Coping with Anxiety – Mental Health Coffee Chat

Coping with Anxiety - Mental Health Coffee Chat

everyone welcome to my channel my name is Kassandra and today we're doing another edition of coffee chats where I get to sit down with you and talk to you guys about more personal subject matters and things that you know really mattered to me and also matter to you guys so a while back I had a message from someone who was asking me you know how to cope with anxiety and I had done like a poll in my facebook group the link to that is in the description box by the way asking you know what kind of topics do you guys want me to talk about and this was one that was like the most heavily requested and it's also the one that I'm the most scared to talk about because it's something that I super personally relate to as someone who very much has struggled with anxiety still struggles with it from time to time these are all tips that like I really don't want you to think that like I'm telling you what you need to do this video is really like a way for me to remind myself of the things I know I need to do in order to alleviate feelings of anxiety when I get in those like anxiety spirals and in those like ruts you know sometimes like it just happens and it feels like you can't get out of them and it's like so so so overwhelming I'm very much not an expert or and not someone who's like got it all figured out but these are things that time and time again have made just the biggest difference in my mental health overall and I did do a video a while back like my 10 self-care practices and a lot of those were very much about like mental and emotional well-being so I would recommend watching that video I go in depth about a lot of topics like that that you might find helpful but let's just get into coping with anxiety things that I've learned and I do have a paper here so if you see me looking down it's just cuz I wanted this video to be like good so I broke down what I wanted to talk about so I think before I go into like concrete steps and pieces of advice what helped me the most in coping and dealing with like patterns of anxiety was to understand that anxiety was not really the feeling but was the symptom of a feeling so let me explain kind of what I mean by that I used to you know like let's say for example Anthony would tell me or ask me you know what's wrong and I'd say I'm just I'm just having a lot of anxiety right now I'm just feeling really bad so I made it so that anxiety was the symptom I was trying to alleviate so okay how do I stop feeling anxious right how do I stop feeling anxiety and for like therapy and a lot of inner work I was able to understand that it's not actually anxiety that's the problem the problem is all of the unacknowledged feelings that I have pushed back and repressed that are now causing me to feel anxiety so anxiety is like the symptom that comes from all of these things that I'm pretending aren't the case so once I started to really validate my own feelings and to really take the time on a very regular daily basis to check in with myself and see how I really felt it completely lessened the amount of anxiety that came up in my life so for example I would you know go through the days and feeling like you know regular amounts of stress in my day-to-day life right so you know deadlines weren't met or I was having like little conflicts with other people that I'm working with or other partners and I'm a very like positive minded person and very productive so instead of letting myself feel the discomfort and feel the issues and really like get into the anger that I was feeling towards other people the resentment the sadness the guilt the judgment all of that I would just kind of pretend that everything was okay move on to the next thing and just keep on trucking because I don't want to be a complainer I don't want to be negative I don't want to be perceived as someone who's difficult or perceived as someone who's too emotional or someone who's you know ya difficult to work with so I would just focus on the next thing keep moving ahead and day by day it's like the straw that broke the camel's back like it's okay to have a few days where there are these little stressors that happen but if you go a few weeks with those all of a sudden I'm having like a huge anxiety flare-up and I'm having a hard time doing like very normal simple things right so I would then go and say oh I don't know why I'm feeling so much anxiety what's wrong with me I just need to do whatever I can to alleviate the anxiety and get back to being productive and positive and doing all these things and it's like that actually doesn't solve anything so I could do things that help with anxiety like I could go to therapy I could take a shower I could go outside I could move my body but at the end of the day what I really need to do is to validate and acknowledge all of these other layers of emotions and feelings and thoughts that I have completely suppressed so for me coping with anxiety is a daily practice you don't just cope with anxiety when it flares up you cope with it when things are going well you know when you're feeling pretty good and things are like fairly stable this is when you need to do the work every day to say how am I feeling you know what emotions am i ignoring what are the signs and the triggers that I'm also ignoring but I need to pay more attention to so that was huge and more than anything else that's what I need to do on a daily basis that helps me cope with anxiety because it prevents more flare ups from occurring down the road hopefully that makes sense another thing too that's really helpful whenever you're in the process of like validating your feelings and really understanding okay like I'm going through an anxiety flare-up it's probably because of like you know these five situations in my life that I'm not really dealing with one thing to be careful with is don't get too caught up in the thoughts or storylines around those just go straight to the feeling go straight to the feeling acknowledge it validated say okay I feel sad because ex person I heard them say a comment about and I didn't speak up in the time so now I'm internalizing it and going through with it so what can happen when you are caught in an anxiety spiral is that it's hard to validate the feeling instead of just validating and saying yeah you know the inner child in me feels hurt feels wounded I see it I validate it and I'm now able to let it go and said what you're gonna do is like go over that situation over and over and again like a broken record that you just play in your head over and over like listen if you have anxiety you know what I'm talking about like you can be a broken record and you just go through that tape time and time again don't get stuck in the story line of recounting what happened just go straight to the feeling validate it and then let it go from there that's really helpful for me anyway okay now moving on to some more concrete steps like when you're actually like right in the middle of your anxiety spiral and you're feeling really bad these are the things that I either have to make myself do or make myself not do and that have helped me so the number one thing is resist isolating yourself I know I'm very much prone to that when I feel anxious and overwhelmed I feel like I can't lean on other people or I don't want to go out I don't want to talk to other people I just want to isolate myself because everything feels so overwhelming but I know now from experience firsthand that that just makes things way worse so if possible resist isolating yourself that doesn't mean you know say yes to every single social engagement and talk to a million people like you can so be selective with the people you lean on than the people you turn to but isolating yourself doesn't necessarily make everything better you can take little bits throughout your day where you take quiet time for yourself to pause to reflect maybe to journal to meditate to do yoga but don't go days or weeks on end never leaving your house never interacting with other people I'm telling you you're just going to sink even lower so resist isolating yourself and again please keep in mind this is just my personal advice obviously I'm not a therapist I'm not I'm not you you know different things might work for you but this is what works for me so that's why I'm sharing it so other things that are helpful for me personally is to get out of my head and into my physical body so one thing again like when it comes to validating my feelings is that I get stuck in like the storylines and the theme the themes of what happened and the thoughts associated with them and like that's not helpful for me at the time I don't need to analyze or deconstruct anymore I need to feel and to really be present and embodied so however you need to do that some things that really help get me in my body is to go outside and move so moving whether that's going for a walk doing some yoga going to the gym getting a massage whatever it is get back in your physical body and if possible go outside it helps a lot at least for me it makes a huge difference so moving and then getting in your body processing in different ways so for some people the processing happens when they journal so taking pen to paper that's awesome and like really like stream of conscious consciousness journaling is great just like a word dump when you can get all of those stocks that are kind of all mixed up and jumbled in your head you can just get them out on paper or get them out speaking to someone but like again focus on the feelings not so much on the stories that you get caught up right and sometimes meditation can be a really great way to be embodied going to dance class just anything like that can be really helpful another thing that I would recommend is to get really familiar with your triggers start to be really familiar when anxiety starts to creep up on you so I found for myself there like a few telltale signs that Oh like I can't tell that I'm heading towards an anxiety or like I don't feel like I'm experiencing anxiety yet but I know myself well enough to know that it's leading towards that point you know so if I find that I have a hard time concentrating if I have a hard time falling asleep at night those are usually like really big red flags for me to say like okay something's going on I need to go in and check in to see what are the feelings that I'm not validating or not and if I'm able to like really pay attention to them usually I'm able to like ward off like a really bad anxiety spirals so really know your triggers and also be careful not to let those triggers or your anxiety in general become a crutch or a self-fulfilling prophecy right so sometimes we'll avoid certain things because we don't want it to cause some kind of anxiety but then we end up isolating ourselves or we end up kind of making it worse because we make our world so much smaller right so you want to know your triggers but you also don't want to isolate yourself or don't want to let your anxiety and you know this probably applies to depression and other things as well but like don't let it become a crutch or a self-fulfilling prophecy just have some awareness around what are the things you start to do when you notice that your mental health is like suffering a little bit or just needs a little bit of assistance so we all have I'm sure different triggers another one for me that I've noticed that I do when I get the impulse to start new projects that I know for sure I'm starting to feel overwhelmed and it's leading towards anxiety when I feel like I need to throw everything away and start brand new big crazy projects it's almost like mania like I just get on this like frenzy where I want to tear everything down and start everything new that's a huge red flag to me that I need to pull way way way way way back and really check in to see what's actually going on here because you know I have a pretty detailed plan of what I want to do for the year so why would I suddenly want to do brand new things it doesn't mean that I don't allow myself to be spontaneous it just means that I know myself well enough to have a bit of a critical eye and to notice like when something is feeling just a little bit out of the ordinary and a little bit too like it's no longer spontaneous its chaotic so chaos is a big trigger for me so for me routine helps a lot if I can get up and go to bed around the same time I find that I am able to cope with daily stresses a lot better and if I'm able to cope with daily stress then it doesn't accumulate and it end up kind of being overwhelm and anxiety so that helps another big tip get professional help please guys like go to therapy therapy is so amazing I wish I had started therapy in my teenage years I feel like it would have helped me so much but I started therapy like maybe a year and a half or so ago I don't go all that often like maybe every like six weeks or something but it's just the best thing in the entire world highly recommended get professional help if you can it's a wonderful way to you know like if you have a hard time identifying your patterns and your triggers that's what the therapist is there for because they're really gonna be able to spot those for you and to give you some coping mechanisms when you're really like struggling and really having a hard time they can help you with all of that so the last little pieces of advice I'm going to leave you with is to really work on showing yourself compassion inner child where it can be really powerful here but showing yourself compassion because you're probably not going to fix everything right away and I am or was I don't know I'm working on it but I used to be extremely hard on myself I felt like if I work on something once then it should be fixed and cured and it should never show up again but that's just not the way it is like I'll probably always have to be mindful of anxiety creeping back up into my life it's not something that I work on once and never have to work on again it's just it's a constant daily practice and it definitely gets better and better over time I I definitely don't struggle with anxiety now the way I did like three or four years ago like now it's very very well managed and under control and you know for the most part like I'm doing great but I still have to be very vigilant and I have to keep up with my daily self-care practices in order to maintain and manage that but I also do have to show a lot of compassion for myself because I will sometimes be very critical and very judgmental of myself so if that's something you struggle with as well like really work on showing yourself a lot of love a lot a lot of compassion because you probably are going to stumble and fall along the way and the last thing I'll say is to embrace a growth mindset so just be open to the you know right now it might feel like alleviating anxiety or like getting over anxiety or coping with it is like this insurmountable task like this huge mountain that you'll never be able to climb so if it feels like you'll never be able to cope with your anxiety can you at least open yourself up to the possibility that one day you'll be able to do it you know so it's like baby steps of a growth mindset of knowing that maybe today I can't but maybe tomorrow I can you know and knowing that every day you're just going to make a tiny little bit of work and a little bit of stride in your efforts to go into a place where it does become a little bit more manageable so be open to the possibility of feeling better at some point it might not be right away give yourself compassion it's not going to happen overnight but one day maybe you are going to be able to feel better overall so listen those are the things that I personally do to help me cope with anxiety these are the you know tricks and techniques and tools that I have in my little toolbox that I use on a very regular basis and the things that have helped me the most but truthfully it's for me it has all come down to validating my emotions on a day-to-day basis not just when my emotions feel completely crazy and out of control but just like as they're coming up it's super hard for me but I'm really working on it so validating my emotions and therapy like those are the two things that have really helped me get to a place where anxiety isn't really a big deal anymore you know it's not it's still a part of my life and sometimes it flares up but it doesn't last as long when it does flare up and it feels much more manageable and the flare-ups have like they're spread apart you know so it's not as often so it's just honestly she's better overall for my mental health so I would love to hear from you guys I know you know I think anxiety and depression things like that can be really stigmatized but I don't think I can think of a single person in the entire world who doesn't have anxiety from time to time like you must be a saint if you don't have anxiety so I don't know why it should be stigmatized I think these are things that probably everyone in the world wrestles with from time to time so I would love to hear from you you know what do you do what has helped you with your anxiety is there anything of this that you find helpful that maybe you'll apply to your own life and to your own self-care practices just let me know and let's talk about it because I'm sure I could learn from you guys as well thank you so very much for watching if there's anything you would like to you would like me to talk about in my little coffee chat videos leave me a request down below in the comments and maybe I'll do it for a future video please do subscribe have a wonderful day and I will chat with you soon

25 thoughts on “Coping with Anxiety – Mental Health Coffee Chat

  • Really looking forward to talking about this important subject with you guys. I love this new coffee chat series 😍 While you wait, check out last week's coffee chat:

  • I am loving this new series of coffee chats! The points you raise in this video are so authentic and avoids the cliches that these kind videos and articles can follow. Viewing anxiety as a symptom is such a game changing mindset! Thank you!

  • It is so hard to get yourself moving when you're stuck in your mind. I kind of ruminate a lot and don't seem to find the motivation for doing anything. I have been started some meditations and I enjoy your YinYoga videos with affirmations. Thanks for sharing your experience. Talking to a professional is also something I would do

  • Thanks for talking so open about this. I recognize a lot of the problems but also about the solutions.
    You give some very solid advice here. I wish more people could see this video. I will share it 🙂

  • There's a concept that I was introduced to by Ross Buck, called "Emotional Competence", which comprises of four pillars: a) the capacity of feeling our emotions by raising our self-awareness. b) the ability to express our emotions effectively instead of repressing them, and thereby assert our needs and maintain integrity of our emotional boundaries with others. c) the ability to distinguish whether our emotions are triggered by the present situation or by a past experience. d) the ability to distinguish whether the emotion is triggered by the situation in hand, or by our perception and what it means to us. 

    I totally recommend checking out his books, and those of Dr. Gabor Mate.

  • I can definitely relate to the broken record spiral. For years I was cultivating a habit of repetitive negative thinking without realizing it. Lately I have been trying to use a mantram to calm and train my mind. I'm using the mantram "om mani padme hum" which basically translates to "jewel in the heart of the lotus" although each syllable has its own meaning. Starting yoga has been super helpful as well and your yin yoga with affirmations classes have been especially positive. 🙂 Thank you for all your great videos!

  • Hi Kassandra, I just came across your video, the past couple of weeks I've been struggling with anxiety (being able to cope as best as I can) but I started a new job last month and I'm still very overwhelmed by it all and their procedures etc of how they run their company but I just wanted to thankyou for doing this video as you're right you can't just fix anxiety over night and therapy does help. Also if you've never experienced anxiety in your life you must not be HUMAN lol!

  • OKIam SMI and friend the Fiduclaeies told me i have to sell my home go in HUB and get rid of my pet si can take too but i have 5 woerdfull dogs and 5 awesome old cat and i relly cool briedso i am relly to chake out with out my pet fimly BUT YOAG HELP ME STAY IN THE PRESENT MOMENTI CAN CONTROL MY BRETH

  • Great video, I’m a new channel looking to break down assumptions of those suffering from mental health. Uploaded first vid today, please check it out, I want to help you.

  • Very well said Kassandra. I used to be a walking ball of anxieties from stuffing too many of my feelings also. I am actually very expressive generally but I found myself in certain situations downplaying how I really felt or just shaking off things I should have addressed at the time. I am learning to pick my battles because you can drive yourself and others crazy if you pop off and act on every single thing that bothers you. But you have to do it with the important things so they don't build up. Built up feelings take up space like a pressure cooker and will break free one way or another, and usually not how you want them too. Like you said, it's an ongoing process to take care of your emotional and mental health.

  • Hi Kassandra, I'm a new subscriber to your channel, and this is a very helpful reminder that anxiety is the symptom not the cause, thank you! 🙏

  • Also, something that has helped me is the word “NO”. When I feel unwanted, anxious or fearful thoughts creeping up, or any of those “downward-spiral” thoughts or feelings, I internally say a very firm “NO” – “no, you will not lead me there”, “no, I am not thinking those thoughts”, “no, I’m not wasting my time thinking the same thoughts over and over”. Kind of like switching the perspective from an approaching lion to your dog. From a lion you’d run away and be fearful, because it’s stronger and faster than you, and you’d almost see as inevitable that it would catch you and eat you. But if your own dog were to come up to you aggressively, you’d control it and educate it, not run away or let it bite you. And like with most things – the more you do it, the better at it you become. In the beginning my mind was like “pff… right” but with more practice you begin to feel more like the tamer and less like the victim.

  • Thank you so much for this video Kassandra, I can identify with a lot of the points you made and struggles you shared. And your tips are really really good!

  • Love that you’re sharing what’s been helpful for you. I’ve noticed for myself my fear of anxiety was worse than the anxiety itself! Once I embraced it I was able to face it head on ❤️

  • OMG, I just published a blog arguing that anxiety, but also insomnia, are symptoms, but not the problem itself. I see so many thoughts we have in common on the topic of mental health 🙂 (and this is the first time I share my blogs in a relatively public place, but hope it can help.)

  • Thanks so much for this video, Kassandra! I found it very relatable. Having a routine is what helps me too, I always feel so much more in control of my emotions and feelings. But a problem I find I'm having now is that I get stressed out anytime something doesn't go according to plan or according to my routine… it's causing a huge setback on my mental health as I keep getting triggered, especially this month, with different things in life happening that are essentially "messing up" my routine and schedule. Any advice on how to get past this kind of hurdle? I'm trying so hard to keep a positive mindset and just simply acknowledge these setbacks as they happen but I find that I'm starting to feel defeated and like I"ll never actually get past these triggers.

  • Thank you, this has been so helpful. The part that really was a lightbulb moment was the narrative. I never deal with difficult situations/ people very well as I avoid conflict. I then go on to ruminate endlessly! Thank you so much, I have already put this into practice and faced up to the real feelings behind a recent encounter. Probably need therapy to advise on how to deal with difficult people. Thank you so much 😊

  • Super helpful. Thank you so, so much. It was a great video for me – the reminders to be compassionate and honest with myself were important. It was also cool because I feel like I can encourage others who are going through hard times to identify their feelings and embrace them, too, because everybody needs a little more love & understanding.

  • We live in a culture that doesn't support feeling what we actually feel. And, there's immense toxic positivity and spiritual bypassing. You are incredibly wise and I love you for sharing this. Thank you

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