Accepting Anxiety

I’ve been wrestling with anxiety for about 2 years now. As well as the mental unease, I’ve experienced heart palpitations and acne because of it. The funny thing is that people think I am very laid back, but I would describe myself like a duck floating around on a pond with legs rapidly paddling beneath the surface.

My anxiety started with work but filtered through into social situations . I tried to ignore it, got angry with myself, went to the doctor to see if a blood test would explain it, but I think I knew that deep down it was anxiety which in essence is part of you, needs to be accepted and may never go away. Some ways I have learnt to live with my anxiety:

  • When it comes, I try to accept and welcome it. Ignoring it or getting angry makes it worse. Deep breathing and a walk help.
  • Realising that it could lead you towards something positive. Why are you feeling anxious? Really think about it and address the issue or move on.
  • Cutting down on caffeine and sugar. Chocolate and coffee are two of my favourite things so this solution gives me anxiety in itself haha.
  • Regular exercise and being in nature.
  • Drinking less, and appreciating that drinking will give me anxiety the next day so not to be surprised/upset when it comes.
  • Meditating. I know this is everywhere at the moment but it really does help with so many things. I believe that anxiety often comes when I am lost in thought or not acting in a way that I believe in, through meditating I am sometimes able to notice that and drop back into the present moment more easily and realise everything isn’t so bad.

Although I don’t love my anxiety, I do think it has lead me to be a more compassionate person and I have also found that being honest about it has brought me closer to those around me, given me a broader connection and understanding of other people’s suffering and ability to listen, relate and perhaps help, which I am grateful for.

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