Anxiety rules my life. It’s truly as simple as that. I have so much anxiety about so many things that it makes it increasingly difficult to live a simple A-to-B kind of life. Something as “easy” as making a phone call usually turns into me having an anxiety attack. Going to the store and not finding what I need makes my hair stand on end and my heart to race. I am unable to live a productive life because of my anxiety. But, I have to have a life. Even if that life is just waking up, eating that day, showering, and then returning to bed with a freshly washed head of hair.
I’m not the only one in life that feels this way. I can’t be. Because of that, I figured that I’d share with you a few of my tips for grounding myself when I get overly anxious in life. I use ‘grounding’ subjectively in the sense that it reminds me to breathe, manages to slow my heart rate, and brings me back to a sense of reality in which I am in control. I call my anxiety a ‘helicopter’ for the sole sense that they hover- that and they’re pretty easy to lose control of if you don’t know how the controls work. This is how I get back in control:
My cat, Daphne
Daphne will forever be my number one thing that can ground me when my anxiety is getting too bad. Currently, she’s in the states so she isn’t that much of a help at this very moment, but she’s still the greatest thing to bring me back from spinning out of control. Her smell, her feel, and her purring are all things that help remind me that I need to take a step back. She’s a good kitty with that she will snuggle right up next to me and purr until we’re both asleep. The fact that she drools when she purrs is gross, but I can look past it because she’s my baby. She’s a great grounder. I can’t wait until she’s here in England with me.
My stuffed elephant, creatively named Elephant
You can ask my husband about Elephant. He’s cuddled with him too. I’ve had Elephant since I was three and knowing that he’s been with me all this time and has kept all of my secrets safe really brings me back down. He’s kind of rough textured now, and his ribbon isn’t smooth anymore, but that all the better for me. Because while he looks a little worse for wear, he looks great for his age. That’s something I have to think about with him. I just hold him close, breathe in the memories I’ve made with him, and let him remind me of simpler times. My Elephant can keep secrets with the best of them- including the days where I cry about my issues to him.
This guy is the newest addition to things that keep me grounded. The best part? He hugs me back. He kisses me back. Adam is there to tell me the things that are great about me when I can’t think of any on my own. Having someone who can help me figure my lack-of-mentality out is something that won’t ever be able to be replaced. For that, I’m grateful. Also and the fact that he gets food for me. Having him around to ground me is still something that I’m getting used to, though. I’m so used to things that have been around for a while, and Adam’s only been in my life for a few years. Even then, we’ve mostly been long distance so it’s been hard to let him help me through my anxiety. He does a pretty darn good job at keeping my head on my shoulders, though.
Music has always been a tricky one for me when trying to return to myself. I usually like peace and quiet when I get too overwhelmed, but on the days where sound can help me, I always turn to my good old country roots. Reminds me of the farm, my past, and where I plan to be in the future- a couple of cows, a horse or two, and living the best life I can. It’s weird how the one thing that
Annoyingly, horses are one of the causes of my anxiety at this point in my life. Mostly because I haven’t found a stable out here in England that I can ride at. While there are places around, lessons are expensive and we currently don’t have the money for them. But horses have always been something that I’ve turned to when I need to decompress and remind myself to take a breath. There’s just something about the way that a horse can not just look at you, but see into you, that is so utterly calming. Their smell. Their big soft eyes. That and if you aren’t careful, they will physically knock the sense right back into you so it forces you to come back to reality. That’s ok though. I’d rather have a bruise and be reminded that I’m still breathing.
I’m only recently learning what can help me get over my anxiety. But what’s great about me learning about it, is that I can share the knowledge with others. My husband has started to be able to pick up on when I’m somewhere else in my head… it annoys me a little bit because that something that I’ve always prided myself on being able to keep from others, but I guess I have to respect the dedication that my husband gives to me. I’m getting better with time at learning what makes me tick, but my anxiety has also gotten worse. I think I’m going to start seeing a therapist. I need help. I’ve been reaching out for help a lot recently, and nobody seems to listen. So I’m going to have to take matters into my own hands and see someone who can truly help me. Well… I’ll have Adam make the call.