7 Things You Learn When You Live With Anxiety

On the white duvet on a bed is a dark wooden plank that has a notebook open with a pen. Next to the notebook is a candle, a vase of flowers and a white mug filled with tea.

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. 

2. Empathy

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. 

A woman sat at a white desk with an open notebook/planner using a macbook pro and an apple mouse. On the desk there is a small white pad and a pair of dark rimmed glasses

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.’

5. Preparedness 

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.

6. Confidence 

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.

 

 

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85 thoughts on “7 Things You Learn When You Live With Anxiety

  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. Lovely piece! My anxiety has taught me to slow down and just try and enjoy the sounds of nature every so often (except bugs.. i hate bugs haha) I’m always rushed and that’s part of my anxiety.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. This is such a lovely detailed blog post which I believe will benefit loads of people, I find that prepping has helped me keep calm aswell!

    Ayse x

    Liked by 1 person

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. 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

    Liked by 1 person

  15. 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 2 people

  16. 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 2 people

  17. 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

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Thanks for sharing. Very interesting post!

    Another suggestions to help w/ anxiety is the importance of pray!
    We want to be vigilant with a view to prayers.
    We want to ask God for his help and for the wisdom and courage to make the best of our situation, confident that he hears us concerning whatever we are asking – John 5:15

    Liked by 1 person

  19. What an eye opening post. I love how all of these lessons have a positive side to them. I think anytime we focus on our mental health, we learn important things about ourselves and lessons for the future. Empathy is such a huge one!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. This is a very relatable post. I’m not too sure how I would cope with new situations or things without the support of my family and partner. They’ve been a massive help when I thought I wasn’t good enough or things became too much. I’ve got much better at dealing with things now though, particularly as I don’t always have that support with me 24/7, so I just find taking things slow and doing what I can is the best approach! I know now that I am good enough, even if I have to do things differently to other people!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I agree with all of these points. Living with anxiety can be a b*tch, but after a while you begin to recognize what’s normal for you. I have found so much comfort in meditation and it’s really helped me to regain control of wild thoughts. Hang in there, you’re not alone!

    Like

  22. I have learned a lot about anxiety and depression, bipolar disorder and body dysmorphia, as well as my chronic illness over the years because they’re all things I experience. I still do regular research and find myself yearning to grow in certain areas. Now, my biggest hope is that those who DON’T experience these things will do their research so they know how to relate with me in a more appropriate manner! That would be so nice haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I can relate to this post so much! I’ve had anxiety for the past 3 years and it’s made me a lot more empathetic towards other people who are struggling with their mental health because I understand more what they are going through. I definitely also appreciate the good days and the small joys in life a lot more than I used to! Anxiety definitely has its silver linings xx

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Thank you for sharing Lauren. I am anxious from time to time but it has made me stronger in a sense that I KNOW that I am bigger than it is. Many things I am anxious about happened like ten years ago. Then I ask myself is it really worth ruining your week? The answer is of course a big NO!

    Liked by 1 person

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