Anxiety is a part of life and it can push us toward taking action.
However, when constant, it can be downright frightening. It turns into a heavy load that we have to carry around regardless of whether we feel up to the task or not.
It comes as no surprise that anxiety is one of the most common reasons why people seek counseling.
As The Blurt Foundation puts it:
When we have anxiety, everything can feel very heightened. We often feel very jittery and on edge. Our thoughts can speed up and it can feel as though our reactions to everything can feel very extreme.
It’s very clear that having anxiety it’s hard enough, but there’s something that makes it an even harder road to walk on: guilt.
If you tend to suffer from anxiety, you’ll most likely know what I’m talking about: feeling anxious about feeling anxious. Worrying about worrying too much. Fearing fear… and a long etcetera. Entering this pattern causes guilt and with it, more nervousness, irritability, and obsessive thoughts.
“Why do I feel this way?”, “Surely this isn’t even an issue for everyone else”, “I’m too weak” and many other false conclusions are some of the thoughts that can add on top of whatever you were anxious to begin with.
Although there’s many things related to anxiety that need to be said, today I just want to leave here a simple message:
Do not beat yourself up for being anxious.
You’re human and therefore bound to be anxious. Give yourself that permission so you can then take action instead of dwelling in your own angst.
When you’re already stressed out about something the last thing you need is going over every single little thing you did or did not do about a specific situation. You don’t need a snooty critic. You need a friend.
Your best bet when anxiety strikes is to treat yourself like you would treat a really good friend: with acceptance, openness and humor. With permission to be anxious from time to time.
Maybe it won’t be easy at first, but do give it a try. Treating yourself with kindness and respect will make you take action.
You may end up realizing that it’s worth investing on your mental health. You might find the time to give self-help resources a change. Or taking up that long lost hobby you once had. Or learning a new skill. The end result will be that, there’ll be some distance between you and anxiety itself and, more importantly, being anxious won’t be what defines you.
Because everyone is more than their anxiety.