This month it is Mental Health Awareness Month in Australia. I wanted to publish a post relating to mental health every day of the month so that I can personally raise awareness. You can find all posts, posted & upcoming on my schedule. I can feel when my anxiety is creeping in trying to take over and sometimes it is easier to manage than others. Sometimes, I need to adopt de-escalation techniques to stop the anxiety from taking over my every day life. This post will share 5 techniques that you can try.
Firstly, I wanted to say that I am by no means a doctor, or an expert but these are techniques that have helped me in the past. They don’t always work for me, but a combination can keep me on track for a while longer.
Notice the Warning Signs
Everyone has different feelings and triggers. The first step, is noticing what yours are. Perhaps you start overthinking in a negative way about everything, or start having a slight tightness in your chest in everyday life. Maybe, you have anxious traits such as nail biting, skin picking or foot tapping that happen more frequently when you’re in an anxious state.
By noticing the warning signs, you can log them & discover the early signs of your anxiety creeping back in. Then, you can start the de-escalation techniques so that it doesn’t spiral.
Discover a Healthy Alternative
If you have negative traits such as nail biting or foot tapping, it can be beneficial to have a healthy alternative. It is not always useful to say just stop doing these things but doing something else similar can help with de-escalation. If you are foot tapping, you could get yourself a fidget cube so your fingers are occupied and you can concentrate on the task at hand. If you bite the skin on your lips, you could try chewing gum instead. This way, you are still activating the zone without causing damage to your body.
This is something I never really thought much of until I’d tried a few different techniques. Some say colouring books are best because you are doing something creative. Others prefer living every single moment and training themselves to only focus on what is happening in the moment. I like these techniques, though I struggle with the latter, but also like meditation & yoga. Taking time to focus on quieting my mind and calming down my thoughts and breathing. The more meditation and yoga I do during the early signs of anxiety, the less likely it is to become uncontrollable de-escalation. If you feel like you don’t have time to be mindful, you need it more than ever.
Talk to Someone
Maybe one of the most obvious yet most difficult to do for the first time. I am open about my mental health and when I am struggling now so this is getting easier for me but it is still not the easiest. Talking to someone before de-escalation (the point where anxiety has a bigger hold over your life) and having a safe space to talk about your feelings can be the difference between moving forwards or struggling uphill. It doesn’t have to be a person in your physical life either, twitter has a very supportive mental health community or you can find a therapist to talk to online with companies like TimeWith.
These are my personal techniques, do you have anything you’d like to add?