Anxiety: for me this comes in many forms, but specifically social anxiety, claustrophobia (fear of small spaces/can’t breathe), and to some degree agoraphobia (fear of open spaces, and places outside the home). I’ve also had panic attacks/anxiety attacks where I feel like my skin is too tight, I can’t take deep breaths, and I get super squirmy, fidgety, and itchy. Just writing about this is giving me small amounts of panic.
My social anxiety and agoraphobia are very strongly correlated. I can get so caught up in my own head about being around other people, generally a group larger than 3 to 4, that I don’t want to leave my house. EVER! Sometimes, the thought of going to the grocery store and having to minimally interact with strangers brings me right back to the couch where I stay for the remainder of the day. I’m uncertain about why I have these particular fears and anxieties, but I think a lot of it has to do with me feeling like I’m “different” and “most people just don’t get me.”
My claustrophobia is a bit more understandable, and it’s most noticeable when I’m on a plane with recycled air, or in an elevator. At least the elevator ride is quite short, but you definitely don’t want to sit next to me on a long plane ride because I will fidget my way out of the seat countless times.
How I Cope:
It has taken many years (most of my life, actually) to learn ways to cope with this issue and I continue to try new methods when I come across them. Here are the things that work for me for reducing/managing anxiety:
- Daily: EFT Tapping is an amazing tool that can be done anywhere, anytime, and only takes a few minutes. If this is used daily, you can significantly reduce your anxiety over time, and this is a great tool when you’re in the moment of severe anxiety or are starting to have a panic attack.
- When a panic attack starts: the best thing for me in this situation is to go outside, take deep breaths, and move…aka take a walk. I generally stay close to my “safe place” either the office or the house, so my walk is usually around the block or even just walking circles around the building.
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