I hope you have all had a lovely weekend and you’re ready to face this week with everything you’ve got.
Today I want to do something a little bit different and talk about anxiety. Obviously, not everyone gets anxiety and it affects people in very different ways. Some people will luckily go through their entire lives and never suffer with it, whilst for other people it can be a crippling and difficult thing to deal with. For me, my anxiety comes and goes, but it affects me the most when I am stressed or upset and down about something.
I want to share with you what I have learned from my own anxiety and the best ways that I cope with it, and I hope that it will help you in some way.
This was the hardest thing for me to comprehend. My anxiety usually gets triggered by one of two things; someone insults me and makes me feel worthless, or someone leaves. It isn’t easy to upset me like that, I’ve learned to have quite thick skin, but when someone manages to really dig the knife in, it’s hard to come back from that. As for people leaving, that can be them moving away, or dying, or even us drifting apart. The fear of being alone is by far my biggest issue and that fear is the key trigger to my anxiety.
What makes it hard is you to have to learn to avoid the things that trigger it, and sometimes that can be hard. Sometimes the people that hurt you most are the people that used to be the closest to you, and learning to let go to save yourself is extremely difficult. In the past couple of months, I have learned that just because someone you know used to bring out the best in you, doesn’t mean it lasts that way forever. My best friend betrayed me in the worst way, and getting over that was hard. It caused my anxiety to get very extreme; I spent two weeks refusing to leave my house and face anyone. Just getting out of bed in the morning became so difficult.
Another thing that was hard was a break up. If you’ve ever been in love, you know there is nothing that compares to that awful heart wrenching ache when it all falls apart. You have to work out what you did wrong, and what parts really aren’t your fault. And then you have to learn how to live without that person. Finally, when you can function as yourself again, you’ve got to learn to love yourself and realise that you are worth loving and you don’t need someone else in your life to know that.
My weight is a big issue that comes with my anxiety. I am plus size (I wear a UK 20), and although I’m quite tall for a girl, I still feel anxious that people are going to judge me for my size. When you get a knock back such as a break up, your appearance and your weight suddenly become super important again. You think people aren’t ever going to want to be in a relationship with you because you’re fat. Well that’s simply not true. The fact you’ve been in a relationship before proves that theory wrong. My ex-boyfriend was really slim and he never had a problem with my weight. None of my ex boyfriends have. The only person who has that problem is YOU. If you can’t love yourself, then you’ve never got a chance of letting someone else love you. You’ll constantly be convincing yourself that they dislike what they’re seeing because you dislike what you’re seeing. So here comes the solution:
This is the simplest and most effective treatment for anxiety. The more at peace and happy you feel within yourself, the less upset and affected you get by the ‘outside world’. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t always easy. Sometimes there are days you will look in the mirror and think EW it’s a bad day. That’s entirely normal. I think the real trick is to know who you are inside, and to like the person you are. If you are happy with yourself inwardly, you’re more likely to be ‘pretty’ in your eyes. Self-happiness creates brighter eyes and glowing skin, which naturally enhances people. Happiness is the key.
To achieve this, I make sure that the first 30 minutes of my day is devoted to something I really enjoy doing. This can even be before I get dressed. I will read or write in my journal. Sometimes I meditate. Other times I do some yoga or play with my pet rabbit. Anything that makes me smile. I also make sure that my bedroom is pleasant to look at when I first wake up. If you have a messy bedroom, it can seriously depress you. Flowers and candles help enormously. I also always ensure I do my hair and my makeup (even if it’s just moisturiser and lip gloss) every morning when I get ready. It makes me feel more ready to face the day as I feel presentable no matter what life throws at you. Practically wise, keeping a good facial routine minimises risk of spots which is going to make you feel better about yourself.
If I have had a bad day, I accept this. I don’t beat myself up or feel like I’ve failed. I will calm myself down with a bath in the evening and a pamper session. When I’ve had a really good day, I will reward myself. It doesn’t have to be anything big, a mug of hot chocolate and some biscuits in bed whist reading is a great treat for me. But if you go to sleep in a good mood, you’re more likely to wake in a good mood.
I think the hardest thing overall is accepting that you’ll never be free from anxiety. It’s an emotion or a state of mind, just like grief and sadness and desperation. Just like joy and hope and happiness. You can’t take the good without the bad unfortunately. You just have to take each day as it comes. When you have a bad day, you haven’t failed; you’ve simply pressed pause on your journey, and you’ll press play when you wake up the next day.
If any of you are struggling, I’m always here for you. I hope this post has helped.
Forever your friend