Anxiety does not limit my ambitions, nor should it limit yours. For many years, I did not understand how to live with anxiety. Thus, I was limited in what I was able to accomplish. The term “High Functioning Anxiety” that circulates the internet, is not the most accurate representation of daily life. Those who have learned to function with anxiety, do so because of hard work and a strong support system.
An essential lesson I have learned to do is to make lists. It may seem mundane, but it is so imperative. I realized that I get anxious at night, typically because my brain is overwhelmed with thoughts. Thoughts of tasks I need to accomplish, ideas, deadlines, and various other things. I have learned that writing those thoughts down on paper, helps to clear my mind. I would become so anxious thinking about the tasks I needed to finish and important dates. When I write them down on a list, I am able to calm my mind.
Furthermore, possibly the most important lesson I have learned is to say “no”. It may seem like a good idea at first to go to that big party or to help someone out. Yet, sometimes those situations made me anxious. I learned to think “can I handle this” before I agree to anything. It is lovely to be a good friend or have a good time, but you have to put your mental health first. When I thought “can I handle this” I prevented putting myself in situations that made me anxious.
I am incredibly grateful that I have a solid support system, and I learned to rely on them. You may think that you are bothering people, but your loved ones only want the best for you. If you are having an anxiety attack and you can ask someone to come be there with you, do it. My friends and family have helped me whether it be getting me home or simply getting me a glass of water. The simple things that someone else can do can help an anxiety attack.
I learned that I need to give myself time to unwind. I learned to take time for myself to do whatever I loved most. Whether I would to take a walk, watch Netflix, read a book, or simply sit quietly. I schedule out time as often as I can, in order to give myself the time to focus on myself. Those are simple things that truly made me happier and healthier. As Plutarch once said, “What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.”