I don’t think I can remember a time before having anxiety. I truly feel I must have come out of the womb feeling stressed and concerned – it’s part of who I am. A lot of my friends and family suffer with it, too, but contrary to popular belief, it’s not something anyone brags about.
Until recent years, having anxiety wasn’t really something people discussed. I think social media helped in many ways as it gave people the confidence to open up online and, with that, others followed. Sure, this brought around the misconception that anxiety was something of a trend, but if you suffer with it, you’ll know that’s not the case at all. If it was, buying the best anxiety products wouldn’t be a good investment.
What is anxiety exactly?
Anxiety is a natural reaction and response to stress; it’s a feeling of apprehension about what’s to come. That feeling you get before you go for a job interview or give a speech in front of an audience? That’s anxiety – it’s something that can cause people to feel fearful and/or nervous (and if it doesn’t, well then consider yourself lucky). An anxiety disorder, however, is where feelings of anxiety are extreme and interfere with your life. Lots of people suffer with anxiety, but not everyone will have an anxiety disorder.
How does anxiety make you feel? What are anxiety symptoms?
Mind, the mental health charity, says the fight, flight or freeze response is an automatic response to stress or change. “Human beings have evolved ways to help us protect ourselves from danger. When we feel under threat our bodies react by releasing certain hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones make us feel more alert so we can act faster and they make our hearts beat faster to send blood to where it’s most needed. After we feel the threat has passed, our bodies release other hormones to help our muscles relax – this is what can sometimes cause us to shake.”
“Anxiety can become a problem if, for example, your anxious feelings are very strong or last for a long time,” says Mind. “If your fears or worries are out of proportion to the situation, or you avoid situations that might cause you to feel anxious and you frequently experience panic attacks then you may have an anxiety disorder.”
The best products to help with your anxiety
So what do you do if this is the case? Personally, I try to adapt to the environment and situation I’m in as quickly as possible. This might mean having something on me that I know calms me down – especially if I’m travelling or I’m somewhere I’ve not been before.
Making lists has always been a great distraction for me in times of uncertainty. I find getting myself organised or tidying things instantly calms me down and gives me less to worry about, so things like this A List A Day journal from Paperchase and this bag organiser from Amazon are godsends. Honestly, I have been known to empty the contents of my bag only to tidy it away neatly again while feeling anxious on my commute before. It probably sounds bizarre, but it works for me.
Another thing I definitely couldn’t live without is my fidget ring. I tend to wear it when I know my day is going to be particularly stressful, or if I’m apprehensive about something. This sterling silver anxiety spinner ring from Etsy is the one I have, or if you’d prefer something even more simple then perhaps this mixed metal design will appeal? They stop me from biting my lips or picking at my nails as it gives me something else to fiddle with – plus they’re pretty!