If I were to be completely candid with you right here, I'd tell you that I have been trying to come up with a way to broach this topic for the past 2 - 3 days now. It's difficult to be able to talk about something that has such a huge impact on so many people's lives and they don't even realize it. In fact, I was worried if I'd be able to do this article justice when I write it because it represents something I have gone through in my life and can proudly say have been able to cope with it.
The journey was not easy because I didn't even realize I had this problem until last year, and that revelation was mind-blowing to me. But here I am, having gone through it and now out on the other side looking in. But before I get into my own journey, I think I should start with what the problem itself is...
So, if I were to start, it would be with an explanation of what 'Anxiety' is, and without getting technical on you Sheeples, I would say anxiety is that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you're worried or something hits you like a train and suddenly your mind cannot stop thinking about it. It takes over all your tasks and fills you with a dread that might make others feel like you're fretting over something unnecessary but to you, it isn't unnecessary, it is much more than that...
But the funny thing here is, anxiety isn't essentially bad, it's actually supposed to be our body's response to threats. It's what triggers our flight or fight systems, but it becomes our problem when it starts to have an impact o our daily lives.
Have you ever had the feeling, there is a weird atmosphere around you? As if you're being watched and the moment you make a mistake, people are going to laugh at you? As if your every move is being judged by a jury while you're on stage trying to make your way through a normal day?
I have had moments like that, where I have genuinely gotten sick thinking about an upcoming presentation or having to go for lunch with people I haven't met. There have been times where I have genuinely fallen ill because of the smallest of things because I felt I was going to be laughed at and therefore felt like I wasn't good enough. It was just something my brain kept hammering in my head and further it affected me in my social interactions. Making me worry about what I'm saying and doing, which led me to be just that quiet kid who couldn't make conversation. That's what it was for me, though I'm the complete opposite of who I was as a kid, I still have bouts where I feel I am not good enough or people are going to judge me about different things, that is where my fight continues, and now that I know what it is, I have a way to fight it properly as well!
While that may be the case for me, it isn't on such a level for everyone, anxiety does kick in in many ways. Whether it be the hesitation and worry you have to come in front of a camera and making a mistake or going for lunch with people you might be meeting for the first time. It can be small and at times make you lose focus from our current task because you can't stop thinking about that dinner you have to go to at 8 pm. You might even freeze and go blank at the fact that you have to do a new task or might have to say something in front of an audience. This is where we start taking a step back and start evaluating, do we need to let it get to us? Are we going to let it win or are we going to stand firm and trudge along?
These questions, it took me some time to get to them, to ask myself these small questions that made me feel assured, stronger, and have some confidence. But it all began when I started to believe in myself, when I started to believe in my own abilities and when I saw that I am my own person and do things my own way.
One of the simplest things that I started telling myself was, 'Don't be afraid to make mistakes!' Do something, but do it badly first, that's how we grow, it's when we start learning. But we will not learn how to grow until we do the task we are supposed to do, and that is why simply do it badly, cause after you do it once, you're only going to move up from there.
The moment you allow yourself to make mistakes is the moment you'll also be able to see your own flaws and not just imagine them, because I assure you, they are definitely not the same thing!
My second advice to you in this matter would be, don't be too harsh on yourself, give yourself that leeway that you're still learning, you are not going to be perfect the first time, and we can't be perfect at everything, even in social situations! Plus, what's the fun in being perfect? Everything would be boring if we didn't have things to look forward to or work on!
Finally, I would like to end this little article by saying it's all going to be okay, we grow up, we learn and we will get better, we will get there, and if you can't believe in yourself right now, know that we believe in you, your loved ones believe in you and just know you're not alone. Just, take your time and do things at your own pace, cause at the end of the day, it will definitely all be worth it!
This article really took me on a journey through my memories, I hope you liked my take on this subject and if you'd like to hear us talk about this topic a little more in-depth then check out our episode that we recorded on this topic! We speak about our own journeys and our takes on what anxiety is.
You can listen to our podcast right here: https://bit.ly/anxiety-hidden-pandemic
We are also making a crowd-sourced document where Sheeples can write about their own experiences with anxiety and how they coped with it. This is being done in hopes of it being helpful to anyone who might need it! Link to document: https://bit.ly/coping-with-anxiety-sheeples
If you ever need help with problems related to mental health, we are putting in a link to an excel sheet made by iCall where they have curated a list of mental health professionals from all over India that you can come into contact with if required!
You can also get over-the-phone counseling by going to their website: http://icallhelpline.org/
This is 1000Minus7 signing out! Hope to see you at the pod! :)