THREE WAYS TO OVERCOME ANXIETY
“BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF—YOU’RE DOING THE BEST YOU CAN.”
Imagine waking up early and feeling elated to start your day.
You’re following your morning rituals—meditating, praying, consuming a healthy breakfast,—then heading to work with just enough time to settle in. Unfortunately for you, there’s a sick passenger on the train (my New Yorkers KNOW what’s up!) and you’re stuck in a tunnel for well over twenty minutes.
Now you’re running late and your entire day has been ruined.
Under “normal” circumstances, anyone might be frustrated at this. However, if you are someone living with extreme anxiety, it’s quite a different encounter. Your stomach develops a second heartbeat, your pore betrays you with cold sweats, and your vision might gets blurry.
You either pretend you’re okay because you’re too embarrassed, or ask the nearest passenger to give up their seat for you.
This is a snippet of what anxiety feels like to someone who likes being in control of their life — me.
Opening up about my anxiety (which sometimes led to depression) was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to be honest about — first with myself, then with my loved ones.
I delayed my transparency for so long because expressing my mental health felt like giving into a generational bandwagon of self-care routines on Instagram feeds. I lacked familiarity with the narrative and shied away from the claims of something I wasn’t education on.
With so much clarity and self-discovery, I can confidently attest that a few techniques I have implemented in my life has helped a ton!
With that being said, below are three ways to overcome anxiety.
ITS OKAY TO SEEK help
While the status quo is designed to frown upon us, mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of!
I want to stress that anxiety or depression is not always paired with invasive thoughts. Mental health looks different on everyone, and can either be constant or ebb and flow. If you’re already entertaining the idea of counseling, even you’re not experiencing these thoughts, feel free to look for a therapist that meets your needs.
The hardest part is finding the right match, but once you get past that stage, I promise it gets better.
Remember that you are in control, and sometimes just need a professional to help guide you.
FIND YOUR SELF-CARE LANGUAGE
I’ve noted that we are currently in a self-care culture, but by no means is this meant in a condescending way.
Like our Love Language, I find that there are different ways people want to care of themselves. As mentioned on my 5 Self-Care Practices post, it’s important to live, as much as it is achieving goals. Self-care doesn’t always equate running a bath water and lathering a face mask.
It’s about self-awareness, de-cluttering, exploring and practicing gratitude.
Whatever this looks like to you, it is valid.
Do not give so much of yourself that you forget to replenish and refuel for YOU.
PROTECT YOUR ENERGY
People will suck you dry if you allow them to.
If there’s one thing I learned from therapy, it’s to stop people pleasing at the expense of my happiness and unapologetically put me first and foremost. It’s okay to say NO, to be unavailable, to not answer immediately — they will find someone else (hopefully).
There is 100% nothing wrong with taking charge of your life, energy and time.
I‘d like to reiterate that anxiety does not have a poster child.
It can latch on to anyone, including introverted-extroverts like me, who often need vast amounts of space to think and refuel. Normal anxiety is not out of the ordinary in stressful situations, but once that turns into a disorder, triggered by anything, it’s important to nip it in the bud.
While the title of this post suggests ways to overcome anxiety, it isn’t meant to lay out all of the answers to curing it but rather how I live with it.
It’s a direction on where to start when you’re losing control and will literally do anything to feel like you again.
Remember that you are not your anxiety, it is only part of something that happens to you.
Be gentle with yourself, adjust your reactions to actions, practice mindfulness, seek professional help if need be, and lastly, do it when you are ready.
You got this.