What Anxiety Has Taught Me

On the 10th of this month it is World Mental Health Day. An extra chance to raise awareness about the importance of mental health. I think it is so important for people to talk about as it touches so many peoples’ lives.

I have struggled on and off with anxiety since I was around 18 years old. When I was first diagnosed with anxiety, I didn’t know anyone else who had anxiety. Mental health difficulties can still be seen so negatively, so I thought I would share a bit of positivity. I am going to share 6 positive things that anxiety has taught me.

1. I have more of an understanding about mental health difficulties

When you struggle with anxiety or another mental health difficulty you tend to research (I certainly did!) about how the mind works, some causes or even symptoms and just learn as much as I can. You can then have a better understanding of the struggles that other people may be facing.

2. It pushes and challenges me

When my anxiety is heightened, it can feel very hard to do the simplest of tasks. I try my best to set myself challenges when I am feeling that way to try and take back some control. I try and push myself into or continue in situations that sometimes create anxiety for me and try and work through them.

3. I appreciate my days so much more

Some days or points during the day I have free anxiety moments which means I can really appreciate being able to live in the moment.

4. Preparation is so helpful

For me, being prepared and organised really helps reduce my levels of anxiety. If I get my bags packed if I am travelling, or outfits ready for the next day, it means my mornings are less stressful. Being rushed or stressed out because I can’t find something increases my anxiety.

5. I am more empathetic of peoples’ feelings

Knowing how difficult my anxiety can be, makes me more aware of how other people could be feeling and the struggles that might be facing. There have been a few situations where I have cancelled plans because my anxiety and so if my family or friends’ have cancelled I am respectful of their reasons.

6. I have supportive people around me

I didn’t like to talk about my anxiety to anyone really when I was first diagnosed. I felt embarrassed and I did not want to be judged. Having the support of my family and my friends has been amazing. They are kind and empathetic about how I am feeling. You should trust your loved ones with your worries.

I feel that although it can be tough, there are always positive aspects and all different situations can teach you so many things. As a great reflection exercise if you struggle with a mental health problem to take a step back and see what it has taught you.

What has your mental health difficulty taught you? If you do not struggle with one, how do you support people in your life that may be struggling with their mental health? I’d love to hear in the comments.

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46 thoughts on “What Anxiety Has Taught Me

  1. I suffered with anxiety too. My family was my biggest strength, and they always tried to make things better for me. Since I don’t really know a lot of people suffering with anxiety, it feels great to read such a nice post you have written. ☺♥️

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have social anxiety. I feel like I have learned how to see small moments in life more positively. It has taught me how to be more sympathetic to others when they are struggling. If someone is yelling at me at my job, I try to see it as they are struggling with something themselves. I have done a lot of research when I found out about my anxiety.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mental health has taught me that I have control over the outcome. I could turn to medications but I choose not to. I’ve been off of a low-dose antidepressant since August and I find I’m stronger without it. I struggle with depression, anxiety/social anxiety and to an extent, ADD.

    Recently, I was told that I couldn’t drink coffee or any of my favorite beverages for the next two years, and that I could only drink water. Sure, it sucks, but by quitting coffee cold turkey, I made it through the coffee withdrawal phase and my anxiety has decreased significantly. I focus better and I sleep better without caffeine. I feel like a little kid again who never had to rely on caffeine to function, and it’s a great feeling. To cope with depression, I do some daily Pilates. It’s light exercise these days and nothing too intense. Listen to your body. It instinctively knows what’s best for you. 🙏🏻🌹🌹

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s definitely made a positive difference so far in both anxiety and sleep patterns. I haven’t had coffee for 11 days now. I do however, drink a cup or two of chilled green tea that I make from scratch using David’s tea leaves. Even artificial sweeteners worsen my anxiety so I don’t drink any soda. I miss regular Pepsi (the sugary kind) and can easily get addicted to it, so I don’t drink it at all.

        The caffeine withdrawal isn’t pleasant (warning: it lasts for a week) but if you can get your caffeine consumption down to no more than 60-70 mg per day, you should start feeling the benefits. Google caffeine content in your favorite beverages. Even chocolate has caffeine to some extent, but coffee/energy drinks are the highest. Good luck! 🙏🏻♥️

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved seeing how anxiety has taught you to appreciate your days more. I often forget to love watching a pretty leaf fall or appreciate the simple nature of the wind in the trees. It is amazing and inspiring seeing how much positivity can come from the anxiety that is often viewed as negative.

    Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Really interesting post, thank you for posting! I don’t know, aside from the experience of people I know, what it’s like to have anxiety. I appreciate you posting this, though, to let people know that people do struggle but there are ways of getting through the struggles.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks so much for sharing your story and raising awareness. I also suffer with Anxiety and I have learned something new with your post. I never realised how stressed out I get when I’m not prepared and not organised. This is something that I will work on to bring my anxiety levels down 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think my anxiety has definitely made me more empathetic too! I’ve always been an empath but I really try and take a step back and think “is this person being difficult deliberately or are they struggling with something and not being their true self” when people annoy me!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. this is such an important post! i think it’s so important to talk about mental illness and how it affects us. i’ve been experiencing it more lately and one struggle is that I sometimes can’t pin point what’s making me anxious, i just know my chest is tight and i’m gonna start crying. that’s frustrating because people want to help you and understand but you physically can’t explain because even you don’t know what’s wrong. i do agree that it helps me appreciate my days more. helps me appreciate the sun on my face or the wind in my hair, the small joys of life. xx
    mich / simplymich.com

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a lovely post. Very relatable. Having a good support system has helped me with my anxiety as well. I’ve also gotten into a habit of changing from a “have to” attitude, to a “get to” attitude.
    Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t have anxiety myself so can’t fully understand the impact it must have on everyday things that I take for granted, but I really love posts like this that can find some positives in it. I think it’s amazing that you think it’s made you more understanding and empathetic towards other people, and appreciate the goodness in days more.They’re great skills to have x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

    Like

  11. Great post thank you for sharing, I suffer from anxiety too and have learnt to recognise my triggers, it’s lovely that you can turn a negative into a positive for others ❤️

    Like

  12. These are some great life lessons, the kind of lessons that some people will go their entire lives without learning. While I know that a life with anxiety is anything but easy, acknowledging silver lining can definitely make it a lot easier to be appreciative of the life we have.

    Like

  13. I suffer with anxiety along with my OCD and it’s so important to have a group of supportive people. My Mum and husband have been amazing during some of my worst times and I feel very lucky to have a group of friends who I could easily tell when I got my OCD diagnosis 3 years ago. These are some really great lessons and I’m sure lots of people will relate! I especially agree with your point on preparation! It’s such a huge help!! Xx

    Like

  14. Amazing post! I wouldn’t wish an anxiety disorder on anyone but honestly, I feel like my life is richer for my anxiety disorder than it was before. It’s taught me SO much and I wholeheartedly agree with all of your points. It’s made me more grateful. And it’s made me appreciate the little things more. I’m also prouder of myself on a daily basis when I can manage anxiety wins x

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Really great to flip the experience off mental health and see what you’ve leaned and experienced from it. Leads to a wiser and more authentic way of being i think. Like you said, noticing when you’re not suffering enhances you’re capacity to be more fully present.
    My anxiety had given me the capacity to notice a high level detail very quickly. Thank you anxiety.
    Great post,
    Spence 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This is such an important and personal post. I’ve found that my own mental health struggles have made me much more empathetic as a person, and I’ve been able to support family and friends going through similar situations which has been really uplifting. Thanks so much for sharing your story. xx
    El // welshwanderer.com

    Like

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