I am not going to beat around the bush here because it’s time to get candid. For a long time, I struggled with anxiety issues and used to have frequent panic attacks. I never quite understood the reason why. Everybody around me had one or the other, but none of them seemed to show any signs as I did. I felt alienated, alone. I started to believe that something was severely wrong with me.
This one stranded piece of thought ate through my self-esteem like a vicious loch ness monster.
I wasted years of productivity because I didn’t know how to deal with stressful situations. It’s almost as if I paved the way for all the late-night panic attacks, hyperventilation, and restlessness. I’d say I paved the way because I did not look for outlets. I did not try to help myself. I just sat there, embracing the darkness that came along without making an effort to better myself.
Gradually, I started developing certain habits that always, unfailingly helped me.
All the pent up anger, impatience, and loss of focus started to wither away.
Habits that helped me stay calm and focused in stressful situations
As cliché as it sounds, every time you face a breakdown, pause for a minute and breathe. Close your eyes, take 5 deep breaths so loudly that you can hear the air passing through you! Trust me, sometimes all we need to do is be aware of our existence.
2. Close your eyes and sing.
Now, this may sound funny. But developing this habit is hands down the best thing that I did for myself. Every time you feel that piercing rush of hormones, just sit down quietly, close your eyes and sing your favorite song aloud. Absorb the tune. Let it flow through you.
3. Lock away your devices.
Social media can be a bad, bad thing sometimes. It is normal to feel low when you see people being productive while you are still trying. Live through one tech-free hour every day. Start with one hour first, increase the time as you go.
4. Talk more.
Interact with people around you; family, friends and even strangers. I used to ignore conversations and grow impatient when people tried to talk to me. Make small talk, smile at strangers, support their thoughts and before you realize, you will get better.
5. Read. Write. Pray. Take up a hobby.
Invest energy in whatever you think works for you. Put your faith in something, anything you believe in. Blogging worked for me, you can find your own niche.
Start with these habits when you feel agitated or stressed. And with every passing day, you will tend to do it regularly. Before you know it, you will start to feel a change. Meditation works too, but I could never ace it. I still have miles to go.
A little positivity goes a long way.