Do you live each day with a constant nervousness, a sense of unease, a self-conscious awareness that forces you into obsessive introspection and excessive reflection? If this sounds like you, then you’re probably suffering from anxiety.
Anxiety can be a crushing feeling. If you’re dealing with anxiety though, don’t worry, because you’re not alone. Millions of people live with the same relentless angst and nervousness that you experience every day.
You may never even know if someone has anxiety because they naturally seek out social situation to compensate and minimize their psychological troubles. Ironically enough, the people who appear to be the most social and confident, can at the time be the people struggling with mind-numbing anxieties, or insecurities.
Anxiety is characterized as excessive nervousness and irrational worries. The feeling, as you may know, is really not easy to deal with on a regular basis.
Anxious minds often surround themselves with other people as a way to relieve anxiety. These social interactions create valuable moments of psychological release. However, when immersed in social situations an anxious mind may still find it difficult to not overthink things.
As Atticus Finch wisely said in To Kill A Mockingbird: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” I propose that we take Atticus’ advice and that we hypothetically climb into the skin of an anxious mind and walk around in it.
1) We’re a walking paradox: We love being surrounded by friends, but we have trouble forming friendships. As mentioned earlier, social stimulation is the best way to cure feelings of insecurity and anxiety.
Yet, the conundrum of anxiety is that it’s difficult for us to trust others and open up to them. We want friends, but we’re too insecure to make friends. This leads us to the next point.
2) We have lots of acquaintances, but only a handful of friends. When I say friends, I clearly mean strong friendships founded on trust and mutual affection. The anxiety issue prevents us from getting too close to people, and leaves us with a long contact list of friendly acquaintances. On the flip side, the select few with whom we call our true friends, turn into unbreakable friendships.
3) Partying is easy, dating is hard. We may go through basic social obstacles with ease, but we trip over the slightest emotional boundary. It’s easy for us to become the life of the party, because we love engaging people and connecting ourselves to external stimulation, to avoid our internal anxiety.
Dating, though, requires an emotional forwardness that’s halted by our anxious mind. Our fear of rejection, fear of judgement, fear of inadequacy all limit us from opening up without prolonged friendship.
4) We’re hardest on ourselves. No matter how much we worry about other people and events, the worst part of being anxious is the self-imposed stress. Everyone stresses themselves out, but we do it compulsively.
We criticize ourselves incessantly, lecturing that we should be more, or do more. We judge every decision we’ve made and criticizing our past actions. It’s an unhealthy state of mind that only produces negativity and insecurity.
You never know what someone else is going through. Always be supportive, friendly, and understanding, because you never know when your small action will have a large effect on someone.
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