There I am.
An awkward preteen in middle school that was facing what felt like the worst thing that could ever happen in the entire history of the world.
I had to give a presentation in front of the class.
Not only did I not like virtually anyone in my class (except for about two people) the teacher and I weren't exactly buddy-buddy. So take that and add in the fact that I wasn't as prepared as I normally would be and you can see why this was pretty much the end of the world.
You mean you don't see how me having to give a small presentation, that I'm barely going to remember in the next three years, can carry so much weight as I'm building it up to have?
Well, congratulations because you could not be more right (moment of silence for awkward preteen Elle). Wouldn't it be nice to able to take ourselves out of a situation, as or before it happens, and look at it with an objective eye? Maybe then we'd see that situations are usually not nearly as big as we've built them up to be.
However, if you are like me and my merry band of socially awkward adolescents, then you are not able to do that the majority of the time. So your prize for being right, being able to identify how dramatic preteen me was, is you getting a guide on methods that have helped me (and hopefully will help you too) to cope with anxiety.
Something that I like to do is give myself mental reassurances whenever I'm feeling anxious.
I'm going to let you in on a little secret okay, I'm not the most emotionally expressive person in the world. Therefore, I have a lot of things going on inside of my mind at all times. So, I've become a bit of an ally and an enemy to myself.
Yeah, I know.
So to calm myself down, I usually start by saying little things inside my mind that make me feel comforted and reassured, "everything may not be okay now, but eventually it will be", "I'm only in control of myself and that's okay,", (or my personal favorite) "just keep swimming."
Create a Happy Place
As a guestimate, I would say that when in a situation that could cause me potential stress there is a 60% chance I'm in my happy place.
I have an entire world inside of my head, and from time to time I use it to escape from the harsh stress reality that is more commonly known as an average teenager's life. You know that time you spend, while in bed about to go to sleep before you realize you are drifting off into dreamland, thinking about all the mistakes you ever made and imagining conversations that are probably are never going to happen?
(I'm looking at you, Elle)
Well, might I suggest you use that time to build yourself a little happy place for when times get especially stressful and anxiety-inducing?
"But Ellllllllllle! I have no imagination, even though I didn't try at all! What about me?"
Well, random reader, another thing I do when I *actually* have to pay attention to the scenario at hand is to think of a memory. Though, not just any memory, one that makes you smile involuntarily. It makes you feel all warm inside and helps you to have a better headspace instantly.
Write Down Those beautiful Thoughts of Yours
Partial sarcasm noted here.
Yes, some thoughts we have are far from beautiful. However, poetry or not, its best we write them down. I find that if there is a time I don't necessarily understand how I'm feeling, writing my thoughts down helps me organize them a bit better.
My thoughts are usually jumbled up inside of my head, which can prevent me from trying to explain them to people, however when it's just me I know that there are no misunderstandings and I still have the feeling of letting all of whatever I'm feeling go.
No one understands you as you do.
I feel as though I'm a pebble on the beach watching as the tide is crashing in ready to swallow me every time I have to read something in front of someone. I have this fear of public speaking and I can't seem to pinpoint the origin of this anxiety-inducing experience. Nonetheless, I have it and I know it's a major trigger of mines.
By knowing what triggers mass amounts of anxiety or a full-blown panic attack then you have one of two options: you can either avoid it or prepare yourself for what you're about to encounter.
Don't be that pebble, it's not fun.
Change In Diet
Now look I would like to preference this by saying I am not a medical doctor nor have I ever played one on T.V. You can read more about this here.
That being said, I've noticed that when I'm eating healthier I'm way more chill than I usually would be in situations. I think that a balanced nutritional lifestyle mixed with some exercises is great in general but I've seen some major differences in my anxiety levels.
If you want more content sign up for my emailing list to get exclusive posts. I like to drop a few tips about dealing with anxiety from time to time so don't forget to sign up.
Now go on with your bad non-anxious self.
your professional autistic teenager,