently posted…Silent SundayMy Profile

  5. Anxiety went hand in hand with my depression (although the panic attacks were not so bad), it is so hard to cope with, I recall hiding away in my room to avoid even close family leaving gatherings in the middle because I couldn’t cope and generally not wanting to be near people. I still struggle in crowds or when meeting new people but cope much better than previously.

    Thank you for linking up with my Mental Health linky, I hope us all sharing will help other people who may be suffering in silence.
    Ashley Beolens recently posted…My DepressionMy Profile

    • Thank you SO MUCH for hosting the link-up & sharing your personal experiences. By doing so not only are you bringing awareness, you’re letting others know they’re not alone. I’m glad you got the help you needed when you needed it & that you’re managing well.

      Thanks for stopping by! It’s been so lovely connecting with you.
      -krista

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