Having an anxiety disorder is exhausting. It’s as if our mind is running a race it can’t win. Although, anxiety is life consuming we can learn valuable lessons from it. Through my journey to recover my mental health I have learned many things. Here are my top 10+ lessons:
1. Overthinking kills inner peace: Those with anxiety understand silencing the mind isn’t as easy. Our brain is racing 24/7 making up scenarios in our mind that in most cases never happen. We spend loads of time worrying for nothing. It’s essential to distract the mind with healthy doses of relaxation and distraction.
2. Living in the past kills the present moment: Life is short and focusing on what went wrong won’t help you be present. It will also affect your future. We are human and mistakes will inevitably happen. If we fixate on it, we will never get peace of mind.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, which is why we call it the present.”
3. Never jump to conclusion: Since anxiety messes with our inner peace, we tend to catastrophize every situation. For example, when we call our friends and they don’t answer. We make up distorted scenarios in our mind. Thinking they hate us or we did something wrong. When in reality they might have been busy or too tired to answer the call.
“It often happens that things are other than what they seem, and you can get yourself into trouble by jumping to conclusions.”
4. Everything will be okay: Since anxiety plays tricks with our mind. We tend to believe that bad things will happen. Stopping ourselves from pursuing our dreams. Staying in the comfort zone will keep us in the ‘what if’ mentality. It’s important to keep in mind that not everything we want will occur, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying.
5. It’s okay to say ‘no’: Having anxiety makes us worry about what others may think if we say no. We don’t need to explain ourselves. If you don’t want to take on another project, help, or hangout. Don’t feel bad for saying no.
“Let today mark a new beginning for you. Give yourself permission to say NO without feeling guilty, mean, or selfish. Anybody who gets upset and/or expects you to say YES all of the time clearly doesn’t have your best interest at heart.”
6. Follow your heart: Anxiety makes us doubt our intentions. Although, it is perfectly fine to ask for advice from loved ones. We need to keep in mind it is our life. Living it in accordance to what others say will land us in misery. Don’t let anxiety trick you into living a life that isn’t meant for you.
“Good instincts usually tell you what to do before your head has figured it out. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” -Steve Jobs
7. Change takes time: Modifying old habits and thinking patterns isn’t something we can change in one day. Not seeing improvement in our mental health makes us think, nothing will ever come out the way we want to. Erase the illusion that recovery is a straight line. There will be days where we take a couple of steps back. Don’t let that stop you from making the changes you need in your life.
8. Our body talk to us: When anxiety hits hard we can experience stomach pain, headaches, migraine, muscle tension, back and next pain, diarrhea, and nausea. Not only that, but we may clench our jaw and fists or even lift our shoulder. It’s important to understand what our body is saying to us. By doing so we can become aware when are anxious and do something about it before it spirals out of control.
“There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
9. It’s okay to stop and take a breather: With anxiety we are in a continuous fight-or-flight mode. Living in tension 24/7. Just because we stop and take time to relax doesn’t mean something bad will happen or that our dreams won’t come true. Learning to take breaks in between studies and work won’t affect your progress. In fact, not taking time to relax will worsen your anxiety in the long run.
10. Talking doesn’t make us weak: Anxiety makes us think that our friends and family will brush off our problem. Having someone to talk to is of immense help. If we are surrounded by people who belittle what we are going through, its time to evaluate the friendship. Talking makes us stronger, so please don’t be afraid to speak out. The right people will lend a hand and push us back up.
“When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval.” -Shannon Adler
11. We are physically beautiful: Anxiety messes with our mind. Making us believe we are unattractive. We compare ourselves to others, always feeling inferior. The truth is we are so used to our features, we can’t see how attractive we are in the eyes of others. If we let anxiety takeover, we will never feel beautiful.
12. Unhealthy coping mechanism don’t help: Many of us become desperate. Trying to silence the mind, even if it’s for a brief moment. This may make us rely on alcohol, drugs, sex, or partying to feel alive and distract the mind. Running from the problem won’t make it go away.
13. We have self-worth: Anxiety affects our self-value making us feel worthless. So much so, that some of us rely on the value other people put on us. This is dangerous because people are invested in their life and if we give them the upper hand. We will end up feeling insignificant. You are important no matter what your friends or family may say.
“Anxiety makes you sit there and overthink every single things. At times it makes you think people in your life are leaving you. You begin to feel abandoned, and not worth anything because the most important people in your life don’t want you.“
Although, anxiety is cruel at times we can live an amazing life. Do you agree with these lessons? What other things have you learned? Let me know in the comment section below.
Checkout Psych2Go’s book about Mental Health Recovery
Check it out here: Mental Illness Recovery Book, “Something I truly enjoyed about this book is the simplicity and the variety of stories which are all focusing in one subject; mental illness. It’s amazing to see how this book connects each story to one another and to the reader. It provides a direct insight of living with mental illness and tips on how to overcome some disorders. If you feel lost, or if you want to help a friend or family member then this is the book for you.” -Carelyn