More and more people are living with the fact that anxiety has been the driving force behind everything they do – their interactions at work, their relationships with loved ones and making tough decisions. The feeling of not being able to breathe and constantly overthinking is an everlasting and consuming sensation that most of us seem to not be able to get away from, myself included. Personally, in the last six months or so, my anxiety has been at an all time worst. I find myself lying awake at night rethinking every action and decision, and I often wake up with panic attacks. Thinking “worst case scenario” has become my new bad habit, but there is a way to cope, and I am trying to cope.
The sad truth is that anxiety can affect every aspect of one’s life. Professionals always discuss that becoming self aware of your anxiety and understanding these feelings and emotions are not entirely your fault is the first step in making progress. I am someone who is very aware of my anxiety and almost every possible mental or physical symptom of it. I am so self aware sometimes it seems to hurt more and I get more anxious. So I had to figure out coping mechanisms that best fit me. Whenever I feel a panic attack coming or I know my anxiety is getting the better of me, I stop what I am doing and talk out loud to myself. This makes me realize that some of my extreme thoughts are actually irrational, and this is my mind playing tricks on me. Sometimes I even write down what I am feeling so if this same anxiety comes back I can go back and see how I adjusted my thought process. I also take a break from work, friends or family and have some me time. This may include a nap or simply eating. These little things help ease my anxiety, but sadly, they do not entirely rid me of my anxiety.
I go to therapy. Personally, I ease my worries by talking out loud and ranting. To be frank, this is probably quite annoying to someone who is listening to me because I tend to repeat problems and repeat the same type of anxiety. I know my stressors, but oftentimes I don’t know how to handle them. Therapy helps with that, and having a professional aid me in the right direction is one of the most beneficial things in the world for me. I am not dependent on my therapist, because I know my boundaries and I know anxiety will never fade, but it is something I have to learn to cope with. She is like a teacher, and in life, all of us need teachers at all times. We discuss strategies, how something is making me feel a certain way and she makes me self aware I can handle the intense curveballs life throws at me.
Like I said before, anxiety is an ongoing internal battle with yourself, but others can certainly affect your mood and perception of situations. I advise everyone to be cautious of others’ mental health, actions and words during this time, because you simply do not know what someone is going through. But accept the battle and realize your progress is never going to be linear – you will have bad days, but most importantly, good days will follow. There are a lot of resources out there, and I try to use different strategies and resources whenever possible. Getting a handle on anxiety involves a trial and error process and simply being kinder to yourself.