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I am a long-time sufferer of anxiety.
A few years ago, I was house/cat sitting at my friends’ house and while browsing their bookshelves, I found a short self-help book on anxiety that was pretty insightful, which prompted me to look into it more and maybe I could find ways to “cope” with it.
What’s Happening When you are Anxious?
In my case, anxiety has increasingly been affecting my daily life for years in little yet significant ways. For instance, I would have plans to go out, and after getting ready – cancel at the last minute. It came to a point I just stayed home a lot when I should be enjoying the beautiful weather outside. Interestingly enough, I know that once I was somewhere, I am very open and chatty end up having an amazing time. That is probably why I felt very at ease during the lockdown and this past year… I had an “excuse.”
Apparently, for some (at least I believe it is for me) root of anxiety lies in “flight or fight response” although it does not cause any real life-threatening danger, the brain conceptualizes events as such and literally freezes me (everyone is different).
Personal Ways to Cope with Anxiety
Once I was able to logically understand that anxiety was the result of chemistry + psychology, it gave me the leverage to be more proactive. Once you talk about it, you realize you are not the only one! It is possible to excel even with such a debilitating condition.
It pushed me to introspect and assess the personal reasons why I had to go through it – and still do. I personally started seeing it like an overprotective loved one attempting to prevent me from the possible rejection or embarrassment associated with letting myself become vulnerable in front of strangers.
Here are a few of my coping mechanisms:
1. Am I Really in Danger? (for real for real??)
2. Be Prepared: regardless of how much I learn about it, anxiety is by nature unpredictable; therefore, I make sure to diligently practice to be able to go into “autopilot mode” whenever it literally takes over me.
3. Keep a Gratitude Journal: every day, I write down the things that I am grateful for in my Gratitude Journal. This allows me to stay positive even when things do not seem to be going the way I want.
Final Thoughts on Anxiety
One thing for sure is that these past few years have been game-changing and brought a lot to the table. I have grown a lot and kept merging into the woman I’m meant to be – and I learn a lot about myself and others daily: I keep reading, listening to podcasts, reading blogs and publications (check my favorites here) and self-assess/improve on a daily basis, and try to share what I am going through to inspire people out there.
Thank you for reading!