Anxiety has affected me at many points in my life and has often prevented me from enjoying living in the moment.
At times when I have bad bouts of anxiety, everything seems overwhelming. Something simple such as giving someone a telephone call or sending an email sets my mind into overdrive. The “what ifs” begin.
What if the person I am contacting thinks I’m annoying?
What if I get the information wrong?
What if as a result of my call/email the person does something that causes a problem and it is then my fault?
After I have carried out a task, I can go over what I have done many times and worrying about whether something will go wrong.
As these processes are going on in my head I am fully aware that a lot of this is irrational but it is very difficult to make it stop.
Most people are unaware that I suffer from anxiety. I am often described as calm, in control and good in a crisis. This always makes me smile…a lot….as if only they knew what was going on inside my head.
I am currently learning ways in which to manage my anxiety better.
I have learnt so far that I cannot control what other people around me say, think or do but I can control how I react, feel and respond. I have found that just keeping that information at the forefront of my mind is helpful as if I am in a situation where I become suddenly anxious, thinking about how I can react differently to how I normally would helps to reduce my anxiety levels in itself.
I have learnt that in situations where I am unable to do anything to change the situation and therefore have no control, I need to find other ways to make myself feel better about that situation.
I have also learnt that if I am in a situation that makes me anxious, making some effort to take back some control (even if a small amount) can help to reduce how anxious I feel.
Managing anxiety is a constant work in progress but I feel like I am making some headway right now.