If we go by Google search results, anxiety is basically defined as a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. This textbook definition rolls off your tongue smoothly, but in reality, the weight of it is much more than what one can possibly carry.
Before I proceed, I make myself clear that I’m no expert or a professional in psychology or the human mind. The reason I chose to bring up this topic, is because we don’t speak enough about mental health and how complex it really is. Whatever I hereby put out would entirely be based on my experience and understanding on the matter, hoping offense to none.
Anxiety is a normal emotion that has multiple symptoms spread out, with each one experiencing it differently. Some face an increase in heartbeat, restlessness, fear, etc. These are very common symptoms, but then there are those that go deeper beyond what is provided in books and articles.
Anxiety interferes with your wired psychology and rewires it wherein everything you once believed in, seems futile and in literal sense, a waste. It heightens your emotions to an extent where you lose control over your mind and body, and let your mind overrule itself. A prolonged process of the same eventually ends up becoming a disorder.
In this day and age, it becomes relatively easier to get carried away with whatever stress we serve ourselves. There’s always so much going on that we become more focused on what will follow after. Everything we feel thereon, only leads to a downward spiral into dooming ourselves.
I feel like I’ve been very, very familiar with the concept of anxiety, because I’ve been living with it for most of my life. It would usually be labeled as ‘stress’ and I’d be told to ‘not think too much’. Honestly, that’s the worst thing anyone would need to hear at that point.
But the more I kept going forward, the more it kept intensifying. It wasn’t until I actually came across the whole theory of anxiety, depression and mental health, that I realized how deep into it I was.
Anxiety swallows you whole, makes your existence seem worthless and your future, almost unwanted. It creates a dark place in your mind that you punish yourself into again and again. It’s like running a marathon, but in your mind, that has no end. It’s creating an image of nothingness and forcing yourself to see it; even when you can’t, even when you don’t want to.
You can never understand what might be going through a person’s mind. They might laugh and be the positive person to your face, but in reality, they might be aching and waiting to be rescued. General symptoms of anxiety aren’t enough at all, because only a person suffering with anxiety can tell you how and what they really feel.
The origin of anxiety into one’s life is very gradual, and never about just one thing. It’s a compilation of a multiple stressors that deteriorate your state of mind bit by bit. People suffering from mental health disorders are often said to be self destructive, but I highly disagree. Like everyone, they too want to be happy and mostly, saved from themselves.
Look at it this way – you are one entity, the host and your mind is another, the guest. Throughout my experience, I’ve come to learn that the mind is a powerful thing. It’s so powerful that it can make any right seem wrong, and every wrong seem right. Let it rule for long, and it will overthrow your being. It will make you do things you don’t necessarily want to, when all you really want to do is be at peace.
Living with anxiety is like surrendering all your power to your mind. You think about n number of things and obsess about every detail. You feel constricted in your own body and feel an urge to break free. You feel hollow. You have sleepless nights because you’re up trying to make sense of yourself and your life. You stare at nothing and awaken unnatural tendencies. You are emotionally exhausted before your body is drained of its energy. You seem immovable at all times because you feel trapped and voiceless.
And all this, why? Because you are under your mind’s control.
It takes absolutely no time for anxiety to go from 0 to a 100. You’re happy one moment and incredibly lost the next. You have goals and ambitions to accomplish, but you’d rather lie down, get some rest than actually put in effort for anything. This may seem like a manic episode to anyone around you because they don’t comprehend the seriousness of the situation.
Living with anxiety is not easy at all. It is extremely suffocating and frequent breakdowns begin to seem normal. That’s when you know you need an outlet, before you are consumed entirely. No one can help you unless you want to be helped. And the first step begins from helping yourself.
Each time I feel my mind winning over me, I remind myself of all the unbearable pain and torture I was put through. Almost like a toxic relationship with an ex. That makes it easier for me to choose myself and want to get better. It helps me breathe.
Focusing on a hobby or doing something new, something you like, talking to a friend, journaling, exercising, and the most sought therapy, goes a serious long way in helping one cope with their struggles with anxiety. Obviously these are very vague suggestions and have many layers to it, which I might talk about in another article.
A physical sickness is naked to the eye. You can be prescribed medicines or home remedies to help treat you better. Mental sickness is invisible. And treating a sickness that you have no idea how it looks or feels, is ten times more challenging. And popping pills (antidepressants) or suppressant drugs is also not the most suggestive way to go about.
Regaining control over yourself and curbing anxiety to reach your natural state of mind is a slow and tedious process. There is no temporary fix to it. Healing, as it is mostly called, takes a lot of time, patience, acceptance and self-love. You will relapse and fail many times, it’s a given. There’s no easy way out but only through. You’ve just got to want to make it through at any cost.
I cannot emphasize enough on how important mental health is. When one falls sick, everyone inquires about their physical health. Why do we never ask how is one doing mentally or emotionally?
We’re a generation pretending to build happy lives on the internet, whilst living an unhealthy reality. We don’t talk and observe enough. Everything is bottled up with the fear of judgment or lack of wanting to be vulnerable. Everyone wants to act like they’re strong and under control, until they no longer can take it anymore.
So for once, stop living so fast paced and just breathe. Be aware of how you feel, or how the person next to you might.
Take a break. Speak up. Ask. Listen. Help. Care. Understand. Encourage. Be patient. Accept.
One step at a time.