Anxiety is a very complex emotion that can impact anyone and everyone at any given time. It was something that I had not experienced before in my life and is very new to me. In this blog I want to talk about my experience of anxiety as someone that has never really experienced it before. I want to explore to sources, how it makes you feel and the methods for coping and living with it day to day.
Anxiety used to be something that I thought very few people experienced. It was even something I never thought I would really experience unless I went through something extremely traumatic. I realised that anxiety can arise from small events in your life that you wouldn't have thought would have affected you. I used to believe that I was too logical and too strong to experience anxiety in my life. I never had any previous issues with mental illness throughout my childhood so I never guessed that I would have started to as I began adulthood at the age of 18. You begin to realise, as you grow older, that mental strength doesn't mean that you do not experience emotions in life that occur due to experiences that you go through in life. Anxiety takes strength to battle and does not discriminate when it comes to people that anxiety can target. Experiencing feelings and emotions that come from anxiety shouldn't make you weak as you should expand your mental horizons and capacity in order to learn how to cope with these feelings in everyday life.
A lot of the time when I would express my feelings about anxiety and explain that I did have anxiety, I would get a lot of responses that would concentrate mainly on the sources of my anxiety and the feelings I was experiencing. As much as I believe it is important to target a problem at the source, I found it very frustrating that the source was being focussed on more than my feelings which is the predominant reason for my pain and struggle day to day. I used to say that there was no source in order to get people off my back when they tried to investigate what the source could be. I just didn't see how identifying an unchangeable source of anxiety in my life would help me at that given time. I needed support in tackling these feelings that, for a while, were here to stay. This is when I began thinking about how I could cope with these feelings and look at the different types of methods that could be used in order to help manage these emotions.
I tried everything that I could think of. From listening to music and practicing yoga, to downloading calming apps and focussing on my breathing. In the end I realised I'm the type of person that benefits from writing all the things that are in my head on a piece of paper so that I could see all my worries in front of me. This helped me to take control of my worries and by seeing them they became more manageable and less scary and hectic than they were flying around manically in my head. Another benefit of doing this was that most of the time I would realise I thought I had way more to worry about than I actually did. It helped me to realise the real extent of my mind and what I was thinking about and begin to put these worries into perspective and really helped me to cope with my anxiety.
Realising that anxiety was not something to be shy about or ashamed of really helped me through it. The more I spoke about it the more I realised there is a little anxiety in everyone and more people than you first imagined have experienced or are experiencing anxiety everyday. If you are someone experiencing anxiety, you've probably heard this before, but I really urge you to speak to anyone about it, anonymous or not. You don't always have to speak about the reasons why you are anxious, but you can just get it off your chest that you are feeling this way. Feel free to message me if you feel there is no one you can talk to. Anxiety and mental well being in general needs to be more spoken about and should become easier to discuss. Anxiety can make you feel so alone and scared however, if you are feeling this way, you have never been more part of a community. There are so many people feeling the same way as you and so many places you can go, like anxiety helplines, mental health professionals, or even just a friend, in order to get help and express how you're feeling.
Believe in who you are and what you can achieve no matter how you may be feeling right now. Make this your strength your weakness and push yourself to go further and do things you never believed you could.