Anxiety comes in many different forms or types. From mental stressors to physical reactions, no two forms are alike, even when the types are similar.
However, this doesn't mean you need to feel alone when coping with the stress of post-survival. Nor should you feel weak because you have anxiety when society tells you that you need to be strong.
The fact that you survived is enough to tell the world how strong you are.
The following are seven ways to cope with your anxiety naturally and affordably because cost should not be a factor in taking care of our health.
However, it is, and so is the fact that everybody does not need nor want drugs/medications, so options and research will guide natural anxiety management.
Speaking about what you went through is sometimes challenging to put into words. Other times, you may not be capable of talking about it yet. That is alright and perfectly legitimate. Try journaling when looking for natural ways to cope with anxiety. Having a journal to free-write in can help by releasing thoughts or feelings that are hard to express in a non-threatening or non-confrontational way.
Freewriting doesn't mean you need to talk about what happened that day or even discuss what happened in the past. Sometimes it is writing a short poem to put your words in a new form. Or you may spend a page drawing simple shapes to help focus your mind.
After writing, you may want to read back on earlier pages or destroy them completely. These are all good decisions to make based on what you want to do. Even Emily Dickinson burned some of her poems that were for emotional health.
Freewriting creates a way that there is no outside judgment from anyone. You can do whatever your heart and mind tell you and let go of anything holding you down.
#2- Join Groups for Anxiety as a Survivor
When you're alone in the world, everything crashes down on your soul. Instead of staying by yourself, finding a support group enables you to grow. By meeting people who went through similar situations, you learn how they have coped with the trauma. Or perhaps having camaraderie will be beneficial.
If you don't want to join a large group of others, finding a close friend or relative to confide in also works. They are there to help you whenever you face troubling times and guide you when you need them.
Whether you choose a group or individual, always approach it with an open mind and heart. You may not feel at ease immediately, but you will find a feeling of a new peace in your life over time.
Meditation comes in many forms. Some sit by themselves and pray to whatever higher being they believe in. Others will listen to recordings that guide them into a new plane of existence to find inner peace. Both methods can help you, but only if you allow them to.
Mindfulness is an excellent form of meditation as it focuses on the idea of being presently aware of what happens around you. However, it does not allow it to consume you. Instead, it washes over you and away like a waterfall and the stream. This lets you leave the torments in your mind and be aware of the present.
Prayer to a higher being, or reading a religious text, is another form of meditating. Instead of being self-aware, you allow another higher power to take the wheel for just a moment and relax your mind. This feeling of having someone there, similar to support groups, lets you experience life with a new meaning.
#4- Identify Your Triggers
Many who experience traumatic events have specific triggers related to the trauma. These specific triggers lead to anxiety from mild to crippling.
Have you ever noticed that a deeper voice or someone with an angry tone sets you off? These are triggers. Being aware of them is the first step in identifying and reducing your anxiety caused by them.
For many, a trigger is usually related to the trauma you suffered. Or perhaps it is another connection. If the abuse came whenever you were in the shower, then water may be a triggering moment. You don't need to face your triggers all the time to desensitize yourself.
In those instances, avoiding showers or baths may be problematic. But there are ways around it, such as dry shampoo or using a dampened sponge until you are ready for the real thing.
Please seek help if you have difficulty with healing because every day you spend living in pain is another day you do not have to! Anxiety can be treated and, in most cases, cured, so do not underestimate the possibility that treatments hold.
When you identify what is triggering in your life, remove it or yourself from the presence of it. Survivors with anxiety should try to avoid abusive environments so the healing process can begin or remain intact if it has already started! You can also let those close to you know what or whom may be triggering so they won't accidentally cause your anxiety.
We all love films, movies, and keeping up with the news. But when is it too much?
Although we can identify triggers in our life and try to steer away from them, the media is not as easy. Instead, it will push a narrative in your face that relates to your trauma without a second thought.
Lifetime movies are a great source of traumatic moments. Instead of spending time watching these, find media that is rated lower than PG-13. These will incorporate far fewer triggering incidents.
Thankfully, many social media platforms contain users who are aware and place what is called TW or Trigger Warnings. So now you can traverse the web easier and safer than ever before.
#5- A Healthy Mind Starts with a Healthy Body
Eating before bed, overeating, or not including nutrition-packed meals into your daily diet can negatively impact anybody's health.
People who are stressed or suffering from anxiety are already more susceptible to having other health concerns so having a healthy mindset when it comes to mealtime is the right choice!
Talk to your health care provider about the best diet to accommodate your individual healthcare needs. Research which foods will have the best effects on your emotional and physical well-being.
Add some dance moves to your cleaning routine to exercise without exercising. Or actually exercise because they both work!
Physical activities like dance, yoga, or just walking the dog can promote happiness by naturally boosting our endorphins.
Remember to always follow your doctors advice or treatment plan and to discuss any changes in your activities or the way you are feeling.
#6- Find Other Methods of Distractions
If you want to stay away from media outlets, finding new distractions can be difficult. Especially when everyone else is online, returning to the basics is a great way to distract yourself and disconnect from the world.
Puzzles with large piece counts are high distractors. Your focus remains permanently on the puzzle while completing it. There are many different types of puzzles as well, from strange shapes to three-dimensional ones.
Video games can also be great distractors when dealing with anxiety as a survivor. Not all video games are violent. Some are very wholesome such as Story of Seasons, Animal Crossing, or Minecraft.
Fishing, swimming, hiking, and enjoying nature walks are excellent ways to promote a healthier mindset. Plus, these all-natural and free options incorporate fresh air and sunlight into our wholesome routines.
Getting an adequate amount of sun is a natural way to get vitamin D into our system. However, please remember to wear sunblock, bug repellent (natural versions are best for the environment and our bodies), and keep self-protection nearby for emergencies.
It's important to tell someone where you're going when going to a remote location, especially if you are exploring alone. Or travel in a group for added security.
Survivors have triggers like certain smells or sounds that can immediately cause anxiety or panic attacks because it reminds a person of a traumatic event.
It might help to discuss your trigger warnings when traveling with companions so they can better understand your needs.
#7- Recognize when Is Anxiety Harmful and Get Professional Help
If you have experienced trauma but did not receive treatment and think you have anxiety symptoms, please consult a licensed professional. They can evaluate and diagnose any condition you may have and determine the best course of treatment.
Handling anxiety as a survivor of a traumatic event naturally is possible when you seek treatment, support and use tools like the creative distractions mentioned above.
When moments of anxiety become a mainstay in your life, it is best to seek a mental health professional to help you, such as a licensed psychologist.
Once you have been diagnosed, learn to detect and monitor symptoms to minimize attack severity.
Although the above ideas can help mitigate some anxiety attacks naturally, it's critical to seek medical attention if anxiety levels escalate into harmful thoughts or negatively impact your life.
Mold and anxiety are not commonly found in the same sentence, but we must note them on this important topic.
A recent study, Mold inhalation causes innate immune activation, neural, cognitive, and emotional dysfunction - ScienceDirect, found that inhaling mold altered memory, increased sensitivity to pain, and increased anxiety-like behavior.
Please research this matter further and consult your physician if you experience or have experienced any of the symptoms. This condition affects everyone differently, from minor discomfort to significant health complications so learning about the symptoms and dangers of mold is vital to our overall health.
Moldpedia.com has 19 listed symptoms for toxic mold, which include anxiety and anxiety-like symptoms.
The following are a few symptoms to pay attention to when you are experiencing anxiety, and if you have been around mold, please consider talking to a doctor about the possibility of this affecting your condition.
There are several types or forms of anxiety disorders. To educate you on some that may affect survivors of traumatic events, we have listed a few below.
Some types of anxiety disorders are:
This anxiety disorder can be distinguished by extreme and continual worrying about situations that are not dangerous but are feared anyway.
Some physical symptoms of GAD are restlessness, fatigue, sweating, diarrhea, or nausea.
However, there are more symptoms, so it is always essential to ask a professional to verify and identify the best treatment for you.
Unlike other anxiety disorders, substance or medication-induced anxiety disorder can occur when an individual is intoxicated or withdrawing from legal medications, illegal drugs, alcohol, and many other substances.
Although most of these substances are perfectly legal, it's good to know the risks and warning signs before exposure.
Please consult your physician on the safest and healthiest ways to diagnose and treat this disorder.
Substances that might cause a substance-induced anxiety disorder are but not limited to:
Certain medicines cause anxiety, so it is vital to monitor yourself (or a loved one) while taking prescriptions, especially when sudden behavioral changes occur.
Keep a journal that notes the time that medicine is taken, its name, and log any side effects that you are experiencing. Bring the journal to your doctor if you are concerned that you are not getting better.
Documenting your emotional and physical side-effects is essential to determine your progress. Sometimes we fail to remember every symptom once we are no longer experiencing it or in stressful situations like the doctor's office.
Please write it down to avoid missing vital information. Your treatment provider will be happy to help amend your plan if necessary, especially when there is proof that it is not helping.
The following are some medicines that can cause or promote anxiety:
This is a limited list because there are thousands of these medications so, please consult your physician for more details.
www.mind.org.uk has an in-depth list of medications and information about anxiety that will educate you further and vital information that you want to know before starting medications.
See below for more sources on psychiatric medication:
Panic disorders cause feelings of unexpected and repeated episodes of fear.
Some physical symptoms may include but are not limited to:
Due to the similarities between a panic attack and a severe health concern like a heart attack or stroke, it is firmly and profusely recommended to seek medical attention immediately.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are dangerous complications that might be related to panic disorders, such as:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder happens after a person has survived a traumatic event.
Traumatic events such as a natural or human-caused disaster, accidents, or military combat/war are commonly associated with causing PTSD.
Still, it is crucial to recognize that this anxiety disorder encompasses much more, like a violent physical or sexual assault(s).
Recovery is possible with a proper treatment plan for your individual health care needs, along with a commitment to following that plan.
For more information, please visit www.ptsd.va.gov
1-800-273-8255 (Press 1 if you're a Veteran)
Or contact via PTSD Information Voice Mail (802) 296-6300
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a vast pool of knowledge related to PTSD. They continue to help Veterans address all aspects of this disorder.
I am pleased to add that they help citizens too! People who have survived any type of traumatic event and think they have PTSD can learn more about this disorder from a staff of caring and experienced professionals.
Please visit their site or call for more information.
Social Anxiety Disorders are caused by an array of biological and environmental factors like the mold concern previously mentioned or inherited family traits.
Social Anxiety Disorders are described as making people feel extremely self-conscious and anxious in everyday social situations such as grocery shopping, going to school or work, and dating.
However, it can also include difficulty making eye contact, eating in public, and more, so it is critical to speak to a professional to make a proper diagnosis.
A professional can find a treatment plan that helps you overcome the fear of everyday social situations.
You can choose the natural route and avoid medications (if safe to do so and recommended by your doctor) or by any of the other many treatment plans available per your doctor.
When to get help for anxiety?
Contacts for suicide prevention services:
Call Toll-free number: 1-800-273-8255(TALK)
Call Toll-free TTY number: 1-800-799-4889(4TTY)
Or Text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Crisis Text Line:
U.S. – 741741
Canada – 686868
UK - 85258
Call 1-877-870-4673 (HOPE)
Via E-mail Samaritans: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call (For U.S. Residents) – 1-877-565-8860
Call (For Canadian Residents) – 1-877-330-6366
Call 1-866-488-7386Or go here and select TrevorChat to get connected to a counselor.
Treatment for anxiety is nothing to fear. There are many programs available to fit your requirements, like inpatient or intensive outpatient programs.
However, there are also holistic approaches, luxury rehabs, 12 Step and Non 12 Step rehab programs. Live video therapy sessions are affordable and available around the clock so reach out to any means of support that feels the most secure.
No matter how long ago your trauma occurred, anxiety as a survivor can be just as prevalent as the first time. Never view this anxiety as a weakness. Instead, your anxiety is proof that you are strong. Your body is protecting you even past the trauma. Take a positive mindset about anxiety and find new ways to cope in your life that are healthy.
We want you to find the strength to keep going. Whether you are still working to escape the abuse or living as a survivor, our site is here to help guide and encourage growth.
(NIH) National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved from National Institute of Mental Health (NIH): https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/ Hansa D. Bhargava, MD, Reviewed WebMD Article. (2020, June 25). Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved from WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/anxiety-disorders HHS.gov-(DCD) Digital Communications Division. (2014, February 12). What are the five major types of anxiety disorders? Retrieved from HHS.gov: https://www.hhs.gov/answers/mental-health-and-substance-abuse/what-are-the-five-major-types-of-anxiety-disorders/index.html Mind.org.uk. (2021, March). Psychiatric medication Ato Z. Retrieved from Mind.org.uk: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/drugs-and-treatments/medication/drug-names-a-z/ Moldpedia.com. (2021). Toxic Black Mold Symptoms. Retrieved from moldpedia.com: https://moldpedia.com/black-mold-symptoms#:~:text=Toxic%20Black%20Mold%20Symptoms%201%20Respiratory%20Symptoms%20From,and%20Eye%20Symptoms%20From%20Toxic%20Black%20Mold.%20 National Institute of Mental Health. (2020). Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Retrieved from National Institute of Mental Health: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/