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Having a conversation with our anxiety.

Updated: Aug 10


To conclude this month, in which the blog was dedicated to the topic of anxiety, we will be widening the perspective again. Today, we, the My Mind Matters Too community, will share insights into some of the fears we are struggling with and how we manage anxiety. You may or may not be able to identify with these descriptions. In the end, each and every struggle with anxiety, and with mental health in general, is individual.


But if there is something that we hope you can take away from this post, it is the simple fact that being scared is something entirely human. And there is no reason to be ashamed or scared of being human. And once in a while, we all need to remind ourselves that being human is all we can (ever) be.


What does anxiety look like for me?


Alex


Alex Fitzgerald

The fears I’m struggling with…

My fears are having anxiety attacks in public, throwing up from anxiety or being trapped in a public place. My anxiety has other triggers such as crowds and includes job uni anxiety, but my fear and panic comes from being out in public when I have an anxiety attack.


How I manage my anxiety

I attend counselling, exercise and meditate. It’s important to really understand how anxiety worksand why it happens, because that made me feel a lot less hopeless and weak. Once I processed my anxiety and certain things that caused it to deteriorate, I felt more in control.







Meg


Meg Zeenat Wamithi

The fears i’m struggling with…

One of my biggest fears at the moment is that my current happiness won’t last. Of course, no one can be happy forever, 24 hours of the day, 7 days straight BUT for me, as anyone else who has suffered from severe anxiety and depression will know, there is always the loud voice in the back of my mind telling me not to get too excited yet when I’m having an “okay day”. This is the happiest and most in-control I have ever felt in my life AND YET I am always waiting or aware of the fact that things will get bad again,which inevitably means I cannot fully enjoy the “good days”.


How I manage my anxiety

For the last two months, (since doing the 31-days-of-mindfulness) I have been doing a lot of things to ingrain a daily routine into my life. Building morning habits, creating a bed time routine, finding hobbies and allocating time where I can just breathe all of which has really helped. However, I would say there are two main things that have probably helped my anxiety the most 1) acknowledging my thoughts and my feelings instead of trying to suppress them and 2) finding a balance.

  1. To be able to acknowledge my thoughts and feelings, I have been doing daily yoga as part of my morning routine. Every morning as soon as I wake up, I do at least 30 mins of yoga. For a lot of people with anxiety, one thing we struggle with is the ability to concentrate and sit still, but also the ability to slow down some of our anxious thoughts. For a lot of people, meditation works, but for me it does not. I spend more time getting frustrated and overwhelmed with the fact that I cannot sit still, or the fact that I just cannot stop thinking (funny aye). So having something that incorporates mediation and movement is perfect for me. What started off as just a 31-day habit has now turned into something I cannot live without. Adriene says “if you can do it on the mat you can do it in your life”, and she is spot on.

  2. To be able to find a balance, I have started blocking out times in the month, the week or the year for treats.Dedicating time to doing things you enjoy and treating yourself. It can be going away, going out to eat, watching your favourite film, hanging out with your friends or family, going to the gym or treating yourself to yoga, or it can even be taking the night off to just sleep and do nothing. Sometimes, life can get so busy that you forget to dedicate time just for yourself. After really busy weeks or stressful deadlines, I always plan something for the day afterwards which I can keep in the back of my mind and look forward to. This has really helped relax my anxious thoughts with deadlines and exams.

Miriam

Miriam Bouhafs

The fears I’m struggling with…

My fears are that I will never reach the point of being my best self, that I will always be below averageand not reach my full potential. When I am being productive in bettering myself, my fears are that I won’t maintain this and that I will inevitably fail at this thing called life.


How I manage my anxiety

I watch motivational YouTube videos, Ted Talks and listen to podcasts. I also go to the gym and treat myself in different ways, whether that be by getting my nails done, eating out with friends or having a cosy night in. The most important thing for me is to stick to routines and to try and wake up early. When I feel really anxious, I try to carry out mindful breathingand ground myself by stating what I can smell, taste, hear and feel in the current moment and then focus on breathing in and out. This distracts my mind from what I am overthinking and feeling anxious about.


Kerstin

Kerstin Weil

The fears I’m struggling with…

I am often worried about how others perceive me. I particularly fear being rejected for who I am (as a character and as a person) and being regarded as ‘inadequate’. I’m scared that I might not be able to keep pace with others and their successesand that I may fall behind. Ultimately, I fear that I will never be ‘good enough’ compared to everyone around me.


How I manage my anxiety

I usually try to find a quiet space to sit down and reflect on why I feel ‘the anxiety in my stomach’. I try to avoid getting caught up in this feeling and instead try to create some form of personal distance from how I feel. I tell myself that these are feelings, but that feelings don’t necessarily reflect my reality. I try to look at how I feel from an outsider's perspectiveand scrutinize this feeling. Why am I feeling this way? What can I do to change how I feel? Only when I understand the underlying reasons for my anxiety can I identify what I need to change in my own life.


What remains at the end of this month is the simple reality that, the times of anxiety and panic attacks won’t just somehow be over for us. The struggles will continue and once in a while we will be anxious again. But I know that it’s important to remember that once you started to fight your anxiety, you take the first step in the right direction. And I know that if we can do it, you can do it, too.

Editors Note: Anxiety affects us all. Some more than others, but it affects us all. The feelings of worry and having anxious thoughts are innate in us all. Sad thing is, we cannot get rid of anxiety completely but what we can do is learn how to manage our symptoms. There are so many things out there to help your anxious mind, you just need to find out what works for you.


If you are currently struggling with anxiety, here are some numbers you can call:


Anxiety UK

Phone: 03444 775 774 (Mon to Fri, 9.30am to 5.30pm)

Website: www.anxietyuk.org.uk\

Mind

Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 6pm)

Website: www.mind.org.uk

No Panic

Phone: 0844 967 4848 (daily, 10am to 10pm)

Website: www.nopanic.org.uk

PAPYRUS

Phone: HOPElineUK 0800 068 4141 (Mon to Fri,10am to 5pm & 7 to 10pm. Weekends 2 to 5pm)

Website: www.papyrus-uk.org

Rethink Mental Illness

Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Mon to Fri, 9.30am to 4pm)

Website: www.rethink.org

Samaritans

Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)

Website: www.samaritans.org.uk

“The biggest obstacle you’ll ever have to overcome is your mind. If you can overcome that, you can overcome anything.”


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