How many of you start your week off, before it even truly starts, with a million different thoughts racing through your mind? A laundry list of all these big and small things you have to get done, where you have to go, and the list goes on. All of this causes a waterfall of stress-filled or anxiety-provoking thoughts. I like to refer to these as the “Sunday Scaries.” I’ll have to admit, I get the “Sunday Scaries” now and then, but I have realized that by thinking so negatively that early in the week sets me up for an anxiety-filled week!
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, an estimated 264 million people worldwide have some form of an anxiety disorder. This vicious cycle of anxiety is truly relentless, but I’ve realized that having anxiety is okay. Yes, you feel anxious. Yes, you may not be okay now, but you will be okay. Anxiety likes to be a sneaky little trickster and make us think that we’re not okay, even when we are! Our negative thoughts are often tricking us into thinking that things will never be okay, and that is where anxiety is a liar.
Another concept we let take over our lives is the stigma that comes with having anxiety or being anxious. Following our negative thoughts comes the negative connotations and remarks of those that do not truly understand anxiety. The stigma surrounding anxiety is that the person is either weak or that the person’s anxiety isn’t a real medical illness. I always have to remind myself that what others think and say doesn’t matter and that what I am feeling is valid. Don’t mind those who don’t mind to know you.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that everything in your life is going to go your way or that nothing bad will happen to you, or that you won’t feel anxious ever again. You have to remind yourself that being anxious is a normal occurrence for everyone and that this feeling of anxiety will pass sooner than later. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America also speaks the true reality that the more you resist such negative thoughts and let them take over your life, the more they persist. Therefore, facing your fears, learning new facts about your symptoms, and confronting your stressors will help with reducing your stress causing anxiety.
With this article, I’m not trying to send forth the concept that you MUST face your fears or that you MUST confront your stressors. But by doing so, one step at a time, you will be able to overcome the trickster called anxiety. If you are struggling with anxiety and need support, it is okay to reach out for help.