26 Things I’ve Learned About Anxiety By 26

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1. A person’s outward behavior is no indication of how they are feeling internally. There are a lot of people secretly suffering with anxiety that you would never expect. Some of them are the most positive and fun-loving people you know.

2. No person’s anxiety is more real or more validated than anyone else’s.

3. Sometimes anxiety settles into your life for a very specific reason.

4. Sometimes anxiety settles into your life for absolutely no reason at all.

5. Anxiety affects all sorts of people, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, race, religion, or any other factor.

6. People say “Just breathe” for a reason. It works, even if it only works a little bit.

7. Putting clean foods into your body truly makes a difference.

8. The best thing to do when someone you love is experiencing anxiety is not to try to fix it, but just to listen, and to let them know that they are not fighting this on their own.

9. You need to talk about it. You cannot white-knuckle this and just try to get through it on your own. That’s not what your friends and family are for. They are here to support you and love you and carry you. They are not looking to judge you.

10. It is not uncommon to divulge your crippling anxiety to someone else, only to discover that they understand exactly how you are feeling because they’ve been through it, too.

11. It can help to not look at anxiety as something about yourself that you must fix or cure, but instead to look at it as something that you are strong enough to fight.

12. Sometimes, desperately wanting to be alone is actually a sign that you need to be around loved ones. This is not always the case, but it often can be.

13. Staying in the house for too long really can be dangerous to your mental wellbeing.

14. Sometimes all you need to do to fix the restlessness and anxiety that comes from being inside too long is to go sit in a cafe for an hour or two and read a book.

15. Anxiety and stress are two very different things.

16. Your body needs sleep no matter what, but your body definitely needs sleep when you’re feeling anxious.  

17. When people give suggestions like ‘meditation’ it may seem stupid or overwhelming. But all that means – if you want it to mean this – is just sitting in silence and letting your mind breathe for a couple minutes. You don’t have to do this in an all-white room at a relaxation retreat. You can do it on the subway. You can do it anywhere.

18. Most people, even if they don’t understand what you’re going through, truly have the best intentions.

19. Hot tea can truly be very comforting.

20. Get as much sunlight as you can, especially in the winter.

21. A cozy night in won’t fix everything (or anything), but it can make you feel more relaxed and in tune with yourself and rested enough to keep fighting.

22. A mantra that has always worked for me during a particularly bad panic attack is this: “You cannot die from this. You cannot die from this. Breathe. It will pass.”

23. Therapy comes in a lot of different forms in addition to “classic” therapy. Running, art classes, talking to your mom, eating healthy foods, taking a walk. Find what works for you. There’s no right answer.

24. Anxiety doesn’t make you weak. It makes you human.

25. The true test of strength is how willing you are to ask for help.

26. Don’t worry about trying to deal with this for the rest of your life. Just focus on getting to tomorrow. Really, take it one day at a time. TC mark

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