Hey everyone! I'm back again with another serious blog post about one of the most important topics to me, anxiety. I've had major anxiety ever since I could remember. I can remember being as little as 5 or 6 and having anxiety about things, mostly irrational, that would cause large problems in my life. I would miss out on opportunities, and break down very often. As I got older, my anxiety got worse and worse, as I was struggling with more serious things. Again, they were usually irrational, but I could never bring myself to realizing that they were. It's actually troubling me to write about it, because the memories are so horrible, and I remember feeling so helpless that I just wanted to give up on everything. It got to a point where nothing made me happy anymore. My favourite part of the day was going to bed, and the worst part was waking up. I think that's why I have always put myself to bed and why I have always got more hours than the average person; because I loved sleeping so much, that meant I didn't have to worry. Panic attacks would happen anywhere, anytime. Whenever I was distracted and happy, my anxiety would kick in, and ruin it for me. I felt guilty for being happy. I thought I didn't deserve it. My self confidence was so low. Just thinking about the things I used to think and say about myself really upset me now. Anxiety is, for the lack of a better term, a complete asshole. It ruins self confidence, experiences, and lives. It really took a hold of mine, and I thought I would never be happy again. I didn't think I was worthy of anything. I thought I was going no where. I wanted to give up. But, the little, happy, determined Jess wasn't going to let that happen. There was ALWAYS a little part of me that was happy, and that always wanted to be happy. I'm so damn thankful for that part of me, because without it, I don't even want to imagine where I would be now. I'm lucky that I had that part. Some people don't, and they give up. For real. And that truly breaks my heart. I was fortunate enough to have had many good memories with amazing people, in wonderful places, doing things I love. That's not always the case. Before I end my story, and get on to how I learned to overcome my anxiety, I want to put in a help line here for people who may be reading this who need help. You ARE NOT a burden. You never have been, and you never will be. You deserve happiness, and you will soon find it. Just keep fighting. You are stronger than you know. Reach out. Find help. I know you're sick of hearing this and you probably don't believe it, i know i didn't, but you will be happy again. I promise. Call this line if you need any help at all. Please don't be afraid to use it. Your health is worth it. Your happiness is worth it. You are worth it.
Go to: https://kidshelpphone.ca/ or call: 1-800-668-6868 . <3
Okay now, let's lighten this up a little bit. I'm doing so much better. Right now, I'm so grateful to say I'm the happiest I have ever been. I wanted to share the ways that I recovered, because when I was struggling, I would research for HOURS on end to find how to stop my anxiety. For real. I'll be honest, i'm not fully recovered. I have good days, and bad days. But, as of now, the good days outweigh the bad days. Here are some little things that really helped me, and hopefully can help you too.
1- GET. HELP.
Okay, I know you have heard this everywhere. But seriously. GET. HELP. I know it's way easier said than done. One of the hardest things I've ever done is opened up to my parents about my anxiety, and asked for help, but I'm so glad i did. You may feel like a burden, or like they wont care or understand, but there is ALWAYS someone in your life who cares about you. Even if you feel like you can't open up to anyone in person, or you don't feel comfortable yet telling someone you know, chat with kids help phone online, or give them a call. Its anonymous and they're number one job is to help you, and they WANT to help you. The main reason why I'm where i am now is because i saw my nutritionist/therapist who really focused on anxiety and stress with me. I'm incredibly thankful for her. They are professionals, and they want whats best for you. reach out to family, friends, professionals, teachers, and/or anyone you trust and feel comfortable with talking to. Please. Ask for help.
2- Surround yourself with things that make you truly happy.
Again, probably something you've heard hundreds of times, but ever since i started doing this, I've been so happy, and motivated to wake up, get out of bed, and be the best version of myself. For me, lifting weights, acting, baking, and playing my ukulele really make me so happy, and i look forward to doing those things every day. NEVER EVER feel ashamed of your passion, whatever that may be. If it makes you happy, do it everyday. Don't do things you hate doing because its the 'trend' or because you're afraid to do what you love. Express your emotions and get out that anxiety in a beneficial way, like by lifting a really heavy weight, or killing a scene and feeling really friggen proud of it. Find your why. Find your motivation to get out of that bed, and be your best self.
3- Get rid of people who don't want the best for you.
There have actually been a number of people in my life (well not in my life anymore) who have told me i wasn't good enough, who would go out of their way to ruin my life, who loved when i failed, and who always made sure to point out my flaws. And guess what? Once i took them out of my life, i started succeeding. And guess what else? That drove them CRAZY. My all time favourite quote is "succeed is the best revenge" because, my goodness, is it correct. I have always lived by that quote, and I've always tried to be very patient with these people. I wouldn't get back at them, I would just wait. Ill be honest, its friggen DIFFICULT to be patient. All you want to do is scream at them and tell them how they made you feel, but just don't. Rant to your family, friend (that you trust, because, lets be real, people are SNAKES.), and to professionals, like your therapist. I actually kept a diary, and i LOVE to look back and laugh, because i remember feeling so helpless and upset, but little did i know, those people weren't even a FRACTION of my life. Once i learned to cut toxic people out of my life, and to focus on myself, my life has been so much more positive, and my self confidence has extremely increased. Don't waste your time trying to please people who you will NEVER be enough for, because, trust me, you and them will NEVER be satisfied. Be selfish. Work on you, boo. In the long run, you is who matters. (but of course don't just cut people off cold turkey, be civil and ALWAYS be kind, especially to those who are meanest to you. You don't know what they are going through.)
4- Say bye to caffeine :(
This one is a lot more lighthearted, but still, VERY DIFFICULT. I used to be an extreme coffee drinker. Like, i was addicted. My nutritionist suggested i either lowered my caffeine intake, or just cut it out completely, so, i gave it a shot, and my god was she right. I swear by this now. I rarely drink caffeinated coffee. Just decaf for me! kinda sucks, honestly, because sometimes you need that kick of energy, but i rather have a HUGE decaf coffee whenever i want, than one tiny caffeinated one in the morning :/ . Its actually super hard to cut out caffeine, so start slow. Limit your intake, or make it a 'weak' coffee. (less caffeine). start slow, and ease into it. I noticed my anxiety decrease by a HUGE amount after i did this. Would i lie??????? no, not about this, i wouldn't. Just try it. It may take a week to see results, but they may happen the day you don't drink caffeinated coffee!
5- Boss your brain
My nutritionist taught me this one, and I still use it everyday. "Bossing your brain" basically means reminding yourself that YOU are in charge. You anxiety has no control over what you do, you just surrender to it. Your heart knows what it wants, but your brain and anxiety chime in and say "are you sure?" and make you question everything you do. You need to learn how to acknowledge your thoughts, and become comfortable with them. The things we have anxiety about, we are afraid of, and we are uncomfortable thinking, and talking about them. That's why when you start acknowledging what you're thinking, and start talking about it with people you are comfortable with, these 'scary' things won't be nearly as scary as they used to be, and whenever your anxiety chimes in, you will be trained to think "okay, this is what i'm worried about, but I know that this is okay, I know i'm not alone, and I know that this thing won't matter in the long run. I just have to stay in the present. I'm not scared of you. I'm stronger than you." etc. Once you become more comfortable with your anxiety and what you're thinking, and you learn how to control your anxious thoughts and remind it that you are stronger than it, it'll bother you a lot less.
6- Trust that you will get better. Try your best to have a positive mindset
This one is much easier said than done. When dealing with anxiety, your thoughts become extremely negative, and you have this perceived view on everything as negative. Even when something amazing happens, you think of, or come up with down sides. For example, "I did so well on that test, but I'll probably fail the next one. This was an easy test". Whenever you have those little victories, celebrate the shit out of them, and remember that positive feeling you got from it. Your anxiety is always ready to chime in, and to make a good situation, somehow a bad one. It's okay to be happy. Let yourself be happy. Really take in that happiness when good things come. Talk about that good thing that happened to you with your friends and family. Write it down and look back at it when you're not feeling great to remind yourself that good times do come, and you will be happy again. Document these memories to watch and make you smile. Whenever something good happens to me, i replay it over and over in my head, and i smile every time. It makes me excited for the future and what it has to offer.
7-Be confident in everything you do
This is probably my favourite tip out of all of these. Growing up I was always pretty awkward and I found myself shy and not confident in anything I did. I wasn't great at making friends, talking to boys (wink wink), talking to adults, and I just never believed in myself. I was talking to my older cousin about this (who also happens to be my best friend in the whole world), and I was telling her about how I wished I could talk to people like she could and I opened up to her about my anxiety. She told me that I just had to act like I had all the confidence in the world, and I had to use every ounce of my strength to step out of my comfort zone, and act like I wasn't afraid of anything. She's been telling me for YEARS to be confident. Every time I had an issue, it would always come full circle to: be confident. It took me baby steps to be where I am now, but I slowly started to act a lot more confident, and whenever I felt uncomfortable, I would basically force myself to embrace it. I started having conversations that felt so easy, and I felt way more confident in myself and how I spoke and things I did. I wasn't afraid to strike up conversation, and I felt way less embarrassed all the time. I lived by the motto "act confident and no one will question you" and i still do. If you're my friend and you're reading this, I've probably said that to you at one time or another. I'm very fortunate to have an older person to look up to and help me with these things. So, be confident in yourself and step WAAAAAY out of your comfort zone. EMBRACE the uncomfortable feelings. Pretend you have all the confidence in the world. It'll really help in everyday life, with your self confidence, and your anxiety. And it's kinda fun too :). My cousin practically taught me everything I know now. (AND THIS IS WHY YOU OPEN UP TO PEOPLE!!!!!)
8- BE KIND TO YOURSELF.
This is my final and most important point (other than #1). You must learn to be kinder to yourself. This is key for everything. You are your toughest critic. I remember I used to pick out every little thing I hated about myself, and there was always something I didn't like. I was never satisfied with myself, and although I still have my insecurities, like everyone does, I'm not so fixated on it, and I don't revolve my everything on trying to fix and change it. Find things that you love about yourself. Like, REALLY love. The more things you point out, the more often you'll notice them, and the more self confident you'll be. I'm also not just talking physical aspects. I'm talking things like intelligence, kindness, sense of humor, determination. Or even skills like sports, singing, dancing, instruments, drawing etc. Find the beauty in your insecurities, like, my thighs are one of my biggest insecurities, but they are the strongest part in my body. Also, treat yourself. Do little acts of kindness for yourself. Take yourself to get a massage, buy a new shirt, eat a donut, sleep in, take a day off, go for a nice walk, have a bubble bath, stop working and listen to your favourite music on full blast. Your body is a delicate thing and it knows what it wants. Listen to it.
There ya go. Those are my top tips for overcoming anxiety and depression. I would be lying if I said I'm 100% better. I'm definitely not. I still have bad days. I still break down. I'm still not fully comfortable with everything. And that's just reality. It's all about trial and error, stepping out of your comfort zone, and being kind to yourself. Be confident that one day everything will be okay, and all of your worries will not matter. You are stronger than you know. You deserve all the happiness in the world. You will be happy again soon. You will beat your anxiety. I KNOW YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOUR ANXIETY, now it's just a matter of when are YOU going to realize that? I love all of you, and I'm always here if you need to talk about anything at all. DM me @jeccafit , email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , or chat in the bottom right corner (make sure to leave your email or I can't reply!!!).
You can do this. I have full faith in you.
Act confident and no one will question you.
#anxiety #mentalhealth #health #healthy #confidence #depression