Whenever I’m asked ‘what does anxiety feel like?’, I struggle to find the words to articulate it. The truth is, it’s hard to understand what anxiety feels like unless you’ve experienced it for yourself. Everyone’s experiences of anxiety are different, because it affects each person in a different way. For me, anxiety can feel like that mini heart attack you experience when you miss a step as you’re walking down the stairs, except, your heart never stops rapidly beating and the butterflies in the pit of your stomach continue to lurk.
Anxiety can trigger a multitude of different physical symptoms including; dizziness, sleeping problems, restlessness, nausea and panic attacks. But sometimes, it’s the mental impacts that can feel more intense: the overwhelming sense of dread, the feeling that everyone’s looking at you and can sense you’re anxious, the disconnection between your body and your mind, the fear of a panic attack looming, and the feeling that the world is drastically speeding up or slowing down. You may experience just a few of these or all of them, but even feeling just a couple can feel extremely debilitating.
The difficulty is, anxiety can appear out of nowhere and hit you like a tonne of bricks. Sometimes, it’s easy to identify the reason why you’re feeling anxious and other times, you may have no idea at all, which can intensify the feelings of panic even further (talking from experience here!).
However, one thing I’ve found to be helpful in coping with anxiety is having a ‘mental toolkit’, with tips and techniques ready for when those waves of anxiousness take over. The more ‘tools’ you have in your mental toolkit, the easier it may be to help curb your anxiety.
I’ve compiled some suggestions of various tools and techniques that you can add to your ‘mental toolkit’ so that no matter where you are, or when your anxiety hits, you’re ready to help face it head on.
“You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.” – Dan Millman
Tools & Techniques:
You may have other techniques which you already know work for you, these can be popped into your ‘toolkit’ should they be required in times of need. We also have a huge range of tips on the Feelmo Instagram page which can help you manage many other feelings you have.
Feeling anxious can be extremely daunting and frightening, but having your ‘toolkit’ with you at all times and regularly utilising the contents may help to alleviate some of the mental and physical feelings you may be experiencing and help you get through everyday life!
Thank you to Matthew Henry for the photo!