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What It’s Really Like To Live With Anxiety

What It’s Really Like To Live With Anxiety

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    People With Anxiety are Not Angry

    Anxiety has a way of making us react in a way that might seem like aggression or anger. Actually, anxiety gives us bursts of energy to deal with the stress of a situation. It can make our voice louder as we try to communicate something, or we may speak more quickly. We may use the same tone as someone who is angry, but it’s not intentional. If I’m feeling anxious about a situation, I may get short with someone even though they are not at all the source of my anxiety.

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    They are Compassionate to Other People

    Anxious people like us are very compassionate, deeply considering other people’s feelings. We have a heightened sense of connection with people that are going through difficult times. We understand what it is to have sensitivities. This allows us to relate well to anyone dealing with a crisis or tragedy in their life. As I have overcome so much due to my own anxiety, I can relate to many difficult situations that other people experience. I’m also happy to listen and give advice on how I dealt with a similar problem.

    Fear Takes Control of Their Actions

    We may leave a party quickly- or maybe even leave the country- as sometimes anxiety comes on so strongly, we need to separate ourselves from those we care about. This isn’t to punish anyone in our lives; it’s what we need for ourselves at the time. I travel a lot and sometimes my anxiety becomes overwhelming. I have gotten on a lot of planes because I was afraid of my surroundings, due to anxiety.

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    They are Not Selfish People

    While you may think someone you know with anxiety is a selfish person, that simply isn’t true. We care a lot about what people think, to the point that it can bring on anxiety. Many times we do everything we can to avoid any negativity in a situation because we simply don’t like the trouble. We often excuse ourselves from a room if we have an attack of anxiety. We often internalize our pain so we don’t bother anyone with our struggles. I wrote an article for a mother who lost her child to anxiety. He wasn’t able to get the help he needed quickly enough because he didn’t want to worry his family. In this situation, his selflessness was his own worst enemy because it prevented him from accessing the resources that could have assisted him, but in most other cases, selflessness is an admirable quality.

    Anxiety is Not a Choice- But it’s Still Manageable

    Anxiety is not something we chose to have. It is, however, manageable. There are ways that we can relax so that even in situations of heightened stress, we can remain calm and deal with it. This is the strength that it is possible for us to acquire as we learn to cope with anxiety. I used to lash out at people I traveled with because I became so anxious that there was danger in a situation that was considered safe. Through breathing techniques I was able to calm my body down, and by centering myself, I could retell the story in my mind and make it less scary. It’s a daily practice and something I do when I’m not feeling anxious also. Because of this, when something uncomfortable does happen, I am prepared.

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    They are Not Weak People

    People that have anxiety are not weak people at all; we are likely much stronger than many of the people around us realize. Our ability to cope with a sometimes debilitating illness proves we are tough. We not only deal with life’s real obstacles, we do it with a handicap of sorts. Still, we have normal jobs and have relationships while fighting through sometimes uncontrollable feelings. We are just as successful, intelligent, and lovable as those without anxiety.

    I have grown a lot from my anxiety and now that I understand how it’s affected my life, I am stronger. I have control and the experience of overcoming anxiety has allowed me to be a better version of myself.

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    Last Updated on May 15, 2019

    How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

    How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

    As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

    “Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

    When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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    Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

    We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

    But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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    So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

    It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

    1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

    Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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    2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

    This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

    You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

    3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

    This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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    4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

    How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

    So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

    If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

    And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

    Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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