How to deal with anxiety in public

One of my biggest fears is having a panic attack in public, whilst on my own and not being able to calm myself down. This had a massive affect on my life growing up to the point where I wouldn’t leave the house because I felt so worried and anxious about being anxious. What would I do if I had anxiety whilst in public? Now, this post is not just for people with anxiety but also for those who are around people with anxiety. Hopefully these techniques will help you or someone around you to understand how to deal with anxiety in public.

Have a hella awkward picture of me trying to have my picture taken in public! Although I first hand have experienced anxiety I have also witnessed people close to me suffer with anxiety. Both are so different. At least with my anxiety it’s mine I can hide it or deal with it. When it is someone else, it is so hard to know what to say, do or how you can help someone. No one likes to see someone suffer or struggle, so hopefully these techniques will help you!

Beat the fear

A huge part of this is beating the fear. It’s all good and well giving into fear to stop your anxiety but in the long run you can’t hide. Sometimes, the hardest thing is finding what your fear is! I spent years trying to find what was my fear/triggers for my anxiety. I have found mine are always changing from public spaces to the unknown. But, by identifying my fears I can focus on dealing with my anxiety in these places. A lot of the time I like to put myself in the places that cause me fear on a purpose to help me learn how to cope with my anxiety.

Part of beating the fear is knowing your safe place. For me that was my parents house. When I was there I felt fine. My anxiety was at a minimum but if I left there, I would be anxious and want to take myself back. But I couldn’t stay at my parents house forever. I did try for a month! I was off school in a mess and couldn’t leave my parents house without having a serious panic attack. But, thanks to my parents who took me to school and watched me enter the school doors, I am in the place I am today!

If you can identify your safe place then you will be able to understand when you feel anxious, that as much as you want to go to that place, you don’t need to! You can make it through! It sounds awful and at the time it feels awful all you want to do is go to your safe place and stay there. But, by pushing yourself you will learn that your safe place can come with you. No, matter where you are you can make it into your safe place. Because, why should your anxiety control who you are?

Grounding

There is nothing worse than a panic attack whilst in public. But, over time I’ve learnt a few techniques to help me. If you have a loved one suffering from a panic attack and they can’t seem to calm themselves down then speak them through this! I know when I’m in a state I need someone to talk me through each of these steps because I just can’t get my mind to focus!

Related Post: 8 Grounding Techniques

Grounding is a great way of reassuring yourself that it is all okay!

1st Step- ground your feet on the floor, if you could find somewhere private like a clean loo or a private area.

2nd Step- tell yourself (in your head) what you can see around you, what you can smell, taste and hear.

3rd Step- has anything changed, is someone taking, what are they saying? can you see anything else?

4th Step- now go back to what you was doing before but remember to keep observing everything around you.

Breathing

This technique is a favourite for me when I’m in public and I can’t find any private space.

Step 1- take a deep breath in, keep breathing in for 5 seconds. Focus on the air you are taking in.

Step 2- exhale for 5 seconds and imagine you are exhaling all of your worries, emotions and anxiety.

Repeat these steps until you feel a bit calmer. Observe your heart, is it still pounding if so keep breathing until it slows down.

This technique will help to slow your heart rate down, whilst relaxing your muscles and tricking your brain into thinking it is calm.

Chewing Gum

When I’m in close proximity to others and I can’t use either of the techniques then this is the one. When experiencing anxiety in a public place sometimes, the other techniques just aren’t possible without drawing more attention to yourself. This technique is great for being more discrete. There is something about chewing gum that distracts me from my panic attack. It gives me a focus and I become solely focused on chewing on gum.

Chewing gum is something you can always have on you, in your handbag or a small packet in your jacket pocket. Then you are always ready to quickly distract yourself! Chewing gum has also been proven to release stress and increase alertness and blood flow to the brain.

Positives of panic attacks

Panic attacks don’t have to be all doom and gloom! Yes they suck! Most people fear experiencing anxiety in public places. But, there is so much you can learn from them. Just think back the person you was before your anxiety. Now, think of the person you was during your anxiety. How are you now? I bet you have learnt a lot about yourself?! Do you feel like you’ve come a long way now you are looking back at your past?

Related Post: Positives of Panic Attacks

Panic attacks allow people to learn and develop and although at the time they seem horrible and you just want them to disappear. Even anxiety in public places. But, I know first hand from experiencing them I have learnt a lot about myself and you will too! Your anxiety does NOT define who you are or control you! You control your anxiety!

Repeat after me…

I am amazing!

My anxiety does not define me!

I can control my anxiety!

And I will get through this!

I hope these techniques help you to deal with anxiety in public places! If you do need further help then please contact your local GP or Mind.

anxiety in public- Signature

How to make 2019 YOUR year…

The first month of 2019 is over, done, completed! Now, part of me wants to congratulate you and myself of course for surviving the first month but the other part of me thinks sh*t where did January go, am I right?! There is only 11 months left now to smash 2019 and make it YOUR year! So, I’ve got some tips, tricks and random sh*t, sorry I couldn’t help myself it just rhymed to help you make 2019 YOUR year! You’re probably thinking yeah right Brooke but trust me I mean trust me, none of this half hearted trusting me kind of stuff! I need you fully on board because I’m ready to help YOU have the best year!

YOUR year

credit: Unsplash

Goals

Now, I’m not one for new year resolutions. I find them mostly unrealistic and place way too much pressure on oneself! Instead, I like to focus on goals, whether that is small achievable goals or crazy, far out. I’m going to help you get there.

First, you need to write down your goals. Them big crazy goals, break them up into smaller parts. For example, say you want to grow your blog following. Break that down into smaller goals such as, 2 blog posts a week, engage in more twitter blog chats etc. This way you’re making that crazy goal more attainable and manageable. I know sometimes that seems like a hell of a lot of work. But in the long run that will all add to your one big goal!

Organisation

I know this word can cause heart palpitations for some people. So, if that’s you don’t worry I’m going to make this word one not to be feared! Organisation is key. Now, I’m not saying you need to be organised so that every minute of your life is planned down to when you go to the loo. I’m simply saying a basic level of organisation will really help.

For me, I like to have an upload schedule for blog posts so that I have a date every week to work to.You can apply this tip to anything, uni work, life in general, even your food shopping! By being organised and having a plan or schedule helps to maintain that goal.

PMA

If you’re thinking what is PMA Brooke. Don’t worry! I always used to think it meant something to do with period pains! It doesn’t fyi! PMA= Positive Mental Attitude. Now, I’m a big believer in taking a positive attitude to life no matter what. 2019 will be unpredictable, you can’t predict every single thing that will happen and I’m sure along the duration of the year a few unexpected negative things may happen. But, it is how you deal with this that will affect your year.

For example, one of my goals was to upload 3 blog posts a week but due to going back to uni I missed a weeks worth of uploads. I felt like I had failed, I honestly wanted to throw the towel in or just upload a random post that had quickly been put together so I didn’t feel as bad. But, instead of focusing on the negative, the fact I had missed 3 uploads I turned it into a positive, a learning curve. I now know that I need to more organised and have my posts ready for at least the next two weeks at a time in order to manage uploading alongside university.

Now, PMA doesn’t just have to relate to blogging it can be in general life too. Most people don’t like the rain, I myself aren’t a massive fan. As when it’s raining it is usually pretty cold too and I really dislike being cold. But, although it’s raining and it’s kind of ruined your plan for the day you could instead do something else. Such as a duvet day instead of being miserable!

Pressure

I am guilty of putting way too much pressure on myself and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone at doing this too?! If you’re putting too much pressure on yourself there is no way you’re going to achieve them goals or be organised. Instead you’re probably going to crumble under the pressure. A little bit of pressure doesn’t do any harm instead most people strive under a bit of pressure. Just make sure you have a good balance!

One way in balancing pressure is try not to create unrealistic goals because this will lead to you putting too much pressure on yourself. For example, if I was to aim to upload 5 blog posts a week I know I would be putting a lot of pressure on myself and within a week or two I would crumble because it isn’t attainable for me. Then I have to deal with the repercussions which will definitely have a massive negative affect on my year.

Do it!

So, if you’ve got to this point and think yeah I can do that, why aren’t you?! The biggest problem in life is just doing it! You probably have a list of goals but have you actively tried to achieve them? If your answer is no then stop reading and start doing!

Your Signature

5 life lessons 7 rings has taught us all!

In my opinion Ariana is killing it with her songs and her 3rd single, 7 rings is no different. From the lyrics to the music video Ariana aint messing around! But, this song has resinated with me, I love the energy and messages. There are so many life lessons to be learnt from 7 rings and it is a power anthem for all the girl bosses out there. Because, if Ari can do it then so can you!

7 rings girl boss
Credit: Unsplash

Be Savage

Just because we are savage doesn’t mean we are harsh. It’s probably down to the fact that you have been through some rubbish like Ariana and that has led you to be how you are. But, you know what? There is nothing wrong with that! Be savage, cruel if you have to be it’s better than not saying the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts but instead of being sad it’s okay to turn them emotions into being brutal. Just don’t take it to the extreme!

Don’t be ashamed of buying things This is one of my favourite lessons. If you want to treat yourself now and again that’s fine! Buy yourself that expensive purse, of course as long as you have enough money to live off. As my favourite Youtuber’s Syd and Ell say if you have enough money to buy what you want twice then treat yourself! Don’t ever feel guilty for treating yourself. Because, if you didn’t treat yourself you wouldn’t have anything?

I will hold my hands up and say My name is Brooke and I’m addicted to shopping! Pretty sure I’m not the only one though? But, you know what there is nothing wrong with it. I honestly love walking around clothes shops browsing putting together outfits in my head. I just know when to stop now, well I like to think I do. Rearrange what a treat is. I used to see a treat as something really expensive like a holiday but now a treat to me is going out for a meal. I don’t mean like anywhere expensive just a meal that I haven’t cooked is a treat. Or maybe a trip to the cinema and if I’m pushing the boat out some movie snacks or two!

Spoil your friends

Obviously you don’t probably have the money Ariana has. I mean I’d love to splurge and buy all my girls matching tiffany rings like Ariana mentioned in 7 rings. A girl can wish am I right? But, you could still spoil your friends but on a smaller scale. Or in my case an extremely smaller scale. Maybe, a really thoughtful birthday present, a spa day, buy them a meal or surprise them with a handbag?

Sometimes, your friends are the people that are/will be with you through everything, the break ups, the dramas, the amazing times. These are the people that hopefully will be your rock as you grow up. So, treat them every now and then as a little thank you for being by your side. Obviously, they have chosen to be your friend for the rights reasons not because you’re flashing the cash. But acknowledge what they have done for you. There is nothing I love more then dropping my friends a random text here and there to see how they are doing or simply tell them thank you for being them.

Don’t be ashamed of being single

Take advantage! If you wan’t that his and hers sink but you are single who cares! As Ariana says in 7 rings, she is rocking a house with his and hers closets all to herself why can’t you rock being single too? Think of all the advantages! You only have to pay for one person when going out for a meal. I know I would take advantage of having the whole bed to myself for sure! People see being single as a negative thing but is it? There is no right and wrong. I’m pretty sure there is no if you are single that is wrong or if you are in a relationship that is wrong. You do you!

Look at all the successful people in the world that are single. They’re totally rocking it and succeeding, so what is stopping you? Now, there is nothing wrong with being in a relationship either but what I’m trying to say is there is nothing to be ashamed of if you are single! Use the time whilst being single to learn about yourself, who you are and develop as a person. This is your time to define yourself and be who you want to be!

Don’t care what anyone else thinks of you!

If Ariana took to heart every trolls comments then she would probably be in one very dark place. Instead she turns that negativity into energy and comes back with amazing songs like this. You know what? You should do the same! Maybe not the come back with amazing songs unless your super talented and can sing. I mean, don’t let people’s negative comments pull you down. Turn them negative comments into energy and strive to prove them people wrong! You’re not a puppet so, you’re going to be different.

There is nothing wrong with being a puppet. But, come on cut them strings and be YOU! How boring would it be if the world was just full of Barbara’s. Everyone was exactly the same. I know, it send a shiver down my spine just thinking about it too! This world needs individuals to pave the way, starting with you.

Ariana has stuck by her signature pony tail regardless of all the negative comments. But, her pony tail is what she is. It is how she defines herself. If you ask yourself how you define Ariana, you’d probably mention her signature hairstyle. Plus the fact she made this clearly obvious in one of the scenes of 7 rings music video having her signature pony trailing down the stairs to over exaggerate it I just love!

7 rings has a hell of a lot of messages in it from the video itself to the lyrics. I know I have taken a lot of lessons from it and can’t wait to see what Ariana releases next. What lessons have you taken away from it?

Lessons- Signature