An Open Letter To Those Who Struggle With Anxiety

I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone. I believe the things that those of us that have suffered or still suffer from anxiety have in common is this: we are wonderful people with very much to offer. We have some of the biggest heats in the world. We believe that we can take on more than we can handle- but we do it with a smile because we want the world to perceive us as ‘being in control’. We want to make others happy even if that means sacrificing a little of our own happiness in the process. We are modest. We are incredibly creative and intelligent which can work to our disadvantage especially when it comes to our racing thoughts. All of these things are gifts that we posses. However, when we begin to experience such terrible symptoms is when we realise that maybe the wonderful things we thought we were doing were actually hindering us. We take, and we take and we take on the problems of the world, and carry it on our backs… and in our minds… and in our hearts. No wonder your mind races! No wonder your heart is pounding a mile a minute! Your body us telling you to wake up and realize that what you were doing before is not working. Something needs to change.We need to realize that we are not superheroes. We are human, and while we think we can make everyone in this life happy, the truth us we cannot. And that’s okay. You are allowed to say no without giving an explanation. You are allowed to take time for yourself without feeling guilty. Don’t apologize for something you didn’t do. Ask for help when you need it. You already posses the gifts, but instead of turning them inward- turn them outward and watch how your life changes right before your eyes.

Lay out what it is that’s causing your anxiety, I know it’s often easier said than done, but try and record when you feel most anxious and from that you can often work out what’s triggering your anxiety. If it’s a certain situation, hairdressers for example, try and think of something you can do immediately after said task, for instance you could say to yourself I’m going to eat some cake right after I’ve finished in the hairdressers. Then while you’re in a situation which usually would have been a huge anxiety trigger your mind is now preoccupied with something good, subconsciously it forces your brain to realise that said situation won’t last forever. Nothing last forever.

It’s a process, there is no magic piece of advice I can give you to make it all go away. I wish I could but I can’t. All I can say is it’s manageable. Little steps go a long way. Often the reason people don’t make the progress they would like is because they try and solve the main problem head on, when in actual fact there’s a list of things that cause the main problem. If you focus your time into solving those smaller tasks, the main problem will reduce to almost nothing. Don’t try and go straight in and do something that is a huge anxiety trigger to you, it will do more harm than good. Start off small, like eating healthily, sleeping well, taking time out for yourself. I can assure you that completing small goals like these will make a massive difference.

Nobody should settle with anxiety being a big part of their identity, it isn’t. Anxiety is not your life and it’s not who you are, it’s just a small part of you that doesn’t have to be so loud. Everyone has anxiety in varying levels and some of us are better at it than others. If you have anxiety, you CAN change how much it affects you. Don’t just settle, take steps to improving your life. It may take time, hard work and dedication but it’s worth it in the end. Also remember that you aren’t alone. You are not the only one on this planet feeling the way you do and although at times it can seem as though nobody understands, yourself included, there will be somebody or something that can help. Ultimately, though, only YOU can make the biggest difference by making that first, and often very terrifying first step.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new” – Socrates

Anxiety doesn’t define you, it is not you and you are not it. Do not let it stop you achieving your dreams, let it push you to achieve more. I believe that there is a reason people need to go through such an unpleasant experience. Perhaps it was to show you that you needed to take a step back and stop taking more on than you could handle. Perhaps it was so that one day you too could write a letter and potentially show at least one person that they too can get through this. Perhaps it was so you could see the essence of all worry comes down to either being too much in the future, or too much in the past. So please, if you are reading this and have been able to relate to any part of this letter I urge you to choose to use your fears to your advantage – use them to propel yourself forward. Manifest that energy into something that will take you where you need to go. Life is not meant to be walked through in constant fear and worry. We were meant to do great things, and each day on this earth is truly a blessing. Look for the positivity – the light – in the darkest of days. I promise you it’s there if you’re willing to look for it. You can make it through anything – one breath at a time.

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