How Anxiety Is Working To Make Me A Better Person

How Anxiety Is Working To Make Me A Better Person

Through my struggle with anxiety (and it still isn't an easy one), I'm striving to learn from the ways it's teaching me that it's not always a negative thing.

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We are all in this together.

In the throws of anxiety's attack, it's normal to feel like you can't be understood, and worse, like you're completely alone. This can leave anxiety sufferers feeling lost and afraid. In reality, many people struggle with anxiety and many don't, yet everyone knows this feeling. As I've learned what causes me to become anxious and begin to show symptoms of an attack, I've learned that anxiety is a struggle that requires continual awareness and intentional coping to manage. So, how could such a seemingly uncontrollable and unforgiving struggle such as anxiety ever be a good thing?

I know there are people around me fighting their own unavoidable battles on a daily basis. Looking around can be discouraging because I often feel like no one understands the effect that anxiety can have on my day-to-day life, but this helps me to remember that everyone is prone to fear, loneliness, and feeling lost. Even those who are succeeding greatly and seem to have it all together have setbacks of their own. Nobody is perfect, and that is a fact. We are all in this together, and by knowing that we all struggle, we are more prone to helping one another feel more understood.

I should be the friend that I sometimes need.

By gaining a better understanding of my anxiety, I've grown to be more empathetic of other's struggles and pain. This is leading me to better understand that when others are going through tough times, they may not need may not be what I think is best. For example, I have several close friends who, in the face of hardships, prefer to cope in different ways. In situations like this, it's easy for me to want to focus more on what I think they need than being there in the way that they actually need me to be. Knowing so well that there are different ways I prefer to cope with anxiety based on the situation, I'm working harder at being a better friend, one that people need, which means knowing when to listen, when to give them space, or when to simply be there when they ask. Whether my friends ask for help or simply prefer to be left alone, I know that the most important thing I can do is to exercise empathy and be patient and supportive of their needs, because this is all that I could ask for.

By asking for help, I might be helping someone else.

Sometimes, asking for help isn't easy to do. It can stir anxious feelings that you're burdening the person you're confiding in. In reality, asking for help can be more selfless than selfish. Asking for help and being honest lets the person you're confiding in knowing that you trust them, and should they ever need help, they are welcome to come to you. It also sets an example for the important point that asking for help is okay.

Remember, there is no shame in asking for help when you need it. You're doing the right thing in more ways than one by pursuing someone whom you trust when you need a little push in the right direction.

It's my responsibility to make kindness contagious.

Perhaps the most important thing that I believe anxiety is teaching me is that there are billions of different perspectives all around me. Anxiety is an all-encompassing struggle. It can affect your mind, sleep, health, diet, and more. I've spent a lot of days feeling angry and fogged over because of how anxiety has interfered with my health and mood. Knowing what it's like to carry the burden of anxiety with me everywhere I go has taught me a lot about the importance of loving others. I understand that even the safest and warmest places can seem scary and dooming once anxiety takes control. This has allowed me to see the world through a different lens, understanding that there could be oceans of struggle beneath the surface in the lives of everyone around me. Some may be hidden, and others may be obvious, but we can never fully know what someone is battling.

The importance of kindness and patience in all things is essential, and this includes never judging a person by how they may be acting, or how they may seem on the outside. I'm growing toward becoming better at this every day despite struggles of my own, but I know that if I keep trying, I can make a difference.

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13 Songs That Help Me Through My Panic Attacks

It's easy to become paralyzed by panic attacks, but I've found music to be the best tool to help me cope.

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Anyone who struggles with panic attacks knows just how draining and overwhelming they are. It's easy to become paralyzed by them, and once I noticed this, I made a playlist of songs that calm me down. I find that music keeps me grounded, no matter how bad the panic attack may be. Maybe the songs I have listed aren't for you. but I hope that in sharing my main songs that help me, it can spark your brain into finding songs that fit your needs during panic attacks.

In case you don't know some of the songs I have listed, I put a link to each song from YouTube. I hope you enjoy my interesting variety of music!

1. "Weightless" by Marconi Union

Go here to listen.

This song is my go-to song for panic attacks, especially if it's a bad one. For me personally, my heart rate spikes during panic attacks (I'll go from a resting heart rate of around 70bpm to anywhere between 180-200bpm). Evidence suggests this song can slow your heart rate and reduce anxiety and let me tell you... it works 100% for me and I highly recommend it.

2. "Somebody to Love" by Queen

Go here to listen.

I've just always loved this song. There's something about Freddie Mercury's voice that just calms me down and makes me feel like I'm not alone at that moment.

3. "Let it Be" by The Beatles

Go here to listen.

I grew up listening to The Beatles since my mom is from Liverpool, and "Let it Be" is a song that I always associate peace and good memories with. Also, I love the lyric, "When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary calls to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be." It reminds me that there are things about me and this world that I simply cannot change, but I can find peace by letting it be.

4. "Lost in a Sea of Pillows and Blankets" by .anxious.

Go here to listen.

Go here for the full album.

I find this song, and really the whole album, to be extremely soothing. It literally feels like the comfort of pillows and blankets but in the form of music.

5. "1-800-273-8255" by Logic ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid

Go here to listen.

I love this song for many reasons during a panic attack. One, it reminds me that there are other people that have felt or are feeling what I am currently. Two, it reminds me that I have a purpose on this earth, and I am not a waste of space. Three, I just love the awareness it brings to mental illnesses.

6. "Up and Up" cover by Lennon & Maisy (originally by Coldplay)

Go here to listen to the cover.

Go here to listen to the original.

"We're gonna get it, get it together somehow." This main lyric reminds me that I can conquer this moment, and the only direction from this moment is up. Also, Lennon and Maisy's voices are mesmerizing. The Coldplay original is amazing too, I put both for you to check out!

7. "In My Blood" by Shawn Mendes

Go here to listen.

I remember the first time I listened to this; I was actually on the brink of a panic attack. I heard the first lyric, "Help me, it feels like the walls are caving in. Sometimes I feel like giving up, but I just can't. It isn't in my blood." Every lyric in here, which was beautifully written by the way, describes how it feels having a panic attack and having anxiety in general. It reminds me that no matter what, I can make my way out of it. I can win the fight.

8. "Free Spirit" by Khalid

Go here to listen.

Khalid's new album "Free Spirit" came out on April 5, 2019, and I am actually obsessed with it. I find myself immediately playing this album when I open my Spotify. When it comes to the song "Free Spirit," the music is enchanting to me; something about it just immediately calms me down. Not to mention that Khalid's voice is absolutely beautiful. Also, I just love the concept of being a free spirit. Not being tied down by mental illnesses or fear, and having this sort of euphoric peace.

9. "Intro" by Khalid

Go here to listen.

Once again, absolutely mesmerizing. I honestly feel like I'm taken to another world with this song. Something about the music just makes my brain feel so happy, peaceful, and calm. As for the lyrics, they remind me that I need to find my worth and put me first. Sometimes, I put so much of my emotional energy into other people that I have none left for me. I need to keep some of it for me though, because I know that I have worth, but I can never see it, so I need this emotional energy to be able to put myself first and love myself.

10. "Spiegel im Spiegel" by Arvo Part, Angele Dubeau, La Pieta

Go here to listen.

Not gonna lie, I'm a sucker for classical music. There's something about this song in particular that I feel like really captures the feelings of depression and detachment that I experience during a panic attack. It's just another reminder that I'm not alone in this.

11. "Raindrop Prelude: Op. 28 No. 15" by Frederic Chopin

Go here to listen.

Sorry, another classical piece... I just really love it. I feel like it shows the feelings before, during, and after a panic attack. Once again, it's a reminder that I'm not alone.

12. "Cello Suite No.1 in G-Major, Prelude" cover by Yo-Yo Ma (originally by Bach)

Go here to listen.

Last one, I swear! There's just something about this piece that makes me feel so calm and at peace... I don't know how to describe it. It's beautiful, and it makes me feel like there's hope of conquering my panic attack.

13. "Rescue" by Lauren Daigle

Go here to listen.

First, Lauren Daigle is simply amazing. This song in particular, though, reminds me that Jesus is always by my side, and he will never give up on me. He sees me in my trials, and he's fighting this fight with me. It gives me a lot of hope that someday I might not have to deal with these struggles.

Editor's note: The views expressed in this article are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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