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.