Anxiety: My Greatest Teacher

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Everyone experiences a certain level of anxiety and I’m no different. I’m not going to say that my journey with anxiety has been a constant “anguish,”  for I believe that I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my best friend- Anxiety.

Only a year ago I viewed anxiety as a nasty obstacle that I must overcome and find a way to get rid off because of its constant interference in my life and happiness. It was overwhelming, devastating, and honestly quite annoying since it kept me up at night. For a while, I thought I might just go mad with the whole overthinking/overanalyzing everything! But that’s all in the past now…

So, what changed?

So, one day I was just chatting with random people over the internet (ok, don’t judge) and I came across a certified psychotherapist. I started nagging about how much my anxiety bothered me and all that. That was the day when my entire perspective on anxiety changed honestly..

Anxiety is a double-edged sword, he said.

Everything in life is a double-edged sword and so is anxiety. Yes, my anxiety keeps me up at night; it makes me restless, anxious, and uncomfortable. However, my anxiety is the main reason I make it to class on time every morning. Its the reason I always give a 150% in everything I do. My anxiety is my motivator.
My anxiety allowed me to understand people around me. It taught me how to be stronger and helped me become positive and maintain a balance in my life. My anxiety allowed me to understand myself better. It allowed me to understand why I fear, why I worry, why I feel restless and so on. It allowed me to finally see that’s all about how I perceive things. I am the one who controls my thoughts and not the over way round. Its all in my head. Therefore, if I choose to dismiss something as insignificant, then it wouldn’t hold a greater value to me anymore. Easier said than done, right? But… I believe that we are much stronger than we know.

Its all about perception. If you look at anxiety only as a source of pain and irritation then you’ll make yourself miserable. Just accept that anxiety is a part of being human.

Don’t allow your thoughts to takeover your life. Its you who is in control, its your mind, your thoughts, and your choice. So, take a deep breath, relax, have a positive outlook, and reclaim control over your life.

“Rule your mind or it will rule you.”
-Buddha

 

 

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Forget others.. Live for yourself

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By simply observing people around us, we notice many common problems that we all struggle with. For example, we all struggle because of expectations and the pressure it exerts on our daily life. Sometimes we feel as if our decisions are being controlled by an invisible hand. Its as if those decisions were made because we were allowed to make them. In other words, we actually believe we’re making these decisions when in reality, we’re being pushed into that specific direction ..LOL
Over time, the pressure just takes its’ toll on us and we just start beating ourselves up and destroying our self-image. I thought about this for a while and I’ve noticed that we simply live for acceptance. Everything we do… we do it in hope of being accepted by someone .. a parent, a friend, a lover or society.

So, why do we do that?

It’s simply because acceptance is a fundamental human need.

We live our life trying to satisfy others; we try so hard to fit our ‘persona’ without realizing that people will never be satisfied. The more we give, the higher the expectations become. So, what’s the point? What’s the point of fulfilling those expectations if they’re just going to pile up anyway? What’s the point of mentally degrading ourselves for being unable to meet the list of endless expectations?

I mean, the more we try to fulfill them, the more we fall behind, right? ..
and well, eventually we would find ourselves in an inescapable loop of misery.

So, what’s the point?

I personally believe that each person should try to live everyday with utter fulfillment. I believe that one should try, for their own sake, to better themselves with each passing day. People shouldn’t feel the need to prove themselves to anyone, but themselves.

So, forget about pleasing others and live for yourself.. not for others.

Gratitude

 

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When we surround ourselves with negativity and self-doubt for a long time, we tend to overlook a lot of things that we should be grateful for. Sometimes people perceive us as successful and intelligent, but their opinions don’t really matter if we don’t perceive ourselves in that light. Self-doubt eats its way through us and makes it seem like we are being pulled down into a black hole. We start to take all the beautiful things we have for granted, because they become ‘mundane.’ The power of self-image is fascinating, isn’t it?

I tend to believe that the deterioration of one’s self-image starts with ‘labels.’ For example, someone who doesn’t have friends tends to label themselves as introverted, when they’re actually shy and do not know how to approach other people. So, when that person starts labeling themselves, they automatically start adjusting their life in order to fit that label. The ‘labels’ become our way of identifying ourselves and defining who we are. Simply put, we become that ‘label.’

We overcome a negative self-image by freeing ourselves from labels and simply accepting who we truly are.

So, why not start by listing some of the things that you are grateful for in life?