There are different kinds of anxiety, some less problematic while others can be disruptive and crippling to everyday life. The NDIS mentoring community are well aware that no matter how simple or serious these triggers are, they can be difficult to manage.
If you are an NDIS participant dealing with anxiety, know that you are not alone and help is always within reach. Working with a mentor can make it easier for you to handle your emotions and actions.
Here are 5 ways that a mentor can help you manage your anxiety.
1. Identify Your Anxiety Triggers
With the help of a mentor, you can identify certain events or people’s actions that can trigger your anxiety. These can be:
- Any kind of trauma
- Mental illnesses such as Depression, PTSD or Bipolar Disorder
- Specific phobias
- Other everyday events that can be stressful
- Other stressful environments such as a toxic workplace
You and your mentor can work together to avoid these situations as much as possible or apply coping techniques such as:
- Take a quick break from the situation – walk around for a while, take 5 minutes to meditate or journal the emotions and thoughts you are experiencing.
- Create a routine or schedule so you don’t feel nervous about running out of time for activities.
- Do your best to accept that you sometimes cannot change a person’s behaviour (it’s hard to do, but with practice, it gets easier)
Sometimes, it can be extremely difficult to manage your triggers so your mentor will find more ways to support you on your journey to healing.
2. Seek One on One Mentorship
Are group mentorships not working for you? It happens and what you’re feeling is valid. You can talk to your mentor about this and ask them for a 1-on-1 mentorship session instead. Your mentor will often use various methods and techniques that range from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to general counselling. Each person’s journey is unique as will the recommended methods or techniques.
3. Write Your Thoughts Down
Journaling helps externalise our thoughts and manage our priorities. You can either buy a notebook dedicated to expressing your anxieties and track your day-to-day moods and thought patterns or use a computer program to jot down everything you’re feeling.
Some people living with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and other mental health conditions use a journal method called bullet journaling (sometimes called BuJo). This is a favourable option for you if you do not enjoy writing in long-form. These are just some of the benefits:
- Helps you stay organised – You can create a colour-coded chart the track your general mood daily.
- You get stuff done – A bullet journal can help you work on tasks for the day from attending a meeting to cleaning your bookshelf.
- Boosts your creativity – One reason why people love doing bullet journals and enjoy tracking their activities and moods is that they can create their own design on a blank notebook. This helps you channel your anxiety through more creative means
If you regularly meet with a mentor, you can show them your journal to gauge how you are improving.
4. Challenge Negative Thoughts
The mind can sometimes be your worst enemy and can make you imagine situations that may almost never happen. You might also run mental repeats of the day and your mind might highlight those moments where you may have had your feelings hurt or even events that have caused you stress. It’s a totally normal thing. This is a common symptom and outcome of anxiety and one way to manage your mind is to challenge these negative thoughts.
You can talk to your mentor about these unnecessary thoughts. Together, you will recognise these mental disruptors and see what’s black, white and everything else in between. When you acknowledge these distortions, you can evaluate, see if you are just assuming the worst in possible scenarios and assess possible, more realistic outcomes.
5. Focus on What You Can Change
There are many aspects of life that we simply cannot change such as a friend’s mannerisms or stressful environments outside of our control. Instead of concentrating only on these realities, focus on what you can change. These can range from your behaviour towards events to dietary habits that you can leave in the past.
Managing your anxiety is not a solo act and seeking an NDIS mentoring service does help you cope and make you feel comfortable and confident with yourself as you go about your everyday life. Always remember that it may be hard to deal with but it does get easier. Give it time and work with someone who will support you at all stages of your journey.
At OnTrack Tasmania, we collaborate with different mentors who specialise in a variety of conditions – including anxiety in NDIS participants. We’ll match you with the right support worker who you can trust and confide with. Take a look at our NDIS mentoring services in Hobart and join our community of participants ready to help you achieve the best in life.