Anyone who has dealt with anxiety of any kind — do you have any recommendations on books or videos or techniques that you found helpful in overcoming your anxiety?

Both in my life and my friends’ lives the topic of anxiety comes up a lot, and I know the fediverse has a lot of people in various stages of life, some of whom surely have successfully worked through their anxiety. I think it would be pretty cool if we could share that wisdom.

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@dualhammers severe anxiety disorder for 4 years over here. Been unable to work for almost 2 years now and am on temporary disability pay. Been going through various meds and therapies and what not, but I think what helped me most was breathing practices. Mainly the focus on breathing through the nose. Still fighting though.

But apart from that, just want to say. Anxiety is a long term battle.

@dualhammers @esi if you suffer from mind spirals of negativity, enter them willingly and face them woth courage. Practice exiting the thought loops by will. The better you get at it the more control you will exercise over your mind pulling you into an imagined reality.
Your body spontaneously makes shit up for you to worry about because perhaps, it's addicted to oxytocin and the fight or flight response is giving it a tangible feeling of "doing something" about the pain of existence.

I don't feel I've overcome mine yet but I feel I've learnt some good tools against it, mostly mindfulness and meditation practice has worked for me, the core of which is what @nomand said, practising stopping negative thought patterns, its hard but you get better at it. They will always still arise,but the less you can input into them and let them go the less power in general they will have over your thinking. Easier said than done but I've personally found it alot of help.


@dualhammers The birth of my amazing daughter kicked it into overdrive. I think I might have always been anxious, but functionally anxious. The huge change of my life (and probably huge change of hormones and chemicals in my body) with the birth of my daughter turned everything up to 11.

The weirdest thing is though, which has made therapies difficult. Is that I don't have anxious thoughts. I don't worry about things. My body is anxious. and my feelings are anxious. Nobody knows why.


@esi That's interesting. Perhaps the drive to protect someone as fully as you protect yourself is part of what's kicked it off. I Can see that being the case.

It's a tricky thing, to try and find narrative explanation for something that happens in the brain that comes before language. I believe you'll find your way, and it's OK to accept the anxiety as part of your life right now. :)


@dualhammers in good news, i've ruled out it being connected to a brain tumor and a following surgery back in 2007. Had a neurologist check my brain and literally saying that I have a beautiful brain. (physically speaking). :P


@dualhammers First, just a friendly reminder to CW 🍊

I've lived with anxiety for several decades, tho somewhat less the past five years or so.

For me it's been important not to think I'll some day overcome my anxiety, but rather to find a way to integrate it with the rest of me. To that end, and just like @esi mentioned, breathing techniques have been helpful. But perhaps more so, meditation has been important. Re the latter, I really like the works of (Charlotte) Joko Beck.


@hider @dualhammers Ah, thanks for the CW reminder!

Regarding stop thinking i'll some day overcome my anxiety. I feel like I just hit that level now after being in full battle mode the last few years. Trying to live with it now and slowly making my life better in iterative fashion. :)


@esi @dualhammers Well, full battle mode is a way forward too, I'd say. Everything but doing nothing is helpful - one way or another. I remember when I lived in a basement flat, like ten years ago or so. There were so many nights I just screamed & cried for hours. And I needed that, it needed to be done in order for other coping strategies to take place.

Happy to hear things are getting better for you 🍎 💚


@hider @dualhammers screaming and crying for hours sounds very familiar. haha. I've been in that place.


@hider @esi Sounds like you two are ahead of me. I was taught it was not OK to be that open with my emotions, so I'ved suppressed via self-destructive habits 🥳

First step was feeling my feelings


@dualhammers @esi Yeah, I was taught that, too. But that just made me feel even more, and become even more sensitive. Too much emotionality is actually what led me to my self-destructive behaviors. Starting to feel one's (true) feelings is a good first step, indeed, and a big one at that.

@hider @esi I'm not talking about triggers, I'm talking about the concept of having anxiety itself. In what way did that post need a CW?

If I hid any talk of anxiety as a thing people experience behind a CW I can see how someone might conclude that I'm talking ABOUT triggers and choose to ignore the post.

OR the CW Itself could be a trigger, because they imagine the worst could hide behind the label. There are some studies coming out suggesting this may be the case

@dualhammers @esi Yeah, I see your point. Actually, I struggle quite a bit with how to approach CWs wrt to mental health toots, precisely bc of what you mention (among other things). But I've chosen to favour having CWs, at least for the time being, and esp since I became a mod. My impression is that most people prefer it.

Sorry if it came out as an attack on you/your toot - it really wasn't meant like that, at all. 💜

@hider @dualhammers @esi personally I don't think CW as hiding something, just giving a choice for people to not read about anything that could trigger them? you don't have to talk about triggers to make post triggering? I dunno, it often helps me to decide what I want to read or not if there's a CW. it's like a title, or, spoiler alert.

and you asked about triggers later on, so the discussion turned into discussion about triggers for anxiety.

apologies if I'm completely wrong with this.

@luka @hider @esi no, this is good discussion.

I feel like if we expand it to wanting to let people opt into topics st all, even if the content couldn't be considered triggering, then no post should go out "in the clear." Every post should just be a list of seo keywords and you guess as their relationship to the topic.

That obviously doesn't make sense to me

@luka @hider @esi I do appreciate the intent behind the idea of CW - to be sensitive to those who have suffered trauma, which we all have, but I've seen plenty of topics that trigger me not CWing'd because my trigger isn't something obvious.

When I've brought it up I've been dismissed as being too sensitive.

This has led me to having a view that CWs are handled poorly, inconsistently, across the board and people mostly use them for lazy first order concepts of triggers

@luka @hider @esi There's other ways we can help those that suffer that I think are a better use of that energy.

That being said I do appreciate the way some people use them to hide exceptionally long public posts. Walls of text on the fediverse timeline are just inconsiderate imo

@dualhammers @luka @esi I find it an important topic, too.
To me, it seems one problem (in general) concerns the vagueness of what topics are deserving of CWs or not. Gray areas can often lead to misunderstandings, or worse. Have no idea if that's solvable, tho.
In my experience, however, there are a handful of quite broad topics that have been (informally, I guess) agreed upon, that should have CWs.

Sorry to hear you've encountered that kind of dismissal. Did you report it?

@hider @dualhammers @esi I appreciate this discussion. I'm looking at it from different perspective - people who are suffering have thanked many times on public timelines to others for using cw. they claim it helps them. that's pretty much enough for me to cw liberally (i don't do it enough tho). if the ratio between those who appreciate cws and those who think I'm too sensitive for using them is infinitesimal but still existing that's enough for me to use them.

@luka @dualhammers @esi Just to be very clear: I agree with you, @luka - CWs are crucial & many people benefit from them (myself included). At the same time I acknowledge the difficulty of knowing where to draw the line, which is one thing @dualhammers highlights. I, too, am triggered by lots of topics which aren't necessarily apparent to most people.
However, my take on this matter is that the best solution atm is to have a few agreed upon, broad topics which always/most often have CWs.

@hider @luka @dualhammers I wish there was some way to do automatic content warning. Like, when you set up an account on social media you would put in some words or something to mark posts you'd like to see, but should be behind a CW.

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