• wash your hands
• take a few deep breaths
• say the alphabet backwards
• smile to yourself
• make anagrams (easy & good for distracting yourself!)
• play a game on your phone
• take a shower
• go outside for a little bit
• listen to a few of your favorite songs
• excuse yourself to a room with a cooler temperature
• count the people in the room
• solve math problems
• hug a pet (or stuffed animal!)
• sing a little something
• eat a fruit or veggie
• drink a bottle of water
• take a few minutes to yourself in a quiet place
• text your mom or dad
• turn on a fan
• shout into a pillow
You are so awesome, girl/boy. Panic attacks are scary, but once you feel them coming on there are ways to distract yourself.
Jared answering a question about healthy coping mechanisms:
[I just watched this panel and I thought it was important to type up Jared’s response to a question a fan had.]
In response to the question: “Have you guys ever had, like, some kind of unhealthy coping mechanisms and how did you get out of it?”
Jared: “That’s a huge, that’s a huge, huge, huge, wildly important question. And very, very, very, very near and dear to me and my heart and my family and my soul. Unhealthy coping mechanisms are…. very unhealthy.”
Jensen: “We established that.”
Jared: “Yeah. I consulted and still consult a professional—a doctor— about how to cope more properly with pain and sadness and depression and with anxiety. It gets really scary sometimes. The world’s a scary— it can be a scary place. Even from where I stand, you know? And I’m a six foot four white dude who has [a beard], you know? Like, I get— and I get pretty scared sometimes, and I get pretty worried. And sometimes my wife isn’t there to tell me it’s alright, sometimes [my boys] aren’t there to tell me it’s alright, sometimes my friends aren’t there to tell me it’s alright, and I, I choose to listen to the bad instead of the good. So I went to a professional and am proud of it. I’m certainly not qualified to give proper advice, but to say— I hope this doesn’t sound like a cop-out—but to say, if I want to learn how to be a kickboxer, I would go to a kickboxing professional. If I want to learn how to be a nutritionist, I would go to a nutritionist. It I want to know how to be a surgeon, I would go to medical school. I wanted to learn how to take care of my mental health, so I went to a mental health professional. And I’m proud of it. And I truly wish that for everybody. I think there’s a weird stigma right now where if you go like, ‘hey,’ if you say, ‘I’ve got cancer, so I went to a doctor.’ People are like, ‘Well, yeah!’ But if you say like, ‘Hey, man, I’ve got some wild anxiety.’ They’re like, ‘Oh! Well, just relax.’ You know? Which doesn’t make sense. I think we’re moving in the right direction as a society. But there was something going on in my head that I wasn’t controlling, that is not dead today, you know? So I go to— I go to a doctor, you know? Because something’s going on and I just want to get answers. There’s not— there’s no shame. There’s no like, ‘Oh, you know I talked to somebody about I’m feelings sad.’ ‘What?! Why are you sad, you know? You’re rich!’ or whatever, you know what I mean? F*** that. F*** that. So I say to everybody that one of my greatest blessings in life was realizing before it was too late that I wanted to figure out what was going on in my head. So that’s my answer.”
We often ask God to show up. We pray prayers of rescue. Perhaps God would ask us to be that rescue, to be His body, to move for things that matter. He is not invisible when we come alive. i might be simple, but more and more, i believe God works in love, speaks in love, is revealed in our love.
You may see tattoos, piercings, and rebellion, but their fans see acceptance, individuality, and revolution. You hear screaming and insults to your precious society, their fans hear hope and criticism of your distorted society. This is not a genre of hatred and insults, this is a genre of self-love and acceptance. This is punk music.
I don’t know your story or your dreams or the things that steal your sleep, but I know they matter. I hope your story is rich with characters, rich with friends and conversation. I hope you know some people who will carry you, and I hope you have the honor of carrying them. I hope that there is beauty in your memories, and I hope it doesn’t haunt you. And if it does, then I hope there is someone who will talk you through the night and remind you of the promise of the sunrise, that beauty keeps coming, that there are futures worth waiting for and fighting for, and that you were made to dream.