One of the biggest lessons I learned as someone who suffers from social anxiety is that you can’t (and shouldn’t) fight your anxiety. What I mean by that is don’t ignore it. Don’t pretend it’s not there. As people, we can only keep things bottled up for so long, and anxiety is one of those things.
Don’t Fight Your Anxiety: My Story
I was always quiet, always shy, and never really felt comfortable in most social situations. I believed for years that I was just introverted, and I made myself push through any uncomfortable social situations.
Looking back, I think I’ve always had anxiety. I just ignored it and pretended that it didn’t exist. And while that worked for a while, it didn’t last long, and it also impacted my life a lot more than I realized during those ‘ignoring it’ years.
Why Didn’t I Believe I Had Anxiety?
There was a stigma around mental health and anxiety back then. I didn’t want to appear weak or ask for help. I also felt like if I asked for help and admitted that the anxiety was there, it meant that I was letting it control me.
But, what happened? Ignoring the anxiety didn’t make it go away. In fact, ignoring it made it so much worse when it finally came to the surface in the form of the worst panic attack I’ve ever experienced.
Self Acceptance and Dealing with Anxiety
It took a while for me to realize this, but a big part of dealing with anxiety involves self-acceptance. Once I accepted this part of who I was and what I suffered from, it allowed me my power back. My power to seek help, overcome it and finally learn how to deal with it.
Learning how to deal with your anxiety is the best way to improve your life and lessen the impact anxiety has over your life.
Luckily, I’ve learned a lot of tools for managing anxiety, and while it’s still there, I know how to control it vs letting it try to control me.
Are you dealing with anxiety or wondering if you could be diagnosed with anxiety? My best advice is to take the first step and reach out to your doctor for help. Don’t let anxiety control you any longer, and take your power back.