Last summer, I “came out” by writing about my struggles with anxiety. I never intended to write about anxiety. I wish I wasn’t an expert on the subject, but it’s something that I’ve lived with every day for my entire life.
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned strategies to derail catastrophic rumination. I’ve experimented with supplements, diet, and lifestyle hacks.
What follows is a series of articles that deep-dives into the strategies and methods that you can use to overcome anxiety.
But first, it is important to know that…
You Are Not Alone In Your Struggle With Anxiety
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 40 million American adults suffer from some type of anxiety disorder at any given time. That’s one in six adults – or about 18% of the population!
According to the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study conducted in 2010, 1 in every 13 people globally suffer from anxiety. That’s more than 560 million people! Over half a billion of the global population!
It’s all too easy to think that we are struggling in isolation, or that nobody out there understands what we’re going through, but literally hundreds of millions of people know exactly what you are going through because they suffer from it themselves.
Not only that, there are even more people who struggle with other mental illness. Not to mention the family and friends of those who suffer from these challenges.
No, you are not alone.
The How To Overcome Anxiety Series
1) Understanding Anxiety & How To Get Rid Of It – This article explores negative thought patterns that affect people with anxiety. I will also share strategies and tactics that can help you derail these worry trains and take you from fearful to focused.
2) Self-Esteem & Confidence – Building self esteem and confidence is a key component to battling and managing anxiety. In some cases, low self-esteem may be an underlying cause.
3) How To Face Anxious Situations & Still Kick Ass – Strategies for facing tough situations in life without losing your cool. You’ll learn now to turn real-life hurdles into lessons that you can use to your advantage.
4) Natural Remedies For Anxiety – How does your health, your diet, and your fitness effect anxiety? What about your environment and sleep patterns? Learn all about that (and how to reclaim your calm) here!
5) What To Do When Your Anxiety Makes You Feel Crazy – We often feel like our anxiety turns us into crazy people. This article will help you gain perspective on your anxious thoughts, and what to do about them. (PS: You’re NOT crazy!)
6) 7 Tips For Talking With Your Partner About Anxiety – It’s not easy for our partner/friends to understand our anxiety. Here are some tips for communicating how you feel, and what you need help with.
Challenge Yourself & Don’t Accept Anxiety As A Limitation
If there’s ONE THING that I want you to take away from this series of articles on anxiety, it’s this:
Don’t let your anxiety hold you back in life.
Don’t use your anxiety as a crutch to avoid facing fears, or putting yourself in uncomfortable situations.
Don’t be afraid of feeling anxious. Commit to desensitizing yourself to anxious situations so that you can live a bold, adventurous life.
I’ve shared a lot about my anxiety disorder, and how it makes me suffer. I understand what anxiety feels like 100%. It’s makes me feel miserable, like anyone else.
But at the same time, I’ve put a lot of effort into overcoming my anxiety.
I am not always successful at it. I’ve let it hold me back plenty. I often think about where I would be in life if I wasn’t so anxious. Would I be more successful? Would I have taken chances and seized opportunities when I was younger? What things have I missed out on?
At the same time, I have lived in four different US states, as well as Mexico.
I have taken up insect and spider photography (and I’m an arachnophobe).
I quit my day job back in 2008 to become a freelance videographer, where I was in near constant anxious situations – like shooting a wedding where there are no retakes and you must – absolutely must – not miss any of the critical moments.
I also made the bold (and deeply anxiety-provoking) decision to sell all of my videography gear to pursue blogging full time, before blogging even paid the bills.
I’m not telling you all of this to brag. And I am not telling you this to show how “strong” I am.
In every single one of these situations, I was writhing inside. My mind was flooded with catastrophic thoughts. I wanted, desperately, to run away and hide within the cocoon of my comfort zone.
But I dug deep in the barrel and gutted my way through each of these situations.
There were times when I needed a therapist to cope.
There were times when I needed medication.
There were times when I just couldn’t cope and needed a few days, or weeks, to recover from the exhaustion of it all.
But I persevered. And that’s what I hope you will do.
If you only get one thing out of these articles, I hope it is that you feel inspired and motivated to conquer your worry, and to push outside of your comfort zone, despite the way it makes you feel.
Go after your dreams, and never let your anxious mind go unchallenged.