By Amrin Pisey
Everyone has his or her own worries. It’s simple to be worried in our everyday life. But what isn’t simple is when someone tends to worry too much with little or no reasons at all. Unreasonable worries can be a symptom of having an anxiety disorder which is a mental health problem.
I’m one among those who suffer from an anxiety disorder. Actually, I’m not really sure when it started. I’ve just noticed that during the times of having such anxiety, I went through many strange experiences I’d never had before.
What I went through…
Everyday, it seemed like I lived with worries. I kept checking things a lot. Quite often after leaving home, I always felt as if I had forgotten to lock my room or to turn off the fan. So, I would go back to check it again, although I was in the middle of my way to school or somewhere else. I also checked if I lost my phone or my wallet even though I knew I had them with me.
In addition, the anxiety also affected my health . Every day, I would wake up and already feel weak and tired to do things. I was always sleepy despite getting more than eight hours of sleep at night. Because of the dizziness and anxiety, I skipped class a lot. I isolated myself from people, and stopped doing things I normally did. Moreover, anxiety unexpectedly made me lose my appetite and in the long run weight. Sometimes, I would feel really upset without any reason at all.
Besides all of that, I also suffered from migraines. Back then, I had a headache every day, even the usual medicine couldn’t cure it. On top of that, I also had problems remembering things and concentrating. Both, really affected my studies.
As I remember, these symptoms of anxiety showed frequently. Luckily, they disappeared around a month after I took the medicine which I could get from a pharmacy, though I didn’t properly consult with a doctor.
However, my anxiety came back and worsened after I was in an accident. It added another problem to my list – panic attacks – and they hit me pretty hard. The accident made me fear people and gave me nightmares. I tried googling my symptoms, and I found out that they could be signs for a mental health problem. Finally, I decided to go to Calmette hospital to meet a doctor, who is expert in mental health, and found out that I had an anxiety disorder.
Now, as I’ve just recovered from my anxiety, I want to share some ways that can help you if you are anything like me.
1. Consult with a doctor
I would say consulting with the doctor is a must since it might help you to doubt yourself less. Sometimes, people are unsure whether they suffer from a mental illness or not. But if you go and consult with the doctor, it will make you feel secure and give you closure. Plus, in case you get diagnosed with a mental illness, you will be able to get the right medication and some suggestions from the doctor for taking care of yourself too. Moreover, the doctor will make appointments with you and follow up on your condition every week or month.
In my case, the doctor told me to exercise. He said that I use my mental energy more than my physical energy, therefore, exercising would help me to balance between my brain and my body.
Actually, you don’t need to have equipment or go to the gym. Just sparing 10-15 minutes walking, running or dancing can also help you.
Meditation can change the way your brain works. You don’t need to go to yoga or meditation class if you don’t have much time or if you think it is too expensive. Doing breathing exercises 5-10 minutes a day can make you feel relaxed, less anxious and stressed out, too. For me, I meditate on my own by doing the breathing exercises and listening to relaxing meditation music I can find on Youtube.
4. Detaching from social media
Trying to relax by checking your social media can sometimes worsen your anxiety. Social media can be a factor that provokes social anxiety and makes people more anxious than before. So, you can reduce how often you check your accounts. In my case, while recovering from my anxiety, I deactivated my Facebook account and deleted my Instagram account. And it really helped me to feel better because I could detach myself from the chaotic world.
5. Eating and drinking healthily
Diet can also affect your anxiety. What you should do, is to trying to maintain a well-balanced diet and eat regularly. You should avoid eating foods with high amounts of sugar. Eating healthy food such as fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and healthy fat can help reduce your anxiety.
Moreover, you should avoid drinking caffeine, alcohol and energy drinks since they can contain high sugar. Instead, you should drink more water, precisely about six to eight glasses a day of water or milk.
All the tips above are what I’ve done to overcome my anxiety. Thanks to these 5 steps, my conditions have improved and I hope they can help you, too. If you are suffering from an anxiety disorder or any other kind of mental health issue, I recommend you to find help because your mental health really matters.
Views expressed here are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of UNICEF.