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This Is The Real Life People With Anxiety Experience Every Day

This Is The Real Life People With Anxiety Experience Every Day

“You can’t judge a book by its cover” is a popular saying because it is true. In the same way, you can’t know what is going on in someone’s mind by looking at them, or even talking to them each day. Anxiety is the most commonly diagnosed disorder right now, and it is a widespread problem around the world. There are many people walking around, who look like they have normal lives, when they are falling apart on the inside.

If you know someone with anxiety, the number one thing they want you to know is that you can’t fix the problem for them, but that’s ok. It’s enough just to listen to their issues and try to understand what life is like for them. Friendship isn’t about trying to fix the other person; it’s about being there for one another in the good and the bad times. Here are some points that will help you to understand what life is like for people with anxiety:

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1. Anxiety Is Relentless

Anxiety does not care about what else is going on in your life right now. It doesn’t care that there has been a death in the family. It doesn’t care that you’ve got too much work to do and don’t have time for it right now. It couldn’t care less that you just want to be happy and live a normal life. Anxiety. Does. Not. Care. It is a committed partner, staying with you til the end.

2. People With Anxiety Can’t Just “Go To The Store”

Doing normal things like going to the grocery store or getting a hair cut do not come easily to people with anxiety. Normally, you would go to the store, pick up what you need and leave without even thinking about it. Normally you would walk into a hair salon, pick out a cut, talk to the stylist, pay at the counter, take a selfie and leave. For people who suffer from anxiety, these everyday activities are not so easy.

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It is “normal” for someone with anxiety to suddenly be overcome with self-consciousness while in a store, and spend the entire time worrying that people are looking at them or thinking about them. Or they may not be able to enjoy a shopping experience because they are filled with worry about other things.

And something as simple as a hair appointment can fill an anxiety-ridden mind with dread. The thought of having to conversate with the stylist, choosing the right cut, how much to tip, how to tell the stylist exactly what you want, and what if you have to talk to people while you wait for your appointment! These are just 2 examples of how the “normal” activities in life can be harder for people with anxiety.

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3. Anxiety Shows

There are many anxiety symptoms that appear on the inside, but unfortunately, this disorder makes itself known in other ways as well. People with anxiety can have heart palpitations, blushing, sweat, trouble breathing, restless legs, shaking, nausea and vomiting, and many more. The worst part of these symptoms is that other people seeing them only makes your anxiety worse! It’s like a vicious cycle, and even the thought of having someone witness an anxiety attack is enough to make you want to lock the door and stay inside.

4. Stressful Situations Are Even Worse for People With Anxiety

When you suffer from panic attacks when life is going relatively well, stressful situations become a nightmare. Whether it’s financial worries, stress on the job, relationship issues or a bad news from the doctor, anxiety makes any stressful situation much worse. Now, instead of dealing with the stress in a healthy way, you have anxiety piled on top of the stress to deal with.

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5. “Be Yourself.” Yeah, Right.

People with anxiety have just as much personality as the next person, but anxiety can override a great sense of humor, a kind heart and a zest for life. “Just be yourself” is great advice for anyone to follow, but for someone who has anxiety, it can be an impossible task. Anxiety works hard to stop you from being yourself. In social situations, when all you want to do is relax and let your personality shine, anxiety shows up and instead of being yourself, you are overcome with baseless fears.

6. Anxiety Clouds Your Thinking

When you suffer from anxiety, you just can’t think clearly about life. Your mind is constantly churning and it never stops. If you need to make a decision, even smallest ones can take a long time to make. Thinking clearly about anything, whether important or not, is just not possible.

7. Sleep Eludes You

Sleep is so necessary for body, mind and soul, and sleep would probably help people with anxiety a lot. Unfortunately, without medication, sleep is something that seems to stay away from anxiety sufferers. There are too many things to think about, troubling anxiety symptoms popping up at inopportune times, and sometimes you just feel too miserable to fall asleep. Thankfully, there are medications that can help, because sleep is insanely important.

8. You Just Want to Feel Normal

Even though the physical symptoms of anxiety, not being able to turn your mind off and the stress are awful things to deal with, the worst part about having anxiety is seeing other people enjoying life and wishing you could just be “normal.” Sadly, many people with anxiety don’t even remember what “normal” feels like, because they have had an anxiety disorder for many years.

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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