Stress and Anxiety: The Struggle is Real

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As adults, life is stressful. Stuff happens, plans fail, and people let you down. People handle stress well, terrible, or they handle it well with the help of meds. I am the third option. I love those little pills. God bless them! My story is no different from any other person who deals with the stresses of a real anxiety problem. It’s scary and frustrating to know that there are times you cannot control your emotions.

As a younger kid, I noticed I was different from others. A lot of things make sense now. I was in Kindergarten and asked to be student of the week. That required a photograph. I was willing to be the student of the week but I refused the picture. At one of my birthday parties, the kids sang me happy birthday and I burst into tears. In first grade, I wouldn’t show my face at the school play. I played the sun because I could cover up my face and not look at the audience. I’m sure these were the first signs of me being an anxious and stress filled person.

In my high school and adult life, I dealt with test anxiety, nervousness around my classmates and peers, and other problems dealing with simple things. I felt like something was wrong with me. Simple issues didn’t seem like a big deal to most individuals but I literally could not handle it. Problems at work would put me in bad situations. I’d feel my heart race and I would not be able to think. I would just go blank. It was a scary part of my life. Years later, I finally saw a doctor. It’s something I should have done it much sooner.

I was diagnosed with anxiety and got medicine. There are a lot of positives to the meds. They calm me down and I can figure out how to problem solve basic and complex issues without having a nervous breakdown. I’m actually ALMOST a relaxed person. I don’t show signs of it on the outside anymore. I just hide it REALLY well (or at least better than I use to.) I’m always going to be a nervous person. I accept that and try to handle my stress the best I can. I am proud of how far I’ve come since my younger days. It was a really scary time and I’m glad I can manage more responsibly now.

A lot of people struggle with anxiety and excessive worrying like me. The number one thing NOT to tell a person with anxiety is “why don’t you calm down. Just RELAX.” You think we want to be in a state of panic and fear over getting lost in a new city (or insert simple issue here???) Ask them if they want to talk about what is bothering them.  They can express why they are upset or struggling. If they are a very close friend, ask them if they saw a doctor about their problem. If they haven’t, they may need them. It helped me. I also combat the anxiety by exercising on a regular basis. It gets all the nervousness out. Endorphins come from being active and exercising. Endorphins make you happy. Cutting out coffee and other caffeinated products in the morning also really decreased my anxious thoughts. Another good suggestion is for a person to take up a hobby. A hobby a person enjoys can cure nervousness. I like to write and do artsy-fartsy type projects. You need to find your personal calming activity whether it’s art or even singing at the top of our lungs at karaoke! Just let the anxiety out. You’ll feel so much better afterwards! Even a simple walk with your favorite music is great medication.

If you feel like you’re life is spiraling out of control, and simple problems seem like WWIII, get help. Go talk to someone. There are a lot of doctors who can help you get to that place where you can finally relax. Living like your life is spiraling out of control is not the way to exist. You can do it. You can be the relaxed person you always imagined yourself to be.

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