Most people believe anxiety is just worrying or freaking out about something small, but in reality, it looms large and affects how you concentrate, eat, sleep, communicate, and live your life. Have you ever been anxious about being anxious? "It feels like being in fight-or-flight mode; never being able to stop over-thinking, over-analyzing, over-worrying. It lets your thoughts run your life" (Unknown). When you are not in control of your life, something else always is. And if anxiety is in charge, your true authentic self is hiding in the darkness alone only to be overcome by the monster who is controlling your life. This monster, clothed in fear and shame, doesn't even really care about you.
I realize my anxiety and all the things I stress about do not equal others in the world. There is a big difference between struggling to find food and water and being upset in a relationship. But anxiety's power in my life is suffocating. It starts with one text, an email, a phone call, or an encounter. For example, a text from a boy, "I luv u." Believe it or not that one text of him spelling it differently could affect my whole day and control my emotions. Why? I began to convince myself that he doesn't like me, or he's cheating on me, or he doesn't want to talk, or I'm not good enough. In reality, he could just be busy, scared to tell me or be bad at texting like most guys I know. This example seems so overrated but when you struggle with anxiety, the smallest things can steal your joy.
Anxiety's control in my life has led me to push good people away because it whispers false narratives turning unreal into real. Fiction is not the same thing as nonfiction. For example, it is like seeing a garter snake, but anxiety convinces you it is a rattlesnake, putting you falsely on edge when the truth is, a garter snake is something you could step over because it could never harm you.
Below are some of the ways I have dealt with my anxiety for the past couple of years.
- 1. Identify what you are worrying/ anxious about
- 2. Practice how you respond to a situation
- 3. Create meaningful relationships based on trust and truth