Mental Health Blog

A Personal Handbook for Soothing Anxiety and Working on Your Mental Health

Change is the only constant. In embracing this notion, we understand that permanence eludes us, urging us to ready ourselves for moments beyond our control. Friedrich Nietzsche wrote about chaos, “You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” Chaos isn’t always negative; it can serve as a catalyst for quick thinking, aiding us when stranded alone in an unfamiliar city or facing a difficult exam without the burden of tiredness.

However, just as a bit of stress can sharpen our performance at a public speaking event, there exists a flip side to stress — anxiety. The stress of an impending exam dissipates once it’s over, yet its residue, anxiety, lingers. We’re plagued by ruminative thoughts: Did we answer the questions correctly? Will we pass the course? Did we make mistakes? For me, it’s about whether I unplugged the hair straightener before leaving. Thankfully, body and mind awareness has helped with this thoughts.

Anxiety grows with each new stressor. It starts with the hair straightener, then creeps to wondering if the stove is off, then if I’ve locked the door, until I find myself rushing back when I’m close to home or enduring a hard time. It’s in these moments we ponder: How can we look for better mental health and work on our anxiety?

About Panic Attacks

Anxiety has been a lifelong companion, but a few years ago it reached new levels when I started having panic attacks. If you’re new in this topic, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (n.d.), panic attacks are characterized by an abrupt surge of fear or discomfort, even in the absence of clear danger. They manifest with physical symptoms like a racing heart, sweating, trembling, and difficulty breathing. I experienced them all, consumed by an obsession to avoid them, only to find they multiplied. Eventually, radical change became the only way to leave the path of fear and self-destruction.

The Beginning of Everything

Then, I embarked on a transformative journey of self-discovery and healing. I committed to a really strong therapy twice a week, trying to build a safe space to express my emotions, even though sometimes they scared me for the depths they sometimes reached. I diligently pursued mindfulness through meditation, daily walks, exposure to sunlight when possible, and careful monitoring of my hydration and nutrition — it was not an easy journey, but one far preferable to the constant fear and exhaustion wrought by anxiety.

Life is unpredictable, and chaos will inevitably find its way into our lives. But armed with new and healthy coping mechanisms, I’ve learned to navigate the storms without reaching too deep. So, if you’re wrestling with anxiety and looking for brighter days, remember this: You’re not alone, and there’s hope.

Remember, the path to healing is ongoing.

Some Useful Tips for Stress Management

Here are guiding principles that helped me through moments of a lot of anxiety and panic attacks:

  1. Seek Professional Guidance: Therapists offer invaluable support and equip you with coping mechanisms in a safe space.
  2. Embrace Mindfulness: Meditation and deep breathing anchor you in the present, loosening anxiety’s grip. Visualize your mind as a river, observing passing thoughts without getting entangled in them.
  3. Engage in Physical Activity: Movement is a potent antidote to anxiety, channeling focus and flooding your body with endorphins. Whether it’s a stroll in nature, a dance session, or yoga, find joy in movement.
  4. Cultivate Meaningful Connections: Reconnect with loved ones or engage in community activities. Remember, you’re part of a community where compassion and support are strong.
  5. Practice Gratitude: Shift your perspective by acknowledging the positives amidst challenges. Start a gratitude journal to nurture a mindset of appreciation. Just the thought of three things to give thanks to will stop the rise of negative thoughts.
  6. Challenge Negative Thoughts: when they are inevitable, question your anxious thoughts and reframe them with constructive alternatives. Questioning their validity will give you options.
  7. Prioritize Sleep: Establish a consistent sleep routine and create a calming bedtime ritual to support mental and emotional well-being.
  8. Extend Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and forgiveness, celebrating victories and accepting setbacks as part of the journey.

Remember, you are deserving of happiness and peace. Take a deep breath, step into the sunlight, and embark on your journey — the world awaits the better version of you.

Note: The Free Your Mind Mental Health Society is an independent youth-led organization. The contents of this blog are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In the event of a medical emergency, please call your doctor or 911 or other local emergency numbers immediately.


National Institute of Mental Health (n.d.). Panic disorder: When fear overwhelms. Retrieved from