Every single one of us will struggle with anxiety from time to time, and I’m pretty sure we can all agree that it’s the worst feeling in the world.
Whenever you feel stressed, overwhelmed, or unsure – take a step back. Is it something that will still bother you in 24 hours? How about a week from now? Chances are, the answer is no. Living in a bubble of ‘what if?’ and worries is not healthy. For me, it’s the smallest of worries that make me feel like I’m going over the edge. I get borderline obsessive over tiny things that would seem silly to others, but feels like end-game for me.
This is so embarrassing to share, but here’s a list of a few off the wall things I worry about on a regular basis:
- Did I leave the refrigerator door open? (????)
- Must check every outlet 5 times before leaving.
- What happens when it snows in 4 months and I potentially have to drive in it?
- What if this person isn’t happy with ________? Let’s obsess over it now and see if it makes a difference!
- Can’t leave the toilet seat open… wouldn’t want Meredith (the cat) to fall in! (!???!???!)
Long story short, I will stress over anything and everything. All of these worries are pretty minuscule in the grand scheme of things, yet I honestly spend the majority of my life feeling like a walking panic attack. It’s so much easier said than done, but this is the advice I’ve tried to give myself and live by:
You are not in control of every situation – there are always going to be things, big or small, that are out of your hands. However, you are the only person who can control your emotions and how you react. Don’t make such a fuss over something that’s not going to matter in the long run because life is too short. When you can get yourself into the habit of letting go of the things you can’t change, the weight of the world will leave your shoulders. You are enough, and as long as you’re doing your best, let that be enough, too.
Again, coping with anxiety is much easier said than done. Here are a few ways I try to cope:
- Relax. Whether you go for a walk, take a hot bath, sit outside, listen to music – whatever feels peaceful to you, let that be a way to escape your internal struggles.
- Find a positive outlet. I’m easily obsessed with so many things, so finding a positive release is essential to me. Lately I’ve enjoyed cooking more and I love focusing on learning and perfecting new recipes. Cleaning also helps me feel more at peace. A clean home is a happy home, and my apartment is my favorite place to be.
- Write down your feelings. Being open about mental health, whether it’s in a journal or online has been so helpful for me. Reading comments and posts from other people with similar feelings also helps me feel a little less alone. Once you let it out, you’re instantly going to feel a little bit better.
There’s always going to be days that just don’t seem to go right, and nights where you just lay awake with 10 million thoughts running through your head. Take a step back and breathe a little deeper, because tomorrow is a new day and life’s too short to be anything but happy.