Anxiety Tips- A Reader Asks for Help

campingI received a recent email from a reader asking for anxiety tips.

Since this was a long letter with a lot of points to address, I thought it would be helpful for to go through the entire thing line by line and break it down.

See if you can relate to any of the reader’s feelings and if the anxiety tips help you…

Had a really rough weekend. Took my daughter to her girl scout camping trip. I had agreed to come along cause she won’t do sleepovers, and I didn’t want her to miss out. What is it about going somewhere that makes our anxiety worse???

Well a lot of things actually. When you are home you feel “safe” – no pressure to put yourself out there and feel exposed. Doing something new and different, like the girl scout camping trip, is something that you are excited about for your daughter. But I bet on some level besides your own anxiety, you were also a bit worried about her having a good time- after all you say she won’t do sleepovers.

So this puts a lot of pressure on you to help her feel safe. Meanwhile you don’t feel completely safe yourself. After all this is a social event with other parents. I can certainly see why this situation would trigger anxiety for you.

It was only about 45 minutes away but my anxiety kicked into high gear. I am pretty good about hiding it from her and others. I felt like crap all day but put on a happy face and tried to stay busy. I got busy helping out the girls and we did tie died t-shirts, other crafts, swimming, prepared food etc. The whole time there anxiety challenged me at every corner!

Most anxious people are experts at hiding our anxiety from others. We may feel horrible on the inside, but we always have our game face on. This is to our credit. This shows that even though we may feel out of control on the inside, we do have quite a lot of control. We keep our discomfort to ourselves.

This is both good and bad. I say that it is good for the reason above- it shows that you really do have control on some level- even though anxiety makes you feel otherwise.

On the other hand, we don’t have to hide everything. Tip: It helps tremendously to be able to share about your anxiety when you are having it. I’m not suggesting you tell everyone exactly how you feel or make a spectacle of yourself. Not at all. But sometimes it can be such a tension reliever to open up a little bit. Everyone has fear.

Maybe you could have said something like “Gosh I was really stressed about this camping trip. My daughter doesn’t do sleep overs well and I’m crossing my fingers for a great weekend.”

A comment like that is a healthy conversation starter and opens the door to talking with other moms. I bet there were other moms there who were also going through anxiety for any number of reasons and would have been able to relate to you on some level.

I know it’s hard to open up when We are feeling anxious, but I can tell you from experience, throwing out a comment like that can really open up the door to how others are feeling too. And you would be amazed at how much others could relate to your situation somehow.

Night-time came and daughter who also has anxiety decided she didn’t want to spend night. I asked her what she was afraid of and she said “stomach hurts”, I said your stomach will hurt at home too, she goes “BUT, at least I will feel SAFE at home!” So we snuck away so she wasn’t embarrassed in front of all her friends. Had a long chat on the way home about anxiety and how bad it sucks! I didn’t think it was right to force her to stay and make us both miserable but I don’t want to give her to wrong message by always escaping d/t our anxiety feelings either.

Tip: Congratulate yourself. You did the best you could and I applaud your efforts. Sticking it out for the whole day and taking part in all those activities must have been both fun and exhausting. I get it. I also think it’s great that you were able to have a nice talk with your daughter.

Tip: I do agree that going forward you need to send the message that she will be fine if she stays. I went through an anxiety and panic phase with one of my daughters and it was very rough. I know it can be so hard to know what to do. For more on this see here: Panic Attacks in Children.

I am at a crossroads. Medication for us or deal with it through therapy.

How is therapy working for you? How long have you been going? Does your therapist give you practical tips to help you get out and face your fears?

Tip: Whether or not you decide to use medication is entirely up to you. You must talk with your doctor of course and take it exactly as prescribed. It can definitely help lessen some of your anxiety symptoms and then you can do gentle exposure therapy to help overcome your anxieties little by little. Or you can do it without medication. It is your call to make. Only you know how you feel.

I am so sick of this monster and ruining our fun times.

Tip: Then stop letting it. You have the power to take your life back and be the person you were before anxiety came into your life. Anxiety recovery is a process. It is wonderful and life affirming – but it is a journey and a challenge to be sure. If you are truly sick and tired of how you are living, make a firm decision to do something about it.

What does your anxiety feel like? Mine feels like I’m always “nervous” inside. I look normal on the outside but my insides feel like they could explode at any moment, and I can’t get enough air.

Everyone experiences anxiety in their own way. It is an equal opportunity life sucker- lol. Feeling like you can’t get enough air is very common. I get it too at times. Tip: Here are some breathing anxiety tips that can help you.

I thought I was getting better but then this happened.

That is how recovery goes. It is baby steps forward, and then more baby steps. Then you will get a setback, and then you will move forward again. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re not getting better just because of setbacks. Tip: Use your tools to face your anxiety triggers and work your way through the setback.

We have a big trip coming up this month, family vacation, and I am really getting freaked out about it, it is in another state, no going home at bedtime.

Ok, you can do this. And this couldn’t have come at a better time ;) Tip: We have been discussing travel anxiety over the last 2 posts. You can read more here: http://panicfreeme.com/4159/travel-anxiety-tips/

My anxiety can also change hour by hour which I don’t get. 2 oclock felt fine, 4 o’clock back again!!!! SOOOOO sooo frustrated. Any advice?

Anxiety can ebb and flow throughout the day. It is all fueled by the messages and inner dialogue your thoughts are sending you and the hormones that get released in your body as a result. You can do a lot to help manage your anxiety throughout the day.

Tip: Here are some helpful tips for coping with anxiety throughout the day.

I hope you enjoyed this post and the anxiety tips shared here. Please know that you have the power within you to heal and truly have that life you want and deserve!

If you would like to ask me for anxiety tips and help with your specific questions, be sure you are signed up for my newsletter. I look forward to helping you feel better!

I wish you peace,
Jill G.

Want to know how I’m doing so well after suffering from anxiety for so long? I recommend and use the 60 Second Panic Solution. Click on the link to get started today and reclaim your life from fear.
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This entry was posted in Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety Disorder and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Anxiety Tips- A Reader Asks for Help

  1. Tammy Miranda Twiggs says:

    I can totally relate to the letter writer. As a child, I loved to sleep away from home, but for the last 15 years, my anxiety has caused me to not be able to sleep at all away from home. I tried the whole avoidance route, but that only strengthened my anxiety. Every time I tried sleeping away from home, I would lie awake all night, trying to sleep, and be a hot mess the next day. I have finally settled on what works for me (though it may not be right for others), and that is to use meds when I travel. Having tried to battle it for too many years, I am at peace about it. I use a benzo to sleep, full dose the first night, weaning myself each successive night away from home, and completely off by the time I get home. I used to feel really bad about it, but like I said, I have come to accept and be at peace with what works for me. Now I can take week-long trips with my family out of state and still enjoy myself, making happy memories.

    • JillG says:

      Brilliant Tammy. I am so happy you are a peaceful traveler and found what works for you. Each of us has to do the same when it comes to dealing with anxiety and traveling. And you’re right- avoiding the situation only makes it worse. Take care and thank you for the comment! :)

  2. maz says:

    I so feel for your reader

    Everything she said is a thing we have all gone through and still do. Sometimes we do it with pain and sometimes we do it well

    I think your post is great and I pray she takes heart from your fantastic answer just like I do since I found your web site

    She also has to remind herself nothing stays the same in this world and this too shall pass. This is my mantra at the moment

    Hope we all feel better soon

    Maz x

  3. Zoe says:

    “This shows that even though we may feel out of control on the inside, we do have quite a lot of control. ”
    I Love this way of looking at it.!

  4. Tonya says:

    Thanks guys, love the mantra! I always tell myself, tomorrow will be a better day! Jill your website has helped me so much! Thank you for all you do! Update, my daughter seems to be doing so much better! 4th grade and so happy, loves her teacher! Still not doing sleepovers but that is ok with us! Thanks for all the advice! Hope everyone is taking care of themselves!

  5. kristen says:

    Have had panic attacks and agoraphobia for 26 yrs. now. Past month it has gotten much worse. Feels like panic attacks last for days, with relief only coming from taking xanax. Has any one else been this bad? Is it all really just the way I’m thinking . Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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