“Take any emotion – love for a woman, or grief for a loved one, or what I’m going through, fear and pain from a deadly illness. If you hold back on the emotions – if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them – you can never get to being detached, you’re afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience the fully and completely. You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. And only then can you say, ‘All right. I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.'”
– Spoken by Morrie Schwartz, taken from Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Anxiety is completely and utterly normal. It is an emotion just like anger or happiness – every single person holds it. But, there’s a cut-off point. Once anxiety begins to impact your quality of life, that’s when it is no longer ‘normal’. That, ladies and gentleman, is when it’s a problem.
I watched a video about anxiety earlier, and the presenter described anxiety being like a sensitive car alarm. For the majority of cars, their alarms go off when there is danger i.e. someone breaking into them. But, there’s always that one car in the street that is set off from something as simple as a gust of wind – this car’s alarm has been unnecessarily turned on. A person suffering from anxiety is much like this car, their anxiety being the alarm.
If you are suffering from intense anxiety or even an anxiety attack, here are some calming activities that I believe may relieve you of that horrible tension:
- Take yourself somewhere calming and comfortable. If you’re lucky enough to be at home then try your bedroom.
- Accept how you are feeling and stop fighting it. Dedicate an hour of your time to calm down and continue with your day afterward.
- Turn off any unnatural lighting and embrace the natural light from outside.
- If you own a diffuser then throw that on. Right now I’m loving Organic Defence by Neil’s Yard mixed with Orange Blossom by Tisserand.
- Music, music, music. Throw on some chilled background music to set a nice relaxing environment. A couple of suggestions are Trapped in a club by Sales and The Bend by Real Estate. In fact, create an entire playlist dedicated to your relaxation time.
- Confide in someone. Whether it be a best friend on WhatsApp, a partner over a phone call or someone at home, it really puts your worries into perspective and takes a large weight off of your chest.
- Eat some feel good food – a fair few chunks of dark chocolate and green tea seems to do the trick for me.
- Submerge yourself into a warm, candle lit bath. Fill it with salts and oils and allow yourself to relax.
- Stay away from any poisonous social media. I find browsing Pinterest or watching Ben Brown’s vlogs to be calming and very positive past times.
It is perfectly fine to not be ok all of the time. It is perfectly fine not to be ok most of the time. What counts is that you don’t give up. What counts is that you are strong enough to trudge through these foggy times and make it out the other side.
Just because you aren’t ok right now, does not mean that you will not be ok next year, next week or even in 1 hour. Just because you aren’t reaching your potential right now, does not mean that you won’t in the future.
Tackling school, attaining a highly-paid job, or owning an Audi is fantastic, they are brilliant accomplishments. But, I believe that the biggest and best accomplishment in life is to overcome your weaknesses and fears. For a person to be happy even if they had nothing at all is the ultimate. That is a happiness not dependent on anyone or anything else, that is happiness created from within.
Here are some positive quotes to keep you going:
- I believe in the person I’m becoming.
- Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
- When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.
- What you allow is what will continue.
- The comeback is always stronger than the setback.
- There are people who would love to have your bad days.
- Quality, not quantity.
- Art takes time – Monet grew his gardens before he painted them.
To be ultimately happy, you must truly love yourself. You must love who you are regardless of any other aspect. You must put your successes or how attractive you are deemed to the side. You must fall in love with yourself for simply being you. The feelings, emotions, morals, thoughts, flaws and strengths that you sustain. Each thing that makes up who you are. I want you to love yourself so much so that if you were to lose everything, you would be just as fond as yourself as you were when you had it all.
Happiness starts with you – not with your relationships, not with your job, not with your money, but with you. Unknown
Stop being materialistic, you are worth more than your title, your occupation or your fitness level.
Some of those who attain the highest standards of these materialistic attributions are not happy at all because they simply do not love themselves. They are trying to have enough physically to fill in the emptiness that they feel. They live their lives never feeling enough. Not to anyone else’s standards might I say, but their own. We can be our own worst enemies at times, wasting our time and emotions attempting to reach these impossible goals of being the best at everything. Attempting to win love and appreciation from others because we lack it ourselves. The truth is, happiness begins within. You must love yourself from the inside, and then everything will fall into place on the outside.
Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose. C.S. Lewis
You can have it ‘all’ and not be happy. To waste your life never feeling fulfilled because you don’t hold that job or earn that salary is sad. Because you don’t look like that or weigh two stone less. Because you don’t drive that car or wear that wedding ring. Because you don’t have that degree or live in that neighbourhood. If only everyone knew that these factors are just small additions to life. They do not make up life itself – you do.
‘It was his ego that needed a boost, and he used other women for that because he wasn’t emotionally or intellectually developed enough to boost himself. He was still trapped in a cycle of thinking he needed someone to make him feel happy. He needed to use other women to boost his self-esteem.’
Parts taken from When Someone Cheats or Mistreats You, It’s About Them, Not You by Kristen Davies
I can no longer cope under this pressure.
This surely can’t be it.
Life must improve.
My mind made up of toxic and camparative thoughts surely can’t be the ultimate.
I lust for the days I achieve for me.
The days I reach, not to get one up or to be better than.
But to make me happy.
Competition doesn’t make me thrive.
This mindset does not make me flourish.
This lifestyle does not cause me to blossom.
So I quit.
I’m no longer a competitor.
I no longer race against my peers.
I no longer compete for victory of being ‘the best’.
Because if ‘the best’ is just this but more intensified, I don’t want it.
Keep your prize.
I’ll create my own.
A prize that I can share.
A prize that we all want to hold.
A prize called eternal happiness.