You don’t have to suffer alone, or suffer in silence, anymore.
October 2017 marked the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Month, arguably the most crucial awareness cause throughout the year.
One of the most common mental health disorders in America, suffered from by young and old people alike, is Anxiety disorders. With over 40 million Americans over the age of 18 going struggling to escape the grips of anxiety, it’s staggering how taboo the topic still is in public.
Anxiety Disorder is not the same as being anxious. Anxiety can be debilitating, making the patient feel like they are suffocating; like pins and needles are running up and down their spine; like their bodies are failing them and their brains are muddled with what-ifs that only question the worst case scenarios.
This month, we are opening up about anxiety for Mental Health Awareness Month, and we want you to, too. Whether you are trying to save yourself, or help those around you whom you know suffer from the disorder, these are the tried and tested habitual changes in life that have genuinely served the purpose of decreasing the daily struggles of Anxiety Disorders, as recommended by an award-winning psychiatrist in Cairo, Egypt:
The worst thing you can do if you suffer from anxiety is allowing your mind to wander restlessly. Training your mind to focus on one task at a time and stay in the present moment without drifting off in the direction of future uncertainties is one of the most crucial first steps you can take towards controlling your anxiety.
Exercising the mind does not mean to focus on solving complicated mathematical equations. It only means engaging your mind, for 30 minutes a day, in something that you enjoy doing. This could be anything from journaling, sketching, and playing the piano, to working on solving a puzzle, mindful exercises and meditation, and even learning to solve the Rubik’s cube.
Whatever it is you choose, make sure you enjoy it enough to totally immerse yourself in it.
This may seem like a mundane, general piece of advice that is thrown into any mental health advice article, but it really is not.
Exercising your body releases endorphins into your mind, helping you feel calmer and lifting your mood significantly.
By doing things as simple as walking your dog, to more deliberate exercises like jogging, yoga, pilates, kickboxing, or even 30 minutes at the gym can do all the difference. Set the purpose of doing it for mental stability, and not for fitness purposes. Trying to lose weight, gain weight, or build muscle mass will always be secondary to your ultimate purpose of feeling better mentally.
This is more of a metaphorical advice, but there are still actions for you to take. By exercising the tongue, what is really meant is for you to talk.
Bottling up your thoughts and emotions will only make you nurture the negativity and let it all snowball out of hand. Whether you choose to talk to your therapist, your best friend, your parents, your significant other, or even your dog, make sure you are letting it all out.
Releasing your thoughts, letting it off your chest, and getting the emotional support you need to get through the bouts of anxiety that ebb and flow is by far the most important part of feeling better.
Most importantly, know that you are not alone. If you are feeling unwell, open up to your teachers, parents, professors, or managers. Just like all figures of authority are willing to accept a broken leg or a scratched arm as a malady, they should start seeing mental illness as a real cause of pain and suffering as well.