My mental health struggles are well documented here on the blog. I don’t shy away from being open and honest about what it is like to live with mental health difficulties. I am determined to use Just The Three Of Us as a platform to help others. In the past I have discussed everything from energy drink addiction to miscarriage. Breaking taboos is something I am passionate about. Reading an article and thinking ‘me too’ or ‘I’m not the only one’ is a feeling like no other. That’s why today I am sharing my anxiety distraction techniques.
The methods listed below are the methods I use to distract myself from the relentless circle of intrusive thoughts and panic I struggle with on my bad days.
Some of the examples listed below may seem simple, but each and every technique is effective. What works for me won’t work for all, but hopefully this post will give you some ideas for creating your own anxiety distraction techniques.
Sometimes I need to work through several different anxiety distraction techniques before I find the one that works. Some days are easier than others, it’s either easy to shift my mindset or incredibly difficult, theres no in-between. That’s why its a good idea to have a range of anxiety distraction tools, similar to a self-care toolkit, so that you are fully equipped to deal with whatever the pesky chemical imbalance throws at you.
Talk through what is in your head.
A problem shared is a problem halved. Talking about why you are struggling may be the last thing you want to do, but talking always helps. Sometimes a different perspective or reassurance is all we need to think more rationally. If you don’t want to say it out loud, send a text, write a letter or type out an email.
Watching a movie or your favourite TV show will shift your focus away from the negative thoughts. On particularly bad days, I always watch old episodes of my favourite comedy series Gavin & Stacey. It never fails to make me laugh. Listening to music is also a great method of distraction. You could listen to something relaxing or do what I do and dance it out to really cheesey songs from the nineties!
Try and look at life through a child’s eyes.
Do you find yourself wishing you could forget about the pressures of adult life for just a little while? When my anxiety begins to consume me, I play games, watch something or go for a walk with the kids. Spending time with them helps me to forget my worries. They have a magical way of simplifying life and reminding me to appreciate the little things.
Clean your way to calm.
When I’m anxious I find cleaning theraputic. I’m ever so slightly obsessed with dust-free windowsills and delicous smelling anti-bac sprays on a good day, so on a bad day, it makes sense to do something I enjoy. Focusing on one particular room instead of cleaning the whole house is really beneficial. Cleaning one room at a time eradicates the risk of becoming overwhelmed. I struggle with perfectionism which is largely caused by my anxiety. so being able to see what I have achieved is really satisfying.
Write, draw or colour.
I find writing unbelievably therapeutic, hence why I blog for a living! Writing is a great way of channeling your thoughts. It allows you to get your thoughts out of your head and detach yourself from the negativity. If writing isn’t your thing, perhaps you could try drawing or doodling. Failing that, treat yourself to an adult colouring book or have a look online for mindfulness colouring sheets.