All About Anxiety
Every single one of us knows the feeling of fearing the future and dwelling in the past. It’s been the human condition for a long time, and if we don’t keep those thoughts in check they can end up consuming our lives.
Anxiety is defined as “a mental health disorder characterised by feelings of worry or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities.” It’s a spectrum – anxiety ranges from a diagnosable disorder to an occasional affliction. No matter how it manifests, there’s not a single person who hasn’t experienced it to some degree.
Anxiety is particularly common in our 20s. It’s a time of transformation and uncertainty, where we move from a comfortable structure that’s been set out for us our whole lives into the vast and unfamiliar territory of adulthood. We now have to create our own structure and forge our life paths, which can be a lot of pressure. This constant fear of the future and feeling of worry around where we’ll end up and what’s wrong in our lives can persist for a long while and is often hard to deal with.
Our culture pushes a narrative of onwards and upwards. It’s easy to feel like we’re only valuable if we’re the perfect girlboss, succeeding in our careers as well as having a full social calendar all the time. This pressure, which is exacerbated by social media, can leave us with no time for self care and can even affect our sleeping patterns. This will inevitably result in an anxious disposition.
Taking time for yourself as well as getting a solid 7-9 hours of sleep per night is essential in managing anxiety. You need to take a moment to step away from your obsessive thoughts or it may get to a point that they will consume you. When we constantly focus on what has or will go wrong, there’s no time to appreciate the beauty of the present!
We live in an era where it’s hard to escape the pressure to be “perfect”, and one where we’re encouraged not to display our anxieties and emotions for fear of not seeming “put together”. Advertising convinces us that we need to buy some or other product to get to where we want to be, and social media tells us that we’re not good enough if we’re not looking like and living that life of edited Instagram models. Whether you’re concerned about your career, your social life, hitting milestones by a certain age or your self image, know that it’s all perfectly normal. You’re not alone in your anxieties, and you shouldn’t be afraid to express them! Bottling it all up will only serve to make it worse.
You are incredible and you’re exactly where you should be right now. If you feel that anxiety is taking over your life, talk to your doctor to see what options you have.
For more mental health resources visit https://www.opencounseling.com/hotlines-za.
rubies let us know in the comments below if any of you have been struggling with anxiety? We are all in this together!