Every human has anxiety. It is considered our fight-or-flight response. Anxiety is there to protect us when we feel our life is threatened. But, if you are anything like me, you have an anxiety disorder.
An anxiety disorder is when a human goes into a fight or flight mood for no obvious reason. We, humans, feel anxious when we feel threatened, but people with anxiety may be stuck in a state of mind of feeling threatened.
It feels like we are trapped in our minds and there is no way out.
It feels like built-up energy in the nervous system that has no way of leaving the body.
Anxiety feels extremely uncomfortable and may make it hard to function properly.
Anxiety makes us act out irrationally and worry 24/7.
Living with an anxiety disorder makes it difficult to know what’s real and what is not.
Having anxiety can even put someone in the hospital
I have personally struggled with anxiety my whole life. I deal with social anxiety, performance anxiety, test anxiety, flying anxiety, panic attacks, and just overall general anxiety. It has become a part of me.
Growing up — no one has ever taught us how to handle our anxiety. I mean, I rather learn how to handle my emotions instead of filling my brain with unnecessary knowledge such as learning all these theorems in math class.
At least for me — teachers and authority figures made my anxiety even worse. But, I won’t completely blame them, because they would act out in that way out of ignorance, such as thinking that smacking someone with a ruler wouldn’t hurt the individual mentally. I luckily was not in that generation, but it was still a thing in history, which is not okay.
Back when I was a child, mental health wasn’t spoken about. If you had a mental health issue, you were seen as someone who was lying and wanted attention. It was difficult to learn how to handle your problem if people thought you were faking it. It is even worse if you convince yourself that you’re lying and then end up hating yourself because you don’t know what is wrong with you.
Because we don’t know how to handle abnormal anxiety episodes, we resort to fighting because that is what we all know. The biggest mistake you can make to cope with your anxiety is to fight it. I, myself have made this mistake. I would think that I am at war with my anxiety and if I fight it then I’ll win. No. This makes it 100x worse. Remember when I told you that humans have a fight and flight response? This is a situation where you are fighting fire with fire. You are using your anxiety to fight your anxiety. That wouldn't make any sense right? Essentially, you are damaging yourself by fighting with yourself. This doesn’t do any good and will hurt you in the long run.
This is what you can do…
Welcome your anxiety — recognize that this is something that you are going to deal with and just allow it to happen
Focus on your breathing — very cliche, but taking deep breaths helps.
Let it flow through your body — anxiety starts in the brain and makes it way through the nervous system. Let it take its route.
Identify it — what external factor do you believe may be triggering your anxiety?
What’s the worse that can happen? When I feel anxious about something, I think to myself what is the worse possible scenario, and is it worth me feeling anxious over it? If not, then just let the anxiety take its course.
Living with anxiety is hard and it takes years of experience to know how to cope with it.
Of course, there is medication out there to help treat anxiety. I have personally taken medication myself, but some medications can cause long-term damage if not cautious.
There is no cure for anxiety, but you can own it. Don’t let your anxiety own you.