Reading Is The Best Way I've Learned To Manage My Anxiety

Reading Is The Best Way I've Learned To Manage My Anxiety

"Reading a book is like taking a journey."
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Anxiety is something that a lot of people struggle with, and it is something that I in particular have been dealing with for the last couple of years. It is always difficult to find things that help me when I am dealing with anxiety, but reading is something that I have found, more than anything else, that helps keep me sane when my anxiety is particularly bad.

For me, reading is a kind of escape. I like books that envelop me in their story and create a new and special world for me to live in, if only for a short period of time. When I am reading I can practically imagine myself present in the characters that I admire most.

When I struggle with my anxiety it is generally something like a downward spiral of horribleness that I cannot imagine a happy way out of. I get caught up in the struggles or disappointments in my life and struggle to find a solution.

But when I escape into a good novel, I am no longer focused on the negative in my life. Instead, my energy is focused on the plot of the story where I can share in the characters' joy or consider their own struggless and challenges that are generally more complex than my own. It helps me to put my own life in perspective and even gives me hope to consider my life in a new light.

Life has so many possibilities and avenues that can bring change to a not so happy circumstance. Through reading we can find ways to explore just a few of these options.

The Harry Potter Series is an excellent example of the power of reading. How many of us were so enthralled with the stories that they forgot to stop reading? How many of us wished we could find and bring this magic into our own lives? These stories inspired so many people to become more than they ever had hoped. Evanna Lynch, the actress who played Luna Lovegood, claims that Rowling's novels gave her hope when she was struggling with her anorexia. Not only did Lynch overcome her anorexia, her life also drastically changed when she was cast to play the part of Luna, one of her favorite characters.

Reading has power. It has the ability to bring hope. It provides the possibility for inspiration. It causes you to imagine yourself in circumstances other than your own, helping to develop empathy as well as positvity for change.

There are millions of stories in the world with countless lives to be explored. Literature is one way in which you can leave your anxiety behind to enter a world where things are different. Use reading to inspire yourself in life. Take positive action to find the right stories that inspire you and help you to live your best life today.

Cover Image Credit: Negative Space

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A list Of 15 Inspiring Words That Mean So Much

A single word can mean a lot.
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Positivity is so important in life. A lot of times we always go to quotes for empowerment but I have realized that just one word can be just as powerful. Here is a list of inspiring words.

1. Worthy

Realizing your self-worth is important. Self-worth can really make or break a persons personality. Always know that you are worthy of respect. And also, never compare yourself to others.

2. Courage

Be courageous in life. Life has so many opportunities so do not be scared to grasp any opportunity that comes your way. You have the ability to do anything you have your heart and mind set to do, even the things that frighten you.

3. Enough

When you are feeling down and feeling that nothing you do is ever good enough, know that you are more than enough. And yes there is always room for improvement but when it comes to my self-worth I always have to remind myself that I am enough.

4. Blessed

Be thankful. A lot of times we forget how blessed we are. We focus so much on stress and the bad things that are going on in our lives that we tend to forget all of the beautiful things we have in life.

5. Focus

Focus on your goals, focus on positive things, and focus on the ones you love. Do not focus on things that will keep you from not reaching your goals and people that do not have good intentions for your life.

6. Laugh

Laughing is one of the best forms of medicine. Life is truly better with laughter.

7. Warrior

Through the good and the bad you are a warrior. Be strong, soldier.

8. Seek

Seek new things. Allow yourself to grow in life. Do not just be stuck.

9. Faith

During the bad times, no matter the circumstances, have faith that everything will be all right.

10. Live

Start living because life is honestly way too short. Live life the way you want to live. Do not let anyone try to control you.

11. Enjoy

Enjoy everything that life has to offer. Enjoy even the littlest of things because, as I said before, life is short. And plus, there is no time to live life with regrets.

12. Believe

Believe in yourself and never stop. Believing in yourself brings so many blessings and opportunities in your life.

13. Serendipity

A lot of times we look for things to fill an empty void that we have. Usually what we are looking for comes when we are not looking at all. Your serendipity will come.

14. Create

Share your ideas with the world. Creativity brings change to your life. However you chose to use your creativity do not be scared to show your intelligence, talent, and passion.

15. Love

The world is already full of so much hate, so love unconditionally with all your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Tanveer Naseer

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Telling Me To 'Keep My Chin Up' Is Sweet But It's Not A Cure — There's No Easy Fix For Anxiety

It's really difficult to voice my true feelings about GAD, but here goes nothing!

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Having generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) can be really difficult. It makes living out my daily life a struggle. Even if I'm having a "good day" on the outside, I could be imploding. I bet if you asked most people who know me, a good majority of them would have no idea that I struggle with mental health issues. I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing. It definitely means I'm good at hiding and covering up my true reactions and feelings.

I do the best I can to conceal my feelings because I hate burdening other people with my unnecessary worries. Inside, I let my worries spiral and spiral into what I call the "spin cycle." This happens when I have one troublesome thought that leads to another one and another one until the situation I've come up with is so unrealistic it seems like I'm having a really strange dream.

Most days, I'm not sure how to escape the spin cycle. But that's when I remember all the good I have going for me. I have family and friends who love me. I have a soon-to-be husband who adores me and would do anything for me. Most importantly, I have my heavenly father who will always take care of me. Who could ask for a better support system?

How can I be so worried when I have so much to be grateful for?

Ask my genes, DNA, and brain for the answer because I have no idea. As much as I want to say that every time I pray for lessened anxiety it goes away, that's just not how it works. God isn't a genie. We all have our personal struggles, and this is mine. It's not going away no matter what I do. Yes, there are things I can do to make it more bearable or to soften the crippling effects it has on my mind, body, and soul, but is there a perfect solution to make it go away? Absolutely not. I wish.

No matter what my external circumstances, my anxiety always has, does, and will run high. Sure, I have coping mechanisms and people who can help calm me down — everyone needs that kind of support system. However, I will never escape a mental illness unless there's a sudden miracle from God (which I will never exclude).

The weird thing about having a mental illness is that you can pass by as "normal" to most people most of the time. It's so strange that with most other illnesses you can see the physical difference, but with mental illnesses, people could know you for years but are in the dark about your generalized anxiety disorder. I'm around such supportive people that sometimes I wonder why I don't tell more people more often.

I'm afraid of being seen differently or stigmatized.

Bottom line is: I hate standing out. This introvert hates being the center of attention. Even more so, I don't want to make other people worry about me. I also don't want to be different from anyone else. It's so easy for people to tell people to just "not worry" or "chin up" when they don't understand how debilitating mental illnesses truly are.

I don't want to be told that my feelings are invalid or can be fixed in the blink of an eye. I've lived with GAD my whole life. Trust me: if there was an easy fix, I would've done it by now.

I'm not sure if I'm just ranting or becoming a part of the change for good...but I'd like to think I'm the latter. The more people who know about generalized anxiety disorder and mental illnesses, the better. I think those of us who struggle sometimes don't have the words to share exactly how we're feeling, and I'm not sure I've done a good job of sharing my own feelings through this article. You, dear reader, are the judge of that.

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