1.  Talk to yourself. Don’t stare at the wall and talk to yourself but go to the mirror look at yourself and speak to yourself. This is probably the hardest thing i’ve had to do in my life. Its crazy how at times I didn’t recognise myself in the mirror yet try to talk to myself and remind myself of who I am. Its scary to think I had to remind myself that I am ok and my face doesn’t look different. Despite the fact that you may not recognise yourself at that time, just tell yourself everything will be ok, you’ve dealt with worse, this is just FEAR.
  2. Ask yourself ‘Are you afraid?’ –  if the answer is yes then tell yourself to stop worrying. If you think something you are afraid of will come true just remind yourself this is fear brainwashing you, there is a 99.9% that this won’t happen and its just you emotions playing with your brain and manipulating you. Most times where I’d think there was something seriously wrong with me, I just had to say to myself ‘this is fear, not the truth.’
  3. Breathe. As soon as you sense fear just breathe in for about 3/4 seconds, pause and breathe out for about 7 seconds. You’ll have to practice this when your calm to be able to do this when you are panicing. The first time I tried to do this was when thoughts were all over my brain and I was so angry that it didn’t work. Turns out I forgot that practice makes perfect. I tried to practice daily so that when I was panicing my body would recognise this coping mechanism and calm my body/mind down.
  4. Distract yourself. Whether it be gym, reading, 10 minute yoga, writing a blog, writing on paper, speaking to new people. I know, speaking to new people can be so hard, especially with anxiety. Being blessed living in a compound in Saudi with people of all ages one day I decided to actually go and and socialise. All I found was children so I started with them and suprisingly became so close to a 4 year old. She would come knock my door everyday to ask me to play outside, how adorable! She’d make my day, whenever I was feeling down I would just have to sit with her for about 15 minutes and my mood with change. After talking to the kids, a few weeks later I finally decided to talk to the people close to my age and let me tell you something, I regretted being so anxious all that time because it was the best desicion I made. Whenever you hear thoughts in your brain, don’t freeze and listen to them, just get up and do something, ANYTHING, go sit with your family for 10 minutes, watch a youtube video, do anything!
  5. Write to yourself. I dont mean a ‘Dear diary’ kind of thing. Let me give you an example, I have a terrrrrible fear of flying, I think about all the posibilities of something going wrong as soon as I book my ticket! So the week before my flight I got my facts right and realised how strong planes are and how turbulence can nearly 100% not cause a crash! So I wrote down bullet points like ‘everything will be ok,’ ‘ nothing bad has to happen,’ and more reassuring thoughts like that. When I was on my flight, as soon as the turbulence started on the plane I took out my notebook and read the positive notes so that my negative thoughts are overcome by those positive ones I am reading. Due to my bad fear I still had to write to myself on the plane as my negative thoughts were too strong. Again it was reassuring notes such as, ‘this is fear and fear is an emotion not a sign that something bad will happen.’ It might seem a bit crazy but this is what I do in every situation, I find it hard to talk to myself if there isn’t a mirror so instead I write to myself whether it be a notebook or notes on my phone. Trust me it helps in so many situations!

I don’t blame you if these things seem hard to follow because at first for me when my sister would tell me to talk to myself to reassure myself I would think am I mad to do something like that. I would think its silly and would just waste my time so I didn’t do it for ages until I reached such a bad stage I decided I had to. Little did I know the difference these things that seem crazy would make! 

I really hope this helped you, good luck with coping with anxiety/depression or anything else if you are reading this.

Zaina X


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