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How I’m Pushing My Anxiety’s Boundaries This Year

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Have you ever let your anxiety stop you from doing things in life?

I most certainly have. I feel like I need to give myself a massive pep talk in order to push myself out of my boundaries.

This is my first story and it took a lot to even put fingers to keyboard. I’ve read the Mighty for a few years and it most definitely has articles that have helped and even been super relatable. A nice reassurance that you’re never alone. I want to be able to help and make that impact.

Anxiety is something I have struggled with since I was around 16 years old. I didn’t know how deflating it was, I didn’t know how mentally challenging it was and I certainly didn’t know how tough living with mental illness was. I am now 21 and I have my moments when I’m on top of the world and feel like I can beat anxieties backside off the face of the earth, and there are times where I’m so low I’m drowning in obsessive and intrusive thoughts. But y’know what? That’s OK.

I’ve decided this year is the year I take my mental health care to the next level, attempting to turn myself from a “maybe” woman to a “yes, let’s do it” woman.

I’ve always viewed my anxiety as a devil and angel conscience. My anxiety is the devil side, the side that tries to drag me in this deep dark hole of negative and obsessive thoughts and my angel side is my logical thinking — the whole “you’re not alone,” “you are liked,” “you do have friends.” It’s the positive side and definitely the side I wish I saw more of.

I overthink more than I’d like. I stop myself from doing stuff and I isolate myself in certain situations because my anxiety has this control over me. It judges me.

The past few months, I’ve had these ridiculous but realistic ideas. Things I could make happen. Something that could help make people aware of mental health and can be one step forward towards beating the stigma. But no, my anxiety talks me down from it.

“Does this have a purpose?” “Won’t people think it’s ‘stupid?’” “What if they say no?”

It puts me in this situation where I just can’t control my thoughts, and it just feels like my brain is in the middle of a hurricane. I can’t think straight, and I can’t focus on a thought at a time.

Sometimes, I feel like my anxiety judges me more than actual people do. Especially friends.

Have you ever been in a social situation where someone says something, and you think of something witty to come back with, but you hold back in case they say “it’s not funny” or “you’ve taken things too far?”

I never used to be so obsessive with what I say. I am now. I triple check I want to say something and overthink it. I then start to think whether it makes sense or not, and by the time it comes to saying anything, I stutter. I have a lack of confidence when talking to people unless I’m incredibly comfortable around them — unless I know they’ll brush off a sentence I stutter or that I am the equivalent of Yoda and I just don’t make sense.

Some of the things I have mentioned may have felt relatable or they might not have at all, but if they have been relatable, remind yourself you’re not alone.

Whether you talk yourself out of going on holiday due to the fear of something going wrong, talk yourself out of going to a party out of the fear of saying something wrong or just leaving the house because you feel like you will screw up somewhere or somehow, you need to remind yourself that you are more powerful than your anxiety.

I know I am more powerful than my anxiety. I might not think it every day, but I know it doesn’t define me and I am stronger than I think.

So, what’s the point of this article?

This article itself is evidence of me pushing myself and going “back off anxiety, I don’t care what you say, I’m doing it.” It’s pushing the judgment that my brain has over myself to one side. It’s a reminder that you do have control.

Some of you might have resolutions this year, and some may not. If you do, I’d love to hear them. If you don’t, then maybe self-love and taking care of your well-being has great potential. Push yourself out that comfort zone. Whether it’s once a day, week or month, it’s better than nothing and it’s so rewarding.

Take that holiday, go to that party and leave that house.

When you’re faced with a possibility to make a change or do something for yourself, say “yes” — don’t let your anxiety judge you or talk you down from it. You are you, not your anxiety.

Remember, you’re not alone.

Also, I’d love to hear what tactics you use in order to push yourself into doing things and giving your anxiety the biggest middle finger possible. It may help me or some other people who are looking for ways to becoming “yes” people too!

Peace and love, always.

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Getty Images photo via lzf

Originally published: February 21, 2018
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