Things Everyone With Anxiety Needs to Hear Once in a While

“God, The Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer’s; He makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.”

Habakkuk 3:19

Having anxiety is hard. Sometimes you feel trapped inside your body, a constant bundle of nerves and worries only held together by your skin. You do not know how to describe this feeling to other people, and you know that you will be only confusing others who do not understand how yes, you know that it isn’t that big of a deal, but that does not stop your brain from practically convulsing with all of the anxious thoughts you have.

Sometimes, you need to hear certain things when you are caught up in a cycle of worries that you feel are holding you prisoner. So I thought about some things I appreciate hearing when I am feeling incredibly anxious, and these were some of the ones that immediately came to mind.

  • Your best is good enough.
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Imposter syndrome, according to Very Well Mind, “refers to an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be”. (https://www.verywellmind.com/imposter-syndrome-and-social-anxiety-disorder-4156469). I did not realize that this was even a thing until I went to college and my friends and classmates admitted to me that they also struggle with a sense of inferiority and the fear that they somehow made it to where they are by a mistake instead of their own abilities and hard work.

This is a relatively common feeling, and it is even more so in people who struggle with anxiety. You already question everything you do; why not add your qualifications to that ever-knowing list of insecurities?

All humor aside, this is an entirely invalid concern in your life. Please do not give it any power by dwelling on it. All you can do is try the best you can and stand in the knowledge that you gave it your all – no matter the results.

  • You don’t always have to be okay.
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That façade of “Doing great! How about you?” that you always wear is not as strong as you like to think it is. There are days where you break down and sob or scream or lash out because you have been holding all of those emotions in for so long without letting anyone see them or even acknowledging them yourself.

Remind yourself not to do that.

Let yourself feel sad, angry, helpless, frustrated. All of these emotions you are decided are “bad” and “unproductive”? Let them loose. Cry if you are feeling sad, punch something if you are angry. Give these emotions the validation and attention they deserve.

Let yourself feel sad, angry, helpless, frustrated. All of these emotions you are decided are “bad” and “unproductive”? Let them loose. Cry if you are feeling sad, punch something if you are angry. Give these emotions the validation and attention they deserve.

It is also beneficial to reach out and be truthful about your feelings to your friends and loved ones. They want to know how you are, be there for you, and help if they can.

  • Failure is the best way to learn.
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The thing that you fear the most in life is failure—specifically, your own. You hold yourself to an impossible standard and have bought into the lie that everyone you know also holds you to the same standard. Anytime you have results that fall below your standards, you label this a failure and either try to forget the result entirely or try again over and over obsessively until you get a “better” result. Finally, you hope that you can replace this failure with success – meaning that you can pretend the failure never happened in the first place.

While trying something again because of an unsatisfactory result is perfectly fine, it should not be an obsession that you believe will bring you back into your own good graces.

We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery.”

Scottish author and government reformer, Samuel smiles

Failing or being bad at something is not a character flaw. You cannot expect to be good at everything all of the time. If that were true, you would be Jesus Christ, and I am pretty confident that you are not. It is even okay to fail at things you usually are good at or that your peers succeed in. You have bad days. You make mistakes. The important thing is that you do not let this impact your confidence and learn from the experience. 

  • Taking breaks is good for you.
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You feel the need to be productive all of the time, whether with work, school, chores, social commitments, or various tasks you are working on. You feel that someone is always watching you. Suppose you are caught taking even a tiny moment to have some time to yourself. In that case, you will be perceived as lazy and undeserving of being in the position you are in, either academically or professionally.

This causes extreme work burnout. By this, I mean that whenever you are alone, you are so overworked and sick of being productive that you cannot bring yourself to get anything done. You cannot bring yourself to work because you have been so worn out by constantly being on high alert and obsessive about how “busy” you appear.

This is something I am VERY guilty of.

With summer and the lockdown of the Big Sick, I had to learn how to become comfortable being seen just existing. Reading a book or taking a nap, or maybe working on a puzzle. I have learned that you don’t have to be by yourself to relax. Having some downtime is just a necessary part of your day: a sanity break. You would not be ashamed of eating when you are hungry or sleeping when you are tired, right? Then you should not let yourself feel nervous or guilty for taking breaks in your day. 

Well, that is the end of my list today. There will probably be a part two for this sometime in the near future, so feel free to comment any things that you think would be helpful for people with anxiety to hear!

Please like, comment and subscribe if you connect with my post and would like to see more of my crazy, exciting journey with Christ and mental illnesses. Every interaction I receive here means a lot. Thank you and God bless you.

Until next time!

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