Are you frustrated with being anxious? Are you struggling to shake that feeling of anxiety, and no matter what you try and do, it doesn't make a difference? Is anxiety controlling and dominating your life? A change in mindset might be the very thing you need. The truth will set you free.
Let's make no bones about it – high anxiety is horrible.
Believe me. I know all about it. I know firsthand just how bad it is. There won't be much that you are going through that I haven't experienced myself.
If you already know a bit about me, you'll know I suffered from high anxiety for about fifteen years. I've got memories dating back as far as five years old. Being homeless as a kid and spending time in foster care will do that to you.
As a teen and young adult, I kept my high anxiety hidden like a dirty little secret.
My first panic attack hit me aged sixteen. It kept me in constant fear. When was the next one coming? The non-stop apprehension made every day a living nightmare.
It all got so bad I couldn't leave my house. Friend's called asking if I wanted to meet up. Another invitation I had to decline. Little did they know I would go to my front door and be frozen with fear.
The world, outside and in, was a shitty, scary place. My bedroom and the Xbox was my only sanctuary – my tiny boxed-in relief and distraction from the overwhelming clutches of anxiety, fear and worry.
THE TURNING POINT
Something profound happened in the supermarket. Tesco's canned goods aisle, to be precise.
People rushing around. Bright lights. Queues. The supermarket was a place to fear. I reached the entrance and the usual wobbly legs and shortness of breath hit me. But this time it was different.
As I darted around the aisles, it suddenly dawned on me that I forgot to be anxious. That's right. You read that correctly. I forgot to be anxious! I had to remind myself that the supermarket was a place to fear, and as soon as I did that, the usual symptoms of panic consumed me.
Wait a bloody minute. Hang on!
If I can forget to be anxious, what the hell is going on? Is this thing – this feeling that has plagued me for all these years – really that powerful, or powerless.
Could it be up to me how powerful or powerless it is?
It turned out that it was up to me. I was in control all along. It's just that anxiety, or 'high anxiety', as I prefer to call it, had done such a marvellous job of battering me down it had depleted my self-confidence to a level of non-existence – enough to convince me I had no hope and it was firmly in control.
This supermarket incident, along with a few other profound discoveries, helped me transform the way I deal with high anxiety. It put it in its place. (Its rightful place is living behind the scenes, popping up when it's needed.)
It gives me great pleasure to reassure you, through all of high anxiety's shittiness, its destructive ways and debilitating qualities, things can get better for you.
The journey of freedom starts with a change in mindset.
Carl Jung said, 'What you resist, persists'. He was right, especially when it comes to anxiety.
The more you resist anxiety, the higher it gets.
Anxiety is not your enemy. It is your life's companion. It might not feel like a good friend right now, but that's just because of how you are currently looking at it.
Try just these few things:
STOP LOOKING FOR A CURE FOR ANXIETY
A cure for anxiety doesn't exist. It never will. You can't 'cure' something you need – something that forms a healthy part of your life. And neither would you want to, as the next point demonstrates.
STOP TRYING TO GET RID OF YOUR ANXIETY
A car is coming toward you at high speed. You've taken enough medication to flatten a hippo, suppressing your anxiety, your natural feelings and your fight or flight instinct. Who wins, you or the car? Stop trying to get rid of anxiety and, instead, work with it. Manage it.
STOP THINKING YOU CAN'T MANAGE ANXIETY
See, I told you I get it. I'm steps ahead of you with your next question. How do you manage anxiety? How do you tame something that is terrorising you?
First of all, stop resisting anxiety. Drop your shoulders and take a breath. Let go of the need for control. Get yourself in a zone where you can absorb some information, and let the following truth continue to set you free.
When you're dealing with uncontrollable and debilitating levels of anxiety, you are dealing with higher than normal levels of anxiety – that's it. That means, when you aim for more BALANCE by reducing your anxiety on a more consistent basis, you will transform how you feel. You could also call this 'rebalance' or 'rebalancing'.
There are both mindset and lifestyle changes that achieve BALANCE, both as important as the other. In other words, you can't fix one without the other. As you improve both your mindset and lifestyle, give yourself the time you need and deserve to make the changes you want.
Don't allow high anxiety to trick you into needing quick fixes, and don't be fooled by the short-term relief you get from using avoidance. These things will keep you trapped in a cycle of high anxiety.
End the frustrating search for a cure and elimination of anxiety. Take control and start managing your high anxiety by aiming to reduce it – in the sound knowledge that this is all you need to do.
This formula is the key to ending all your anxiety-related troubles.
Take this truth and do the same thing I did with it: use it and take action, today. Today is the start of an exciting journey.