If you know me in real life, you’ll know I don’t go anywhere without a pen and my journal. And it’s not your everyday journal, titling each day with the date and what I had for breakfast. It’s the most messy, confusing and inconsistent diary you’ll ever read. (Not that I’m going to let you read it.)
But, it is an absolute life saver for me. Whenever I’m feeling anxious, I take out my journal and write about it in that moment. I’ll ask myself questions such as;
How am I feeling?
What are my symptoms?
What is causing me to be anxious?
What are the positives in the situation?
Why everything will be ok.
And, questions like these really help me ground myself when I find my mind is spiralling out of control and losing all logical thought. They help me to see the positives in a situation, swaying my focus from negative thinking.
Often I find myself having an anxiety attack before doing something I know should be excited about. I know I’ll have fun and that it really will be fine, but just because it’s not in my routine it sends off huge alarm bells. So, I find it really helpful to list the positives in this sense. These could be things like;
I’ll be with people I know and who will look after me if things go bad.
I won’t be too far from home.
I can leave if I feel too unsafe or scared.
I’ve been here before and it was fine.
A lot of the time I feel anxious because of things like lack of planning or I if feel vulnerable about going to a place I’m not familiar with. But, if I know I will be able to take myself away from a situation/people (by going home or to somewhere I feel comfortable/safe) it tends to stop the anxiety altogether.
Not just thinking these things but writing them down and reading them back, sometimes saying them out loud, really helps me to take a step back from the emotion and fear, and analyse a situation with logic (as we all know logic and anxiety don’t go hand in hand.)
If you suffer with anxiety and find it difficult to ground yourself during an attack I’d recommend giving this a go! I know not everything works for everybody, but you may be surprised!