Mental health tips for people struggling with high anxiety

Your mental health is important to your overall health.  And, so often, we put it on the back burner until the symptoms are overwhelming.  Mental health is a real thing and sometimes we don’t even understand why something bothers us so much.  What causes this anxiety when life is going rather well otherwise? Mental health issues are certainly nothing to be ashamed of.  And, you should speak to your doctor should your mental health be in jeopardy. If you suffer from high anxiety there are many things that can be done, as well as medication.  Getting the right amount of sleep, exercise and balance with work and family are important to your mental health. Staying on a good diet and eating right can also help “feed your brain”, along with various therapies.  If you are struggling with high anxiety, there is help. And, there are simple things you can do at home as well.

Trauma and other experiences can create anxiety issues that require the help of a professional. Sometimes medication is necessary and at other times simply having a life coach can be all that you need. Dr. Brian Sullivan is a therapist in Charleston SC that has done extensive research and has a wealth of free information on his website on the topic of dealing with anxiety and stress.

High anxiety can seem like it swoops in and consumes you at any given moment.  Something triggers a trauma trigger or thought or you don’t even know why. And, it can take over your life rather quickly.  Getting that anxiety level down to a state that you can function is important. Here are some things to try:

Do something else.

Yes, do something else, change what you are doing, change where you are, change the view, do something else.  Often times the anxiety is so crippling you cannot think. So, try to remember some of these suggestions for those times of high anxiety.  Change what you are doing is pretty easy if you are not at work or school. If you are cleaning your bathroom, move to the living room or take a break and pet the cat. Change up what you’re doing until it’s better and you can resume.

Take a Deep Breathe

Learning some common breathing techniques even can really pack a punch in getting that high anxiety level down.  If you don’t know any techniques, take a deep breathe in and hold for 10 seconds and slowly exhale. This will calm your body down and you’ll be more in control of your situation.  This can be done quietly at your desk at work or school as well. And, it’s a great way to just relax. Remember, breath.

Question your Thoughts

During a panic attack, your brain plays tricks on you.  And, sometimes things get a little distorted and blown out of proportion.  In that case, take a step back, and ask yourself if that’s realistic. Things such as “I’m going to die if I do this speech” are not realistic.  But, accept that you are anxious about it. And, find points that are realistic. “I’m going to mess up but I can do this.” is more realistic. Accepting the fact that your anxious helps as well.  You are giving yourself permission to be in the space you are in. It is okay to have anxiety and very normal sometimes, but how you handle the anxiety will determine how well you can cope.

Calming Visualization

Relaxing on the beach

Take a minute, again, this is a great one for at work or school, and visualize something calming.  Maybe it’s a beach or a puppy, visualize you at your favorite spot or in a park, choose something that is relaxing to you.  Things such as what you’re going to make for dinner is probably not a good choice. But, sitting on a boat in the ocean with the sound of seagulls and splashing water could be a good option.  

Anxiety is not fun to live with, but if you can take some steps to maintain control, it’s not impossible.

Human Trafficking

The world is becoming far scarier out there.  Human trafficking is on the rise and despite all efforts, children and women are being abducted all the time.  This is happening all over the world and the women and children are being transported all over the world. They are being forced to become sex slaves, prostitutes, and street beggars.   They are used for forced sexual acts as well as forced labor and it’s big business. Recovery can be a long road and the mental, physical, and emotional trauma experienced produces scars that are so deep years of therapy only begin to heal. There are ways to help keep you and your children safe, as well as inform everyone in your family. Education on what to do in various situations is important.  We have some tips on what to do to stay safe. We come across many good articles but this article “Sex-Trafficking: A Parent’s Guide to Protecting Your Child” has some great information as well.

Be Aware of your Surroundings

Kid on a cell phone not paying attention to his surroundings

This seems so simple, but yet, many people have their faces buried in the phones and have not a clue of their surroundings.  Sitting on a park bench scrolling through social media is not being very aware of your surroundings. And, that’s what you will find at many of our parks with parents taking their children to play.  Put the devices away, the sex trafficking industry is counting on you to not be paying attention and it literally can take seconds for them to snatch up a child. Or, they could even take you, while on your device, they are highly trained.

Avoid Walking Alone

This is really important in quiet areas such as alleys or back streets.  Avoid walking alone to keep from being forcibly kidnapped. Kidnapping is not just for kids these days, they are looking for young women to add to their workforce.  Ensure you are taking precautions when walking across campus as well. They are everywhere and are all cultures and races.

Don’t Easily Trust

Traffickers are tricky and approach you anywhere.  They can be on social media, in the mall, or even outside your home.  These people are trained to be kind and approachable which is why often times, the victim is taken so easily.  They will offer crazy opportunities such as free trips or modeling careers. Women are often times used to recruit more people as they are found to be more trustable than men.  But, they too are victims of this crime. Again, they do not have a “look” but come in all shapes, races and sizes so have your guard up.

Act Quickly if Suspicious

If you have a bad gut feeling, act quickly, find a person to tell if in a store.  Or go to a building with lots of people if on the streets, find shelter. Call someone that you know and talk to them, having someone on the phone can deter them sometimes.  Or call the police. If you feel you are being followed or something is off, it most likely is and it should be reported.

Use Social Media Wisely

Social media is great to interact with family and friends.  However, this is a way for people to learn their weaknesses and strengths.  They study psychology, and if you post a problem, they may come to you with an amazing solution.  Think wisely if that solution even makes sense. People don’t just give away free money or time, remember that.  If someone online is offering you help that seems to be a bit over the top, do not accept it. Again, remember to not trust easily and especially online.  Online anyone can be anyone, that picture and persona you see may not even be close to what that person is about.

Keep a watch out for any suspicious activity at all time.  Not only for you and your children but others as well.