Anxiety, what does it feel like?
Before being diagnosed and prescribed medication for anxiety I had learned to live with this feeling. In the mind it’s like having an argument that you will lose no matter what. It’s frustrating and irritating. I have this constant annoyance of being me. The guilt I carry from feeling not good enough;inadequate. The scared & nervous feelings that were ever present that people would discover my insecurities. I wouldn’t say I would worry about things going wrong in my life. I would just remind myself numerous times every day that they would. I felt that what I was feeling daily was a feeling everyone dealt with. Even with a Master’s degree and years of being an educator. I was ignorant of my own mental health. I had dealt with this feeling my entire life, so there was no way to know that there was something going wrong internally. Physiologically, it feels like an intense burn in your chest and buzz in your head. It flares up at times if certain things trigger stress for you. If you are anything like me anxiety doesn’t visit without bringing his friend guilt. Every time I start feeling anxious I also feel guilty for not being a better person, a stronger person. I still feel like this at times, but medicine and counseling have definitely helped me manage it better.
With school starting back this month; people everywhere are dealing with their own batch of anxiety. I know I deal with this daily, but for people that are new to managing anxiety, I hope you find some relief from my personal experiences.
How long I lived life without knowing I had anxiety?
I wouldn’t say I was born with anxiety, but I feel that it started at a very young age. My parents divorced when I was 9. This was a traumatic event and the years preceding solidified my struggle to find peace within myself. I would say it was about 33 years before I knew there was something not ok, and that it was OK for me to accept that things were not ok.
Why I struggle with anxiety?
There will always be people as well as events that show up in my life that are outside of my control or influence, this can cause me anxiety. Knowing that these things will in fact happen without my permission, and people will enter my life that have negative opinions of me. This can swallow me up into an ocean of self-doubt and the need for other people to approve of my existence develops. This feeling and annoying need, causes my habit of people-pleasing to perpetuate out of control. I then begin to relinquish my control to others, and my other habit of codependency rears it’s ugly head. My struggle has always been to make others see me as a pleasing person. I struggle because I know that I am not perfection and my pleasing someone is not certain. This uncertainty brings about my anxiety and a plethora of insecurities. Recently this has been happening less and less as I remind myself that the only person I can control is myself and I can choose to be me no matter what others may think of me.
5 coping methods that have helped me deal with anxiety.
1. Breathing – This is easy and effective! Take time to just breathe.
2. Tapping- Applying rhythmic taps to pressure points located on face, side & head help alleviate the stress I may be feeling in overwhelming situations.
3. Laughing – find a good comedy or a good friend that causes you to laugh. This is a great remedy to help pull you out of anxious moments in life.
4. Exercise – The release of good chemicals help the body feel better and manage stress more efficiently.
5. Pray – If the other 4 don’t work… say a prayer and start again. Sometimes you’ll find you needed to do all 5 to begin with.
It may not fully go away but with awareness, acceptance and treatment it can be managed. Take back control.