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Life Without Anxiety

Life Without Anxiety
What is it like to be anxiety-free?

It is an interesting concept to talk about people who do not experience severe anxiety, as so many of us are attempting to raise awareness and lessen stigma about life with anxiety. But it is supposedly helpful to reflect on others and how they may be able to think and deal with situations in a constructive way. For some, life may not always be directed by anxiety. Consequently, assessing how they think and go about things might help bridge this barrier towards a happier way of life.

For those who experience a debilitating level of anxiety, it is hard to imagine how things would be without the relentless bubbling of worry that occurs in the background as you go about your day to day life. However, there are individuals who have never experienced severe anxiety before, or who used to suffer but not to the same extent as before, or who only experience a very low level of anxiety at any given time. There is a huge difference in the interpretation and perception of events, emotions and situations when anxiety is removed from the picture.

Every one of us experiences anxiety as a natural human reaction to things that we find threatening. While worries and stressors are an unavoidable part of life, they do not have to leave you feeling defeated or overwhelmed. Learning how to manage your anxiety and maintain your coping in a healthy way can open doors to a more harmonious and carefree way of life.

You can ‘be’ without doing

This relates to being able to relax, slow down and be mindful without having other worries take over your mind. It is incredibly empowering and therapeutic to be able to have down time without the thought that you are wasting your time and have to attend to other more important things in your life. Remember, your mental health is also important, and people without debilitating anxiety are often able to choose to relax and dote on themselves without guilt.

You admire the bigger picture

It is easy to fixate on finer details, whether that be in a project that you’re working on, your appearance, a situation or even your life. Accepting that things will never be perfect, and that a mistake or an awkward moment are completely normal aspects of life, can be the difference between obsessing/worrying and moving on with things.

 

A different perspective on worry, stress, and anxiety

Anxiety or the experience of anxiety is no longer dangerous or scary, but rather a temporary uncomfortable feeling that is maintained through healthy means. A stressful day at work might be followed up with a relaxing jog around the neighbourhood or some time spent with the family pet or lounging around watching the TV. Once you realise that you are in control of how you are feeling, anxiety becomes more manageable. As such, the more able you are to reflect on and understand anxiety and why you might be experiencing it, the better your ability will become in dealing with it.

Anxiety triggers are manageable

Many who used to experience extreme anxiety can very well be triggered by different things that exacerbate their anxiety. For some this can be very stressful and upsetting as they believe that their anxiety is back for good, however this is not usually the case. Managing anxiety triggers, like anything else, requires plenty of practice and effort. Therefore it is important to acknowledge that over time, triggers will be managed a lot more efficiently and effectively due to practice. Essentially, things get easier as you learn how your body responds and how best to control it.

Chains loosen

Anxiety can have the power to bind you and make you feel powerless. Becoming in control of your anxiety means a role reversal where you take back the power. Instead of being dictated by anxious thoughts in any given situation, people
attend to what they want to do, regardless of interruptions.
A good example of just being able to switch these off is winding down before heading to sleep. It is the ability to fall asleep without any nagging feelings that they haven’t done something, or they haven’t done enough, without staying up and ruminating or contemplating the day’s decisions, actions, or consequences.


That constant feeling of discomfort is lifted

It’s a sense of freedom, to be able to exist without worry or fear. Life for the most part is free of discomfort or dread and anxiety only ever pops up in expected, normal situations like before a test or a speech. Once again, really understanding your anxiety can help with dissipating those bubbling thoughts that can just sit in the background and make things uncomfortable, leaving you constantly on edge.

An important factor to always consider is that some days are better than others. Life, unfortunately for many, is a rollercoaster, and will always find a way to bring about hurdles at the worst of times. For those who have learnt how to cope with their anxious bodily reactions, it is easier to tend to these obstacles without a barrier of worry; facing a difficult situation rather than running from the initial anxiety it may cause.

Everyone is different, and everyone is facing their own battles and demons. It is always useful to reflect on your thoughts and behaviours, and endeavour to find effective self-help strategies that work best for you. Living life without anxiety is a learning process, a battle that needs to be diligently fought and never an easy road to accomplish. But most importantly, the ability to control anxiety is possible and it’s never too late to use this as a drive to grab a hold of it so you too can break free. 


Written by Apeksha Das, ADAVIC Volunteer

 

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