How To Put Anxiety In Its Place, Once And For All

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How To Make Anxiety Your Bitch
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By Sarah Fader

Living with chronic anxiety is hard. I know this because I experience high levels of adrenaline every day simply by waking up every morning.

My life has been a long, bumpy, anxious ride. People often don’t understand my “quirky” behaviors due to anxiety symptoms. I’ve learned over the years that it's not important what other people think. What matters is that I recognize when my anxiety disorder is coming out to play, and I punch that b**** in the face.

Knowing how to deal with anxiety all depends on how you approach it. So, when you recognize symptoms of anxiety coming out, there are a few things you can do to send it away.

RELATED: How To Deal With Anxiety When Worrying Is Ruining Your Life

Anxiety Scenario 1: You wake up, and your heart is racing like a murderer is chasing you down the street.

What do you do? You have two options:

A. Pull the covers over your head and hide.

B. Get up and make coffee ,even though you feel like you are about to die.

Friends, choose option B. Anxiety is a punk, and you don’t want to let it win. Anxiety is trying to scare you into curling up into the fetal position and giving up. You don’t have to listen to it.

Yes, you will feel awful when you step out of bed. It’s going to feel like you might pass out, but do it anyway! Once you have some coffee, the world will feel a little less foggy and slightly more manageable. This is coming from someone who has dealt with many panic attacks over the years.

Anxiety Scenario 2: A close friend of yours hurt your feelings.

You are dreading telling your friend how you feel. They won’t understand, and what’s the point anyway? Anxiety is telling you to keep your emotions inside and feel miserable. What do you do?:

A. Eat your feelings in the form of a box of Oreos

B. Call your friend up and tell them you are hurt

Anxiety, you are not going to win this time. My fellow anxious comrades, the answer is option B. Sure, confrontation is terrifying, but what’s the alternative? Sitting in the corner and shame spiraling. No way!

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RELATED: 20 Quotes And Memes That Perfectly Express What Anxiety Feels Like

In the words of Andrea, the drunk therapist on the Netflix original series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: “Happy people value their needs as much as otherses.” “Otherses” is not a real word, according to spell check on Microsoft Word, but you get the idea.

Anxiety wants you to believe that your feelings don’t matter. Oh, please! My feelings matter and yours do too. So let your friend know by saying, “I feel hurt when you call me an unmotivated slacker,” just for example.

Anxiety Scenario 3: Your bank account is overdrawn a significant amount and you don’t want to deal with it.

Do you:

A. Avoid it and watch Netflix?

B. Go to the bank and deal with your crap?

Unfortunately, though I love Netflix, the answer is B. Anxiety wants you to feel uncomfortable and sulk in your pajamas. Well, screw that!. You’re not going to win this time. You put on some yoga pants and a t-shirt and drag your butt to the bank.

Even if you can’t rectify the situation with your account immediately, the people at the bank may be able to discuss a payment plan with you. This is coming from someone who has overdrawn her account many times.

There’s a solution to your life dilemmas. It’s just a matter of sitting with your problem long enough to talk to your brain.

Anxiety wants you to give up at the first signs of an uncomfortable situation. Why? Because anxiety is a jerk. You don’t have to deal with that garbage. You can fight back in the form of productive solutions.

Worrying doesn’t solve problems; it just expends excess energy. Use your energy to brainstorm, be creative and tell anxiety to go away.

The next time the symptoms of anxiety rear its ugly head, tell it that you’re busy getting out of bed, telling your friend how you feel, paying off your overdraft fees, and all the other amazing life choices you are making. You don’t have time for its shenanigans.

RELATED: 6 Things You Don't Realize You're Doing Because You Have High-Functioning Anxiety

Sarah Fader is the CEO and Founder of Stigma Fighters, a non-profit organization that encourages individuals with mental illness to share their personal stories. She's an author and blogger, and has been featured on Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, and Good Day New York.

This article was originally published at Ravishly. Reprinted with permission from the author.