Have you ever asked yourself “Who am I without Anxiety?”. Wouldn’t it be nice to live just one day without any anxiety at all? Sounds like it’s too good to be true, doesn’t it?
When I was 20 years old, I started coming to terms that I did indeed have anxiety - and quite severely too. I remember the exact moment that I had realized it - after days, months, even years of full blown panic attacks, I had finally self diagnosed myself with Anxiety.
“People with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).”
Check, check & check! This definition could not explain the inside of my head and feelings better - and I’m sure that goes for a lot of you too.
Coming to terms with your anxiety or any mental health condition takes a lot of time and patience, and I am still working on it daily. Recently, I’ve decided I was going to put my anxiety first, and in a very short amount of time - I have figured out a lot about myself.
Here are a couple of things I have worked on:
Triggers of Panic Attacks
This one has been difficult to break down and even more difficult to admit what really triggers my attacks.
Example: Arguments - the moment an argument starts, I immediately shut down and don't say a word, which then boils up inside with all of these anxious thoughts running through my head, almost like I can't stop them at all and everything just escalates so quickly. (Feels like the beginning of a panic attack, doesn't it?) - Which then results in a full blown panic attack.
Action: While in the moment, I will walk away and think about what needs to be said for the other person to understand my thoughts and feelings, I remind myself that nobody knows how I am feeling other than me and I need to communicate that. Which leads to.....
Learning to Communicate
Communicating your thoughts and feelings to others can make a huge impact on your anxiety.
Example: Working in a big company sometimes feels like you get overlooked. If I was ever unhappy with something or had anxiety going into a situation at work (example, public speaking) I would put my emotions aside and battle them out after the day was over. This was only a temporary solution as my anxiety would get worse every day going into work.
Action: If there is something that is bothering me about my daily tasks or I feel I need to speak up, I go directly to my manager to talk it out. I have come to the realization that if you don't communicate your thoughts and ideas in a work setting (or personal), nothing will change. This action has been a solution for almost all my work worries and I have zero anxiety when going into work on a daily basis. Which makes a huge difference.
Want to start living without Anxiety? Try these few simple habits:
Write down your thoughts
Ever try journaling? This is a great way to start. It may sound time consuming, but it can be totally worth it. Writing down your thoughts gets them out of your head and you don't have to think about them as often once they are written out. Seeing them on paper might also help you work through it more logically than when they are being thrown around in your head
Accept the Discomfort
When you start feeling anxious, just accept it! Nobody likes feeling uncomfortable, but if you stop getting frustrated at the sensation, then you can help control your anxiety better. The discomfort of an anxiety attack often feels so overwhelming that it leads to panic. Accept your feelings and see how it helps you keep your anxiety under control
Study your anxiety
When you feel anxious, stop and think about what is making you feel that way and why. Learning what triggers your anxiety can help you gain control of it in future scenerios, and you may even figure out how to prevent it. If you always feel anxious when you have a deadline at work, maybe ask your boss for an extension, or start the project earlier. There are ways to control your anxiety once you know its source.
If you would like to read more on habits go to: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-simple-habits-you-didnt-know-can-help-you-live-without-anxiety.html
When you get in the habit of finding solutions for your anxiety, it gets easier to feel less anxious the next time that situation happens. And with practice, you may even be able to cut anxiety out of your life completely.
So go ahead and ask yourself again,
'Who Am I Without Anxiety?'