Everyone experiences some level of anxiety from time to time. In most situations, feeling anxious is perfectly normal – if you are taking a driving test or going for a job interview. But once the situation has passed, your anxiety should disappear too. It becomes more of an issue when you feel overwhelmed by anxiety on a more frequent basis – or even all of the time.
I have suffered with moderate anxiety since I was about 20 years old. I say moderate because I have always managed to keep it from taking over and ruining my life. The thing that triggered my anxiety was when my Nana was diagnosed with a Brain Tumor and we knew it would eventually kill her. I was also going through a recent break-up with an ex-boyfriend which, although it had no affect on my anxiety, it was just another stress adding to the build-up of emotions I was feeling. Back then, my anxiety was so much worse than it is now. I would have panic attacks almost weekly, and they would happen completely out of the blue – while I was at work, watching a film etc. Fast forward a few months and I had soon met Adam, who was my total rock and helped me through these times where I would be at my most anxious.
Almost 10 years later, and I still do suffer with the odd spout of anxiety here and there. Generally, my symptoms are things like –
- Shortness of breath
- Increased heart rate
- Feeling on edge
- Having a sense of dread
- Feeling like other people are looking at me
- Not being able to shake off negative feelings
Like I said earlier, I suffer from moderate anxiety. Its pretty similar to mild anxiety but it can become more severe and overwhelming, making me feel more nervous and agitated. When I am at my most anxious, I normally find myself placing my complete attention on the thing or situation that is making me feel anxious and ignore everything else around me. I start experiencing stronger physical and emotional anxiety such as tight chest and shaky voice and emotionally I am so much more sensitive than normal that it can reduce me to tears and make me feel less confident.
Thankfully, I am lucky enough to have friends and family, and of course Adam, who have helped me through my bad times and know how to pick me up when I am having “a moment”. But there have been times where I have only had myself to depend on, you know – those times where your anxiety decides to rear its ugly head when you are completely on your own!! So I have had to work out ways to calm myself down and manage my anxiety so I don’t panic about the fact that I have nobody to turn to. I have found that the following has helped me along the way –
- learning breathing techniques
- remembering something positive
- count to 10
- take a break
These are just things that I have found work for me but there are so many other ways you can reduce your anxiety if you suffer with it.
There are so many people who suffer with anxiety, and so many who suffer with much severer cases of it than myself, but it shouldn’t be something we are ashamed of and keep bottled up. Honestly, I have denied having any form of anxiety in the past and if anything it just made situations worse because the people around me were completely unaware that I even suffered with anxiety so didn’t know why I was acting the way I was.
Talk to your friends, family or just someone you are happy to confide in.
Thank you for reading.