5 Ways To Explain Anxiety To Someone Who Doesn't Suffer From It

5 Ways To Explain Anxiety To Someone Who Doesn't Suffer From It

Here is what it can feel like, coming from someone who has it.
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If you are asking yourself if you have anxiety, then you don't. Not the crippling kind anyway. Millions of people have anxiety before a test, presentation, job interview, or some stressful event in their life. However, some of us have anxiety that cripples us before the simplest tasks. It can be hard to understand, so here are 5 things that can sort of be explained regarding anxiety.

1. It just feels like a cloud of negativity that you can't shake.

Carrying a burden can feel so hard to handle, and anxiety is like one that you can't get rid of. It is always weighing on your shoulders. It doesn't leave after that big test. It doesn't disappear after you finally finished moving somewhere new. It is always there.

You might wake up thinking it's going to be a good day but then you just get this sense of doom. You think if you drive too far you might get in a car accident. You worry that you forgot your homework assignment and now it is too late to finish it. It can keep you laying in bed all day just hoping that nothing bad happens to you or anyone that you know. It doesn't have to be caused by anything. It is unwelcome and very unwanted.

2. Out of nowhere, anxiety causes you to just completely panic.

There can seemingly be no reason for it. Out of nowhere, you can feel lightheaded, have a hard time breathing, your heart beats hard and fast, you feel lost, and you might even get sick or pass out.

These panic attacks come out of nowhere, and they are crippling. I used to have bad panic attacks as a kid and I thought I had outgrown them. Recently, they are back in full swing. It cripples you and there's not a lot that you can do about it. It's like a haze that overcomes you and you drown in it while the world keeps pretending that you are fine.

3. Panic attacks and fear can keep you bedridden.

If someone cancels plans with you because they have anxiety, please be understanding. It makes you afraid of the world sometimes. I have had days where I don't go to class because I feel panicked. I feel like something bad is going to happen and I am only okay in the comfort of my own home.

I have had events that I really look forward to but can't attend because they are triggers for me. I am sensitive to heat and it causes my anxiety to escalate quickly. I also hate big crowds. The event was outdoors in 103-degree heat with a record-setting crowd. I went home and cried in my bed because I felt like I let people down.

4. We don't want to miss out on things, but we do.

We don't choose to miss events. We don't choose to have sudden panic attacks. I once had someone in my life that called me crazy because of this. He had me believing it, which is terrible to do to someone who suffers from anxiety. Never call someone crazy, insane, or unjustified if they have anxiety. We aren't. It is just as debilitating as a physical disease.

We can't think, we can hardly move, and sometimes we can't even breathe. It comes out of nowhere, and it doesn't let go. We want to be just as social as other people, but we just can't. If that is someone's trigger, don't pressure them into it. Don't feel bad about it. I have lost friends because I am too anxiety-ridden to hang out like they want. It sucks. Anxiety has you crying in your bed because you want to do something but your mental health lets you down.

5. Anxiety annoys us just as much as it annoys you.

We aren't always reliable. We back out on things. We have to stay home. We aren't always the life of the party. We get it. We wish that anxiety would go away too. It is our life and we hate it.

Anxiety can't always be explained perfectly well. Maybe that is why the world makes it seem like you are crazy and lying when you try to tell people. I have missed classes because of panic attacks but had to make up some other excuse because I knew that it wouldn't be justified.

Next time someone tells you they have high anxiety, try to understand them. If they need you to leave, don't take it personal. It overwhelming, and questions usually just make it worse. Help them when they are ready to be helped. Understand what they are going through. Most importantly of all, love them no matter what. We need it.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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To All The Nurses In The Making

We tell ourselves that one day it'll all pay off, but will it actually?
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I bet you’re taking a break from studying right now just to read this, aren’t you? Either at the library with friends or in your dorm room. Wherever you may be, you never get the chance to put your books down, at least that’s how it feels to most of us. It sucks feeling like you’ve chosen the hardest major in the world, especially when you see other students barely spending any time studying or doing school work. The exclamation “You’re still here!” is an all too frequent expression from fellow students after recognizing that you’ve spent 10-plus hours in the library. At first it didn’t seem so bad and you told yourself, “This isn’t so difficult, I can handle it,” but fast-forward a few months and you’re questioning if this is really what you want to do with your life.

You can’t keep track of the amount of mental breakdowns you’ve had, how much coffee you’ve consumed, or how many times you’ve called your mom to tell her that you’re dropping out. Nursing is no joke. Half the time it makes you want to go back and change your major, and the other half reminds you why you want to do this, and that is what gets you through it. The thing about being a nursing major is that despite all the difficult exams, labs and overwhelming hours of studying you do, you know that someday you might be the reason someone lives, and you can’t give up on that purpose. We all have our own reasons why we chose nursing -- everyone in your family is a nurse, it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, you’re good at it, or like me, you want to give back to what was given to you. Regardless of what your reasoning is, we all take the same classes, deal with the same professors, and we all have our moments.

I’ve found that groups of students in the same nursing program are like a big family who are unconditionally supportive of each other and offer advice when it’s needed the most. We think that every other college student around us has it so easy, but we know that is not necessarily true. Every major can prove difficult; we’re just a little harder on ourselves. Whenever you feel overwhelmed with your school work and you want to give up, give yourself a minute to imagine where you’ll be in five years -- somewhere in a hospital, taking vitals, and explaining to a patient that everything will be OK. Everything will be worth what we are going through to get to that exact moment.

Remember that the stress and worry about not getting at least a B+ on your anatomy exam is just a small blip of time in our journey; the hours and dedication suck, and it’s those moments that weed us out. Even our advisors tell us that it’s not easy, and they remind us to come up with a back-up plan. Well, I say that if you truly want to be a nurse one day, you must put in your dedication and hard work, study your ass off, stay organized, and you WILL become the nurse you’ve always wanted to be. Don’t let someone discourage you when they relent about how hard nursing is. Take it as motivation to show them that yeah, it is hard, but you know what, I made it through.

With everything you do, give 110 percent and never give up on yourself. If nursing is something that you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life, stick with it and remember the lives you will be impacting someday.

SEE ALSO: Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Cover Image Credit: Kaylee O'Neal

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Dealing With Social Anxiety Can Be Hard, So Here Are 5 Ways To Fight Your Fears In Public

Just remind yourself it will be okay in the end.

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When I'm alone running errands, I often worry about someone coming up to me and throwing a knife in my face. I'm pretty sure this is due to my belief that every stranger is "dangerous." But, then I realize they are just like me. I worry about waiting in lines, taking too long at the register, and looking weird just standing there. I often think about cashiers judging me on what I'm buying. However, over the years I have come up with ways to cope and stay calm in these kinds of situations in public. I've realized I can't stay nervous in public situations forever because I have to go out in public for the rest of my life.

1. Use your phone when waiting.

We've all been told that young people need to get off of their phones and look up, but phones are actually a really good tool for social anxiety. If you're waiting in line alone and everyone else has a friend they're talking to, play an iPhone game! My personal favorite is Toy Blast and I love seeing all the colors of the blocks explode. Another idea is to text a friend! I would say call but say you're in line to pay for something. The cashier would really appreciate you not being on the phone.

2. Carry a worry stone.

I don't have a worry stone, but I have something similar. My boyfriend and I wear a lava and tiger stone bracelet. The beads on the bracelet are smooth, so when you're nervous, rub your thumb over it. Always have it on hand, so when you're nervous, the smooth surface will help relax you.

3. Positive self-talk.

I often experience the most anxiety when I'm at my job. I work in a restaurant, and ever so often, there are meal rushes where everyone is in a hurry to pay. I'm a cashier, and some customers expect me to hand out change quickly. If it ever gets to be a lot, I just have to remind myself that I will get through the rush.

4. Sit down.

My anxiety makes me light headed sometimes because I feel that everything is moving too fast. When everything is so fast-paced, my mind and body are not in sync with each other and it overwhelms me. By sitting down or even holding a friend's hand(if they're around) helps center me and gets me back on the ground.

5. Eat a snack.

I have Hypoglycemia, which is basically a fancy word for constant low blood sugar. If my blood sugar gets low, it sometimes causes me to feel nervous because my hands shake. Sometimes just eating something small makes me good as new.

Overall, these tips are what help me get through the day when I go out in public. However, some of these may or may not work for you. All anxiety is different for each individual. The important thing to remember is that it's normal to have anxiety sometimes.

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