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Why Anxiety Is More Than Just a Little Stress

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Anxiety is a lot more than just a little stress.

It’s waking up every morning drowsy and stumbling because irrational fears and thoughts kept on creeping into the mind. It’s looking in the mirror and giving an internal, motivational pep talk to prepare for the already-draining day. It’s resisting the urge to crawl back into bed and ignoring all of the pressuring tasks.

Anxiety is taking a deep breath, reaching the maximum level in earphones and avoiding eye contact with people. It’s analyzing the best route to avoid large crowds or tight spaces when walking from place to place. It’s thinking the same thought and doing the same action over and over and over and over again as a nervous habit. It’s finally feeling relief at the end of an errand, even if the errand was nothing more than just dropping a check off at the bank.

Anxiety is hoping too much — hoping no one is watching you, thinking about you. Hoping your life choices are not only satisfying your needs, but also the expectations of others. Hoping you are making the right decisions even though every option feels wrong. Hoping you are good enough for your mom, your dad, your siblings, your significant others, your teachers, your classmates and so on.

Anxiety is the growing urge to do ridiculous things. The urge to run away from it all and start somewhere new. The urge to just quit and be left alone forever. The urge to overdrink or smoke the problems all away. The urge to constantly ask for forgiveness even though there is nothing to forgive. The urge to turn all of the thoughts off and just be numb.

Anxiety is so much more than just a little stress. Not everyone acknowledges the fear of raising a hand in class to ask a question, or to admitting they just don’t know. It’s hoping a smile can mask the worried wrinkles and baggy eyes permanently stained on the skin. People often overlook the fact that what might seem like a small task might actually take ounces of courage for some people. It’s not always stress that causes us to become easily annoyed or unbelievably stiff. It’s trying to calm the things that are obviously just the imagination going into overdrive.

Anxiety makes us strong while making us feel so weak.

Photo by Zachary Staines on Unsplash

Originally published: November 20, 2018
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