Anxiety, is a very sensitive subject with many. It has a wide spectrum of its debilitating effects on those lives it touches. It has been a hot topic item with those around me lately and so I wanted to shed my own light on it.
In my own personal experience anxiety stems from my own fears and insecurities. For instance, when my boyfriend and I had our first summer together he had a week where he was gone to be a camp counselor. Despite knowing how much he loved me this week apart caused me a large amount of anxiety. Add to the fact he would be traveling with one of his camp counselor friends who was a female – enter self-doubt! I had anxiety about the trip because I lacked confidence in the fact I was loved. I had anxiety about the trip because of my own insecurities from my past relationships. My boyfriend was not the cause of my anxiety; my past and my own self-doubt were.
When I can realize my anxiety, and recognize it is occurring I choose to take a good hard look at myself. I ask myself why am I anxious? What is causing this? In doing so I might realize that it is because I am having to present in front of a huge group of people. This makes me uncomfortable and is causing me to be anxious. It may be the fact that I haven’t said what I truly have felt in my relationship with a friend or my boyfriend. Holding in emotions can be a huge anxiety trigger for many because we keep our emotions in so we are not judged.
Anxiety also comes from our environment and from those people we surround ourselves with and the people we follow on social media. I believe to a certain degree that everyone is empathic and can pick up on other people’s energy that surrounds them. I know that I am empathic and am capable of being drawn in by the energies of those around me. Have you ever been in a good mood and then encounter someone who is very stressed out? Do you sometimes start to then feel stressed out and you don’t know what’s causing it? It is huge to recognize what is your own and what is not, I have had to ask myself some days is my anxiety my own or someone else’s?
I also make it a point to follow positive influences on social media or individual’s I feel bring value to my day to day. As feelings of self-doubt cause anxiety for me I do my best to surround myself with individuals who are “real” in their posts. What do I mean by “real”, I mean an individual who will post the good with the bad and can share even when they aren’t “perfectly posed” because let’s be honest real life isn’t like that. Even in my own group of those I interact with daily I have those who I can reach out to when I am having anxiety. They will then ask me the question of is it yours? If it isn’t let it go, if it is why are you having anxiety?
Being active in any way can curb anxiety whether you choose weightlifting, horseback riding, running, yoga, walking or any other form of activity. There have been many studies conducted that physical activity helps with anxiety and depression. I used to weight lift and currently my go to is Yoga, when the weather is nice in Maine running might be on my list. My go to physical activity, especially when anxious, is not always the same. It depends on what my body is craving, sometimes it’s a run or walk no matter the weather because I just need a change of scenery. I will state though; my anxiety has never been helped by digging through social media or on my phone.
If I am unable to be physically active when I am having anxiety another practice I have put into place is being more thankful. I will take a piece of paper, or in my planner, and write down what I am grateful for in that moment. For this year I actually purchased a Five-Minute Journal that I write in every morning and every night. If I have anxiety at any point in the day I remind myself of what I was thankful for that morning.
It is also okay to just take a day and sit with yourself and utilize these tools. There are days where anxiety just breaks you down and gets overwhelming. I had one such day when this occurred and it made me realize I needed help, I needed third party to talk to because talking to my family and boyfriend just wasn’t cutting it. Sometimes that is what it takes and its ok to admit to needing to speak to someone. It took me a while to recognize this, and that it was okay to see someone. I bought into the fear that I would be judged for seeing a therapist and that those around me would be heavily concerned if I began seeing one.
Anxiety is real, it can be debilitating and frustrating. My post again, is here to hopefully speak to you the reader in recognizing you are not alone. If you follow my social media I try to be very honest and “real”. There are many out there who also suffer silently with their anxiety and don’t have a fix but I hope that my post may help them in no longer being silent.