In today’s rushed age of technology, media and distraction, many people go through anxious experiences. Not to say that everyone has clinically-diagnosed anxiety, but anxiety is much more present in our society, and almost everyone has felt some level of stress or anxiety.
Due to the stigma surrounding mental health, people often overlook their anxious states and fail to properly deal with them.But mental health is so important, to acknowledge and take care of issues that come up.
There are many things that you may not realise stem from anxiety. Knowing that you are not alone in your experiences is a good step in the right direction, towards overcoming your anxiety or stress.
Here a few overlooked instances:
Being afraid to speak up
Needing to achieve high to be seen as intelligent
Believing everyone is silently judging you
Criticising your own actions
Thinking people are only pretending to like you
Procrastinating or avoiding social situations
Wanting to be in control
I, for one, experience all of these quite regularly, but didn’t know they stemmed from anxiety until recently. Knowing this means that now, when I feel these way and start to use these behaviours, I can acknowledge there is a bigger issue at play. My anxiety.
Dealing with this is the key to feeling better about myself, feeling more confident and remaking stress-free. I have a few things I do when feeling particularly anxious, that help me to calm down. Please keep in mind I’m not a psychologist of any kind, these are simply things that work for me 🙂
- Get Outside – The fresh air and sun does wonders to my mental health, putting my life and problems into perspective. I feel rejuvenated after a walk or cycle outside, and can finally clear my head.
- Journal – Writing down my feelings, as silly as it may sound, helps me immensely. I can let go of the thoughts that circle inside my head, and realise that they truly have no power over me.
- Do Something Fun – When feeling very stressed, I like to calm down by making a cup of tea, watching a good movie (one that requires minimal thinking) or reading a good book. For me, watching old movies from my childhood make me feel at peace, which is helpful during a stressful time.
- Push Yourself – When overthinking particular things, such as going social events, I have found that I have push myself past my fears and actually seize the opportunity. My thoughts tend to spiral very negatively and try convince me to stay at home, where I am safe and comfortable. However, forcing myself to go through with plans, even when it scares me half to death has proven to be the best remedy. After pushing myself, I always find that I have the best time, and all the thoughts and scenarios I’d made up were just that – made-up. Essentially, I am proving, each time, that I am bigger than my thoughts. This is the only way to overcome them.
- Talk About it – Now this may not sound appealing, but talking to someone who understands, such as a close friend or therapist, works absolute wonders. Being able to openly express yourself makes you feel validated and hear, and helps yourself to recognise what you are truly feeling. Friends are also able to lend a shoulder to cry on, or a much needed hug. Opening up is hard, but its worth it.
So to everyone who deals with anxiety, know that you’re not alone. On your bad days, remember that they too shall pass. Take deep breathes and think of all the good that is still coming your way. And if you ever need someone to chat to, I’ll be here.