Seeing as close to 15 percent of Australians suffer from anxiety disorders, that’s more than one in ten of our fellow countrymen who find themselves experiencing unwanted feelings of panic and stress.
There are tried and true tested methods of helping to manage panic disorders, ideally including the help of a medical professional. But those suffering from anxiety often find their own, additional ways of coping that can be immensely useful.
We asked six Mamamia staffers who suffer from anxiety to describe the slightly usual ways they help themselves stave off panic.
“I shave my legs”.
“When I have bad anxiety, I just have to take control of everything I CAN control and make better in that moment,” Polly says. “So it can be washing my hair, shaving my legs, putting entirely clean clothes on, tidying stuff. Sounds really basic, like I’m telling someone with depression to go get a manicure. But I swear it works for me as 1. It occupies my mind, and 2. I feel more in control”.
“I do colouring and crosswords”.
“When I’m feeling stuck in an anxiety rut, I turn to creative things to take my mind off the tide of swelling stuff in my head. It’s going to sound so cliched and “mindfulness schmindfulness”, but adult colouring-in books are the bomb,” Adam says.
“Especially if the patterns are complicated and make you focus on what’s in front of you. You pick the colours you feel like working with, it’s all in your control. I once started a pattern with dark, stormy colours because I was feeling overwhelmed, and it progressively got lighter and lighter as I felt the load slowly lifting a bit.”
“Recently my cousin got me a book of colour-in mandalas and sudoku…yep, that’s peak mindfulness for you. The other thing I love is crosswords – regular or cryptic. They make my mind focus on one of the things I love most…words!”