For most people — anxiety is the knot in your stomach before you meet your boyfriend/girlfriend’s parents or the feeling of walls closing in on you because you are terrified you aren’t going to pass the exam you studied so hard for.
It is a completely normal reaction to stress. In fact, a little anxiety here and there isn’t just normal, it’s healthy. It motivates us to do well in school, as well as remind us how crucial it is to make a good first impression.
But then it’s over. The walls don’t close in on you, and you get an A on your exam. And that knot in your stomach goes away because your boyfriend/girlfriend’s parents absolutely adore you.
For others — anxiety is a ghost inside your brain, a monster under your bed, the skeleton in your closet. Anxiety doesn’t go away, and it makes you overthink every little thing. No matter how much you try to shake it, it stays. It is constant.
I had anxiety before I even knew what it was. When I was little, my dad had the typical “stranger danger” conversation with me. From that day on, I refused to go outside by myself. Even if I was with someone, I would sprint inside my house if I saw a car down the road. My parents joked about it and always told me that I would outgrow this fear, and even brought a German Shepherd home to try to make me feel more ‘protected.’ I am now eighteen years old and I still can not go to the store by myself if it’s dark out, stay home alone, or walk on my college campus at night without calling a friend. I am petrified of being alone in certain situations because I always have the thought of being taken, as silly as that may sound.
I was high-strung about admitting my struggle with anxiety. Now it’s too late, and I can’t take it back. Although it hasn’t been a cure, it definitely has been something of a relief. I have learned there are practical things I can help with, like ending the stigma attached to anxiety disorders. The more I help others, the more I help myself.
After all, we are all in this together.I get anxiety. YOU get anxiety. We might not all experience the same intensities, but we have all experienced it in some way.
So next time you feel anxious...
“These Mountains That You Are Carrying, You Were Only Supposed To Climb” — Najwa Zebian
Maybe that weight consists of piles of homework, past relationships, stress from your job, hours of studying, people that bring negativity to your life, an unhealthy lifestyle, fears, a poor self-image, or maybe you feel the weight of mountains on your shoulders for absolutely no reason at all.
This weight creates anxious times. Times we need extra compassion, extra care, and extra, extra love.
If you feel anxious, whether it’s temporary or constant, stop for a moment. Slow down your mind and breathe as you feel some of the weight escaping your shoulders.
I am here to remind you that this weight doesn’t need to be carried on your shoulders or in your heart. Don’t get me wrong, life is about caring as much and as often as we can. However, life is also about caring about yourself. It’s important to make sure you slow down and lighten your load.
Don’t forget the world needs YOU at your best. It needs your passion and love and creative spark. What the world doesn’t need is the version of you that believes you are all alone, because you are not alone. Let’s climb the mountain together.