5 WHYZ,  Mental Matters

5 Reasons Why I’m Grateful For My Anxiety

Let’s be honest, anxiety can be a real pain in the arse. It’s not easy overthinking and worrying over pretty much everything I do and at times, it can leave me feeling pretty isolated.

But what if the negativity surrounding my mental health was flipped on its head? What if I’m grateful for how anxiety has changed me?

It’s these questions that have caused me to reflect and be thankful for the important role that anxiety has, and always will, play in my life.

It has taught me about compassion

To this day, I still find that some people completely misunderstand my anxiety. Sometimes it can be a hurtful comment or someone getting frustrated at me and other times, it can be a seemingly harmless joke. It’s because of these experiences that I look at the world and the complexities of mental health in a completely different way. I want to be the person that wasn’t there for me when people have put me down, and so I now live with a personal mantra to listen and empathise with others.

It has made me stronger

Battling anxiety is a journey of self-discovery that requires a lot of growth and acceptance. It’s a journey that I’m still working on and one I want to associate with positivity. However, it’s taken me a long time to reach a place where I feel happy talking openly about my mental health. Having struggled with anxiety as a teenager, I used to think of it as a weakness and even accepted others judging me for it. But thanks to these struggles, I’ve learnt how to be an emotionally intelligent person who practices self-respect and understands boundaries. I’m grateful that my anxiety has contributed to my personality in this way and helped me to form some of my biggest strengths.

It forces me to fight for myself

I’ve recently taken on the belief that if I don’t fight for myself then no one else will. It may sound harsh but it’s actually my anxiety that’s helped to push me into this frame of mind. For me, anxiety is (and always has been) the little voice in the back of my head that tells me I’m not good enough or to run away when I’m under pressure. But one thing I’ve learnt is that it keeps me fighting every day and it constantly gives me something in life to push back against. I’m a classic over-thinker and a major worrier but I know it comes from caring so much and setting high standards for myself. Even on bad days when I want to hide away from the world, I appreciate the fact that my anxiety is there as a reminder to keep going and stay focused.

I learn from it every day

One of the most powerful things about my anxiety is that it’s always changing and adapting. It’s not something I can just ignore and 98% of the time there’s no easy solution to make it go away. It sounds strange to say it keeps me on my toes but that’s the best way to describe it. I’m enjoying learning about myself and how I deal with new situations, both in my personal and working life. It’s empowering to still be finding new strengths I never even knew I had and overcoming challenges that I previously thought were impossible.

It has made me a more intuitive person

I strongly believe that anxiety is very closely linked to gut instinct and like a personal alarm system, I rely heavily on both to tell me when something isn’t quite right. My anxiety has taught me to listen to my mind and body and helps to guide me away from negative energy and damaging environments. Without it, I wouldn’t understand my true self and what makes me happy.

photo credit: Kacper Gunia Paula #1 via photopin (license)
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