Dealing with feelings of anxiety has become a regular part of our lives. The world we live in today makes us anxious as each day passes by.
We deal with the everyday pressure of making a living, taking care of children, paying our bills, and settling unexpected circumstances, the death of a loved one, which causes us to be anxious.
As a TransGender person, we have unique fears and anxiety specific to us, don’t we? I wrote a piece a while back titled, “Frozen at the door” on my FB wall a while back that ties nicely into this post. You’d do well to read that too. Maybe it will help.
Apart from that, people with severe anxiety disorders, we may know it specifically as gender dysphoria, also experience frequent and excessive fear and panic triggers caused by various everyday situations or even the conflict of gender hopes and expectations.
These feelings affect your quality of life and prevent you from having an everyday life. It interferes with daily activities and is difficult to control. Coping with anxiety is challenging and will require that we make specific lifestyle changes.
While many people with anxiety disorders need medications or therapy to get it under control, changing their lifestyle and coping techniques can make a big difference.
These tips are helpful in dealing with anxiety:
1. Take things one step at a time. Most times, we get anxious about things or what will happen the next day or worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet. But being anxious does not solve the problem. It makes you feel worse and worry more.
● Try to take things slow and worry about what you have in the present and find a solution, if that is possible. Don’t fix tomorrow’s problem today. Leave tomorrow’s problem to tomorrow.
2. Keep physically active. Have a routine to stay physically active and develop an activity that will keep you active most of the time. Exercising is a good stress reliever. It decreases muscle tension in your body, which lowers your body’s contributions to feeling anxious.
● It also improves your mood by releasing feel-good endorphins and other natural brain chemicals, enhancing your sense of well-being. You can start with short walks or jogging and then gradually move to working out a few times a week.
3. Have enough rest. Have enough rest and sleep. Sleep helps regulate our emotions, reducing emotional and physiological activities and avoiding the escalation of anxiety.
● Studies have also indicated that nearly everybody’s structure is influenced by the quality and quantity of sleep we get. Rest gives the body the space to shut down and repair itself.
4. Eat healthy foods. Eating healthy is essential for keeping a healthy mind. There isn’t any firm research that shows changes in diet can cure anxiety but being careful about what you eat could help—like, adding foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and proteins to your diet.
● Food with proteins helps you feel fuller longer, keeping your sugar level steady. Taking in complex carbohydrates foods boosts the amount of serotonin in your brain, which helps calm you. Examples of such foods are quinoa, oatmeal, whole-grain bread, and cereals.
● Avoid foods that have simple carbohydrates, like sugary foods and drinks. Drink more water as mild dehydration can even affect your mood, and drinking caffeinated beverages worsen anxiety.
5. Do the things you enjoy. Engaging in hobbies is likely to reduce your stress levels, lower your heart rate, and improve your mood. You can engage in activities like massage, taking a bath, dancing, and listening to music. Stick to your treatment plan.
6. Follow your prescription. If you have prescribed medication, follow it as directed. Keep your therapy appointments and complete any tasks given by your therapist. Consistency makes a big difference in improving your mental health, especially when you have medication.
While in the Marines, I’ve found conquering anxiety and fear of what MAY happen, AKA THE GREAT UNKNOWN, is best done the being prepared as much as possible and DOMESTICATING FEAR by simply doing what scares you either all at once or in small baby steps. Eventually the anxiety dissipates and fear along with it. They’ll always be there, which is actually a good thing but they’ve become manageable.
As anxiety and fear remains part of us, we have now the strength to deal with it every day. We can win against them as long as we keep doing our best to practice the tips I’ve outlined. Then when needed, they can warn us at appropriate times that can benefit us rather than debilitate us.
Be Strong 💪