Monday, July 13, 2015

Topic of the Week: Anxiety Awareness

For the last two months  up until mid June I spent a lot of my free time doing hobbies, like reading, exercising, watching movies, and talking to my friends.  Usually something is being neglected if you're a mom of two with any free time. I neglected writing, a lot of minor cleaning, and laundry. I started having this almost internal battle inside feeling guilty for it. I take naps regularly but don't feel guilty about those because sleep is the only way I can function, but the other stuff just being at a stand still started to nag at me. I also got sick during that time and started having anxiety. 

In that short time, I find myself almost becoming a hypochondriac because every time something hurts, it's like "oh shit I'm dying again!". Then Google makes it worse! I found myself walking around with a black cloud over my head. I can't say I'm over it because anyone with anxiety knows that these things come in waves like life. One day you feel confident ready to take on the world, you live in the now, the next day, you want to disappear into an oblivion, or sleep your life away because you worry about all the scary things that might happen. I have like months of being positive and living in the moment, and the moment something hurts it's back to the worrying, the fear of all the things Google tells you that could change your life forever. Then you hear of someone you know, or read some sad  tragic story and you feel so down and sad, you start to worry again. 

I was watching Greys' Anatomy, and one of the characters said "Did I use up all my happy?" I will come back to this Grey's Anatomy scenario in another post soon, because I just got caught up from what happened in May and I'm so sad. There's so much I want to say but for right now I want to bring awareness to anxiety. For the most part when I'm not screaming at my kids, I'm happy. Like I cannot complain about life. I love my life, but there's a nagging in the back of my head that's afraid to be too happy because things might very well be "too good to be true".  The nagging fears are all kinds of atrocities that could happen. Basically, as a popular meme says: "I've got 99 problems and 86 of them are completely made up in my head." My friend told me that "my thoughts are going to be the end of me" which is so true. I started doing some digging. The more I learned about anxiety, the more I started to understand that this is all considered the new "normal". Normal keeps getting redefined.

Today 1 in 5 people have Anxiety. This fact actually alarmed me and made me breathe a sigh of relief because I'm not alone or the only one going crazy. Knowing something is "normal" makes you calm down a bit. Anxiety can be attributed to the changing times.

- People hustle 24/7, there's not a lot of time to stop and smell the roses anymore.
-Technology brings more awareness from media.
-Comparison is the thief of joy via social media.
-We're in a point in history where people are living in excess which means that our dreams are only getting bigger which causes more anxiety.
-Age of information-Information is at our fingertips, the media fear mongers with bad news and sad news, and we keep googling our symptoms.
-Younger and younger people are being afflicted with diseases seen in seniors way before our time.
-Consciousness has shifted a lot as there's more free time than ever before. We have automated services, machines that do most of our work compared to the earlier days before the Industrial Revolution.
- Anxiety is actually hurting you. See infographic >

If you go through anxiety, find natural ways to decrease it. Trace your thought process, journal, exercise, find things to do that make you happy. Evaluate the source of your anxiousness and deal with it headfirst. If you find that you just have anxiety that stops you from functioning, or feels crippling without cause, you need to seek help. Please speak to a medical professional before getting off medications prescribed as well. For me personally, I'm just a worry wort, and I can't help my fight and flight response when something is going on in my life. I want to manage it and not let it take over my life. If you have anxiety, but you don't take medication because it's not severe enough, or it's just something that happens from time to time when you worry like me, check out some of the links below. I've spent the last two months compiling a bunch of articles that talk about anxiety, each one unique, interesting, informative, or helpful.

Don't get caught up in the lie called perfection

How to Cope When You Feel Like Shit

Heartbreaking: Photos Show What Life With Anxiety REALLY Feels Like

10 Things Your Friend With Anxiety Wants You To Know

Mountain Magic Diving Into the Roots of My Anxiety

How to Overcome Anxiety in Your Relationship

31 Secrets of People Who Live with Anxiety

Anxiety and the Underlying Cause Everyone Should Know About

Worriers, Rejoice! Your Anxiety Actually Means You’re More Intelligent

How I Healed My Anxiety Without Drugs

Kill Anxiety and Radically Improve Your Life With Conscious Breathing