Updated: Jun 22
Anxiety is something that affects us all, at least on some level. We have all experienced it as it is a part of human nature. For a number of us it is in a healthy way, but for some of us it can be debilitating.
I have met a few people who have also suffered with an anxiety disorder and it’s interesting how it presents itself so similarly but with major differences. The main similarity is that it causes you to worry a lot and struggle with similar physical symptoms.
Anxiety is often caused by stress and thoughts of worry making it understandable that it is the major similar factor. Anxiety is characterised by uncontrollable worrying. The physical symptoms often come out similarly as anxiety means your body is responding to a threat by triggering a fight or flight response. The way you would run away would pretty much be the same for everyone so it makes sense that physically would feel similar. Your heart speeds up, your breathing gets faster, you start to sweat and you start shaking. There can be different symptoms such as nausea but people have different sensitivities so when your body is responding to stress, your weak points will show up first.
One of the hardest things I had to deal with was becoming isolated, and many people struggling with anxiety feel the same. You can’t do the things you normally would so the people you would normally be around start to disappear. People also stop inviting you out so you end up lonely.
Anxiety affects relationships majorly. There may be things that most couples do that you can’t because of anxiety. For me, it’s cinemas and flying. My anxiety makes those experiences horrible so although it’s something that I work on, it’s not a good idea for a date. That means that relationships can become strained as you struggle to find ways to spend time with each other.
Relationships can also be difficult as the other person may feel as though you shouldn’t feel anxious around them. Anxiety can also create paranoia which is difficult anyway in any relationship. Overthinking is a huge part of anxiety and aside from it not being healthy, it causes a lot of tension.
Struggling with anxiety has meant that it’s super hard to get a job. Companies don’t want to take a risk on you as they won’t someone they can count on (or control) and anxiety makes you unpredictable. Struggling to get a job can lead to depression and many self-esteem issues.
There are so many ways that anxiety can affect you and as you can see, most of the ways are negative ones. One thing is for sure, your life dramatically changes when you start experiencing severe anxiety. You have to change the way you interact with the world and that’s never easy.
The thing is, I wouldn’t have changed any of my experience if I could go back. I learnt so much about myself, especially my strengths. Remember, anxiety can be an ability. We are strong and we show that every day that we battle with our own minds.
Anxiety makes you stronger, faster and it shaped me to be who I am today. I am more confident now than I ever was as I hit the low places and managed to get back up from it. You learn to love yourself and see the positive sides of things. You appreciate the little things in life that many people don’t think twice about.
Yes anxiety impacts our lives negatively, but we have the ability to turn it into a positive and use it to our advantage so that we can become the best versions of ourselves.