How I handle my anxiety | Turner Syndrome Foundation

How I handle my anxiety

By: Josey Petz, TSF Volunteer

I am sure not many of you know this, but women with Turners Syndrome can easily develop anxiety. I definitely have had anxiety for as long as I can remember. I am constantly worried about what other people think of me or if I am being too weird. The second they quit responding (because they’re busy) or their body language changes I immediately think it is because they don’t like me or are mad at me. I automatically assume people don’t like me right off the bat. I am a social person so I like being around people, but my anxiousness makes me awkward and then I completely shut down and don’t talk to anyone.

After years of dealing with it, I finally went to get help. I was a junior in college when I needed to get an internship for the summer and I was just beginning my search for one that was basically nonexistent or already filled when my anxiety got so bad it was almost crippling. I was lashing out at everyone because I was stressed by stress only I was putting on myself. No one wanted to be around me and I was crying all the time. Talking about it with my counselor helped me process why I was having anxiety, which helped. Knowing why can help prepare you for triggers.

A big trigger I knew was coming was when I was about to graduate college and had to decide what I was going to do next and begin my “big girl” job search. I tried my best to handle my anxiety about the unknown and impending adulthood I was about to face, but like most I had good days and bad days. This is how I handled it:

  • Take time to be alone and get your mind off whatever is giving you anxiety. When I am getting super anxious over something I try to go for a run or watch something funny on Netflix. I just like to do something that makes me happy and that will keep my mind from racing and overthinking the situation.
  • I talk/write about it. I have a journal that I would rant in when I was freaking out about something. It not only helped me process why I was feeling the way I was, but it also made me feel better to get whatever was bothering me off my shoulders. Writing helped me get to know myself, which helped even more with learning triggers. Sometimes I would call someone I trust and vent to them. It always feels good to get whatever is bothering you off your shoulders.
  • I meditate. There is an app called “Calm”. It has meditation sequences that help bring you back into the moment and relax. Meditating helps get me out of the negative head space, too. I like to use a little bit of lavender essential oils while I meditate because the smell also helps your mind calm.
  • I do the four method of breathing. My counselor taught me this method of breathing that helps your mind calm and stop racing. It’s where you take a deep breath in for 4 seconds, then out for four seconds and repeat that sequence four times. I cannot tell you how many times a day I do this when I feel myself getting worked up.
  • I listen to my favorite song. I don’t know about you, but when my jam comes on I instantly get into a better mood. It relaxes me and makes me happy, which helps calm my mind down. Singing along to my favorite band changes my entire outlook on the day.

I hope these tips can help ease your anxiety. Find what works for you and go for it. I know when you’re in the heat of the moment it can be hard to stop panicking and remember to begin doing calming exercises. Knowing your triggers and signs that you’re going to freak out helps because you can preemptively try to stop your anxiety before it gets too bad. So, pay attention the next time you have an anxiety attack and reflect on what caused it and how to avoid it the next time.

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