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5 Simple Reminders for People With Anxiety

1. You are not alone.

This might be one of the most common things people hear, but let me tell you. There are times I still feel like I’m the only one who is going through this. Anxiety disorder and panic disorder have such a wide spectrum. It is possible you might not ever come across someone who has the same type of anxiety you do, but you will find someone who can understand what it’s like to feel anxious that goes beyond just a simple, “I’m nervous.”

I have severe travel anxiety, and I still haven’t met anyone who has that type of anxiety or gets panic attacks similar to mine. On the other hand though, I have met people who have had panic attacks so they understand the feeling of needing to get out of the situation and back to a place of comfort. No matter how uncommon you may think your anxiety is, you are not alone. I’m here for you. We are all here for you.

2. Your anxiety does not define you.

Person first. I never say I’m an anxious person. I always say, “I’m Alison, and I have anxiety.” Anxiety is only a small part of you. Could it interfere majorly with one’s life? Of course, but it’s still only a small part. Before our anxiety, we are mothers, daughters, sons, fathers, friends, artists and teachers. We are lovable, friendly, introverted, extroverted, silly, serious, sensitive and empathetic. You are so much more than the anxiety.

3. Don’t ever be ashamed or embarrassed.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s to never feel guilty about canceling plans or leaving a situation that became uncomfortable. You can’t control when a panic attack comes, and it’s hard to control anxiety. You’re not purposely making a situation uncomfortable for yourself. Why feel ashamed and embarrassed? People are usually understanding when someone gets physical ill. They should be just as understanding if your symptoms are due a mental illness. Your well-being is important, and your family and friends should understand that.

4. You are good enough.

Had a panic attack today? Still good enough. Couldn’t stick to your plans the other day? Still good enough. Left a dinner with friends early because your anxiety started creeping up? Still good enough. Skipped a class today because you were feeling really anxious? Still good enough. Don’t ever let anyone tell you or make you feel like you aren’t good enough because you are.

If someone doesn’t want to be your friend or have any romantic relationship with you, then it’s their loss. They are losing out on a sensitive person who is keen to their surroundings, appreciates the little things and who can notice even the tiniest of differences. They are missing out on someone who would never judge anyone for what they are going through because we know what it’s like to feel misunderstood.

5. Be kind to yourself.

At the end of the day, the only person who will always be there for you 100 percent of the time is yourself. So treat yourself well. Give your body and mind the care it deserves for it has never given up on you even during the toughest of times. Nourish your body in a positive and healthy way. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

Had a bad day? It’s OK! Give yourself credit for making it through that day and reward yourself with a nice bath or dancing in your pajamas while singing into a pretend microphone (a personal fav). Cook your favorite meal. Treat yourself to that new shirt or movie. Be there for yourself. You’ll be happy you did. I promise.

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