Updated: Dec 30, 2020
When is stress "just" stress and when is it anxiety?
Being constantly stressed is somehow a part of most of our lives.
Work, health, money, love, family, mortgage...
Not saying it's good, but it's kind of inevitable.
Long-term stress can cause multiple conditions that I don't want to get into today - and I don't even know much about them. But one of them is what I want to talk about today - ANXIETY.
Let's look at the following conditions and see if you can relate:
Worrying even when the scenario isn't real
Being irritated or even angry at everyone, especially your loved ones
Nausea and/or diarrhea
Fear of embarrassment
Feeling nervous or on the edge
Having trouble relaxing physically and mentally
Being afraid often; having a feeling that something bad is about to happen
Trouble sleeping or staying awake; being tired often
Sounds like you?
Then it's very likely you have anxiety.
Let's see how you can turn it around. In your FAVOR.
1. Admit you have anxiety
Quite an obvious one? Acknowledgement is always the first step in order to heal.
It's okay to have anxiety. You're not the only one. There's nothing embarrassing about it.
You don't have to tell anyone. You are the one dealing with all that stress, struggling to find peace.
I do believe it's always good to tell someone, though. Whether it's a friend, partner or a therapist.
It's incredible, how much support you can get from your loved ones.
2. Find out the best cure for you
Research is the key - now and always.
If you're not sure what could be the best way to start using anxiety in your favor, here are some tips:
Research for help provided by local/national health care services. UK's NHS is incredibly supportive, when it comes to anxiety and depression.
Your GP can recommend a therapist, or you can fill in a form yourself here.
One of their useful therapy tools is a program called Silver Cloud, which they cooperate with, and you can register for this distant therapy by yourself as well.
Silver Cloud offers many exercises and questionnaires to help with anxiety and depression while every patient is able to speak to a therapist once a week.
Having to follow the program and tasks given will give you a structure. And it really helps in just a couple of weeks.
NHS also provides contact for urgent help (Samaritans).
Speak to someone, whom you know has suffered from anxiety.
It's incredibly helpful knowing you're not alone - and you're not!
If you can connect with someone, they can not only recommend what worked for them, but just talk to you, too - how much calmer, how much happier do we get, when we know, that our situation is relatable to someone else?
If you think your anxiety is not as severe, if you don't really want to share it with anyone...
I can highly recommend reading and connecting with others anonymously.
Relatability can happen anonymously, too. Find out tips, read testimonials, get happier.
3. Start with your journey
Whatever it is that you decided to try to fight your anxiety, start it now.
Make a list of what you want to do and when.
Do you want to start doing breathing exercises? Schedule it for the same time every day.
Are you planning to start seeing a therapist? Make an appointment today. Schedule multiple sessions right away.
Make a commitment.
It won't go away, unless you consciously fight it.
So how will it work out in your favor?
Apart from getting rid of a major burden in your life, therapy/self-help will help you become a more patient, empathetic person, who knows themselves better.
Following certain rules and schedule will give you the opportunity of forming a habit, be more responsible (if there are other people involved waiting for you) and distract you from your worries.
2. Being able to understand why you suffer like this, and that it is okay to have anxiety (but not as okay not fighting it) will make you more sensitive with others.
You might find yourself being more sympathetic and understanding when others overreact.
You might be willing to listen more to others more and even share what you've learnt with them.
You'll learn that a lot of our unpleasant behaviors are just masked internal issues and you'll be patient and kind, more than ever before.
3. Not only others will benefit from your new knowledge and attitude.
It is going to be you, who lives with you 24/7.
Who now understands, what happened.
How difficult it has been to acknowledge, research, fight through, try and maybe fail, but not give up.
You will learn to listen not only to others, but mostly you.
Your needs and your worries.
You will learn to be patient with yourself, not punish yourself and appreciate how far you've come.