Mental health conditions are now being talked about more; however, there is still a stigma attached and more awareness and education is needed. Using a platform like mine, to share information and personal experience, can reach people who may feel like they are alone.
Anxiety has so many negative connotations and how living with anxiety can be a negative experience. But like anything in life, there are benefits to being diagnosed with anxiety. Viewing your mental health struggle as a positive experience can help change your mindset and your life!
Your anxiety condition can teach you many things about yourself and about life. I have struggled with anxiety since I was in my teens. When I was first diagnosed, I didn’t know anyone else who had it. Now, having had a lot of experience, I want to help others feel less alone.
If you search the Internet, there is so much information about all the adverse effects that anxiety can have on your life. Unfortunately, there is not much about what having anxiety can teach you. Start seeing the positives!
Here are 5 things that living with anxiety can teach you:
1. A Better Understanding Of Mental Health Conditions
When you are diagnosed with a condition you tend to research (I certainly did!) about how the mind works, some causes or even other symptoms so that you can learn as much as you can to help yourself feel as in control as possible. When you live with a mental health condition you will have a better understanding of mental health. You will also have more of an understanding of what other people may be facing.
Knowing how difficult anxiety can be and how it can make you feel, makes you more aware of other people’s feelings and struggles. You have a better understanding of how they feel and how you can therefore best support them.
There have been many situations where I have cancelled plans because my anxiety was so high, so if your friends and family have to cancel, I am respectful of their reasons. It is also about knowing how best to take care of yourself, showing yourself kindness and empathy when you are going through a hard time.
3. Motivation & Challenge Yourself
When your anxiety is increased, it can feel very hard to complete the simplest of tasks. Just getting through the day is an achievement! On your worst days, setting yourself small challenges can help you retake control. Every day may feel like a struggle, but every day that you wake up and get up, you are fighting… and winning!
If my anxiety is bad and it is occupying all of my thoughts, setting tasks or challenges really helps me. When you are feeling anxious, putting small challenges in place can help you to focus and stop thinking about your problems and concerns. Simple challenges such as: making your bed, getting dressed, brushing your teeth, or having a chat with a loved one, can make you feel as though you have actually done something.
4. Inner Strength
Anxiety in any form can be debilitating to many people; waking up and fighting to live your life and achieve your goals shows your strength. To battle and manage your anxiety every day takes courage and determination.
It is vital to remember this, especially on your worst days. When you are really struggling, using positive affirmations can be really helpful. Use affirmations like: ‘I am strong, I can overcome this anxious feeling, my anxiety doesn’t define me’, or ‘I am stronger than my anxious feelings.’
Learning to be more prepared and organised can help to reduce anxiety and the stresses that can heighten stressful situations. You learn to prepare yourself in the event of situations and what works best for you.
For example, if you prepare your outfit the night before, or plan your travel arrangements, then you are already using your organisational skills and are proving that preparation is the key to managing your level of anxiety.
Living with anxiety can impact upon your entire life and you may cancel plans more readily in order to avoid both situations and people. Writing from personal experience, I have come across people who I classed as close friends, who did not support me in any way when I really needed them to. I decided that life was too short; I needed only positive and supportive people in my life, so I rid myself of these ‘toxic’ relationships.
You will learn – if you haven’t already- who is really there for you and is understanding and accepting of your anxiety. You only need to have the most supportive people in your life… these are far more valuable than 2 people who make you feel bad for having anxiety in the first place!
7. To Appreciate Your Good Days
There will be some days that you will not feel as anxious or have no anxiety at all. This is the time that you will start to appreciate more and more. You are able to practise mindfulness and living in the moment. You learn what is important and practise gratitude in your life. Showing appreciation can really help your mental health.
Remember… don’t be defined by your anxiety. You define it.
If you have anxiety what has it taught you? I’d love to hear in the comments.
AD. We all want to meet new bloggers and discover new articles to read. There is now a blog directory that is run by a blogger for bloggers. Click the link and add your blog to the ever growing list of amazing bloggers.