Title Card - My Experience With Anxiety

My Experience With Anxiety

It emerges from the deep, dark depths of your mind, crawling through your consciousness. It invades every corner of your brain, like streams of water trickling through the nooks and crannies of a cracked rock. It squeezes you, pressures you, and drives harder into your headache until the pain is all you can think about.

Anxiety manifests itself in many different ways, and usually won’t be the same between two people. My anxiety in particular takes on a few different forms, but by far the most potent form involves overloading my brain with too much to remember. A small list is manageable enough, but with a list of sufficient size, my mind stops being able to hold onto everything I need in my head. This is the point of no return, as taking on a task will require brain power already being used to remember my tasks, and even the act of making a list at this point will feel like I am forgetting something while I’m writing another down.

Of course, the solution to this is simple: make a list no matter how many tasks I have to complete. Whenever I receive a task, I write it down so I don’t feel the requirement to remember it while doing something else. It is important that I do this no matter how many tasks I have to accomplish, even if it’s just one, because it sets myself up for being overwhelmed later. If I get cocky and my list becomes overwhelming, I have pretty well ensured another bout of anxiety is on the horizon. At this point, even the act of making the list will feel as though I’m forgetting something.

This is one of the biggest suggestions I can give people when it comes to dealing with anxiety. There is an old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and it couldn’t be more true and helpful. Acknowledge where your anxiety lies and take steps to ensuring it’s squashed before it becomes a problem.

It is difficult at first to see what is causing your anxiety, and sometimes it takes an outside opinion to evaluate it for you. I find it particularly useful to just talk to someone. It allows me to formulate my thoughts by saying them out loud. Voicing my issues turns them into something physical that I can turn over in my hands and analyze from all sides. I find my partner and best friends are indispensable to me because of this, and I find their advice invaluable. Just remember that friendship is a two-way street, and allow them to share with you once in a while too.

Finally, there is something I cannot stress enough: take care of your body. Lack of sleep, improper eating and poor exercising habits were my biggest issues with handling anxiety. Each of these three things tend to make me more lethargic without ample supply. Good sleep will recharge my mind, good food will feed my body with the nutrients it needs to function properly, and good exercise allows me to stay fit and focused. When any of these things are lacking, I can feel the strain, and it becomes much easier to feel overwhelmed.

It can feel like an uphill battle, and nobody expects you to be perfect all the time. There will be occasions when you can cheat a little, and I encourage it. Reward is just as good for your mental health with proper discipline. When I treat myself properly, I am generally happier and able to work longer than if I don’t. Grab some friends, go for a walk or a bike ride, enjoy the air and the sunshine. Trust me, you’ll be thankful you did.

There is so much more to anxiety that I feel very fortunate does not apply to me personally. However, just because I haven’t mentioned them, does not mean they are less valid, or should be treated differently. Indeed, there are very strong and debilitating anxieties which should be taken more seriously, and we as a society are only just beginning to break the stigma surrounding mental health. It is okay to talk to friends, to treat yourself right, and fight anxiety at the source before it gets to you.

Remember, we’re pulling for you. We’re all in this together.