3 Reasons I'm Grateful for My Anxiety

My experience battling anxiety has been nothing short of difficult, but with the cards I've been dealt, a positive outlook couldn't hurt.  Woman in bed Photo by Kinga Cichewicz from Unsplash

  1. 1. Perspective

    The feelings and thoughts that fester in one’s mind are so easily disguised, and my struggles with anxiety have lead me to master this skill. It has allowed me to not be so quick to take the words and actions of others at face value, and instead to consider the possibility there's always another layer unseen. When you take a closer look, the effects of anxiety and mental illness are prevalent in all of our peers and shape a lot of decisions that initially would be really easy to judge. There’s a common thread in plenty of us — feeling not good enough or wanting so badly to be accepted. My anxiety has been instrumental in providing me with a perspective that knows it would be foolish to assume those common fears don’t come from the same kind of struggling mind. It has given me a level of empathy and compassion that has made me value other people's emotions and become quite fond of what makes a human connection.

  2. 2. Appreciation

    You can't appreciate the good moments without the bad ones.

  3. 3. Drive

    woman in black swimsuit meditating

    I've been able to start seeing my anxiety as something to manage rather than something that controls my life. I have a consistent want and drive to be better and less fearful of what my anxiety brings to my environment. Anxiety puts thoughts in my head that have a way of inviting doubt and gives constant reminders that I don’t have it all figured out and don’t know my full capabilities or value. Without it, I wouldn’t have the motivation to work toward knowing those things and training my mind to lessen the noise of those thoughts. I wake up wanting to meditate; I wake up wanting to sing; I wake up wanting to define myself outside of my anxiety. And I thank my anxiety for that.

I feel it goes without saying that if I had the chance to pick the cards I'd be dealt, suffering from anxiety would not be my first choice. However, I wouldn't want to be without the positives it has surprisingly given to me. My anxiety isn't a weakness, nor is it something that has to have a complete negative hold over my world, but rather is something to provide me with different outlooks on life and cherish all the good I do have. For that, I am grateful.