How I Deal With Anxiety

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Birds.

A temperature imbalance sends them flocking. Wings of shine, flapping strong. If the atmosphere turns too cold, mercury dipping low, they fleet south. The place where warmer land, seas, and skies thrive.

The chilly weather, a condition in which many species of birds can’t handle. It is too detrimental to their health and well-being. It almost scares them, freaks out their little critter-minds.

They rely on a warmer state of existence to help keep them alive another year, before returning north again.

With people, however, we can’t always flock and flee. We can’t fly away or run away. We have no wings and our legs can’t enable us to escape so easily. We are faced with challenging things, many in which appear much larger than us. Like we are inchworms, the world solely forests. Humans must endure the hardships and the scary things we encounter daily.

Even if it gets cold, we can’t always find warmth.

Instead we must find a way to cope and push through the ice, the uncontrollable arctic blast. We must make heat of our own. Our own candles must be lit. Our own matches must be ignited.

– – –

Anxiety is hard, it’s incredibly and impressively rough. It is something strong and intense. It is something more than just being nervous. It is a whole other spectrum, several notches above.

Living with the mental illness is difficult and is/has been stereotyped a million times. It is also something we discuss constantly, yet, it seems that a grasp of what it truly is doesn’t quite exist. It is the assumptions that people create that end up catching on all too quickly.

I am not here to try to cram anxiety facts and information down your throat and through your pupils. Instead, I am sharing the number one way I help to maintain my anxiety. How I keep it at bay. How I keep the warmth.

I have a tangled trouble with time. I anticipate the impending minutes that will bring me to the moment in which I fear the most. That dark moment that I already despise before introductions begin.

I have found that it is all about being in the moment and feeling the time as it shifts around me. As if I am the hands on the clock. More in control than not.

The world is just one large clock. We all have our own watches that run on different schedules. My nine o’clock a.m. is spent differently than your nine o’clock a.m. And of course, my day is your night. Your night is my day. My happy hours might be your sad hours. And your happy hours, might be my worst.

Time is my number one anxiety inducer and I can feel my anxiety thicken and lather in the pit of my stomach. My mind starts to race, racking up all the what-ifs as the minutes roll on.

I like plans, I consider them my friend. I like knowing what is going to happen. I don’t like having to endure something that pops-up out of no where or goes against the routine I have developed for myself.

As I go through college, I realize more and more that those “routines” will fade quickly. The anticipation of events will hurdle my way before I can even consider dodging them.

How do I balance and manage my anxiety to the best of my ability?

You may have heard the people who always seem to have an exuberance of positivity pulsating within them preach, “Live in the moment.” It is a true statement no matter how over stated. It is a quote I apply to my anxiety.

Rather than focusing on the time in which I will be faced with that thing inducing my anxiety, I focus on what I am doing now. I focus on the world around me, I focus on my body, and only the current minute. I consume the seconds as they occur rather than anticipate the intimidating future. I focus on the things I am presently aware of and what currently makes sense, instead of all those little pieces that I build up like mountains and skyscrapers. Because nothing else really matters outside of the “now.”

If you think about it, being more present during large situations is the only way to remain calm. It’s the only way we can think about how we should behave and respond to the actions around us. It is all about feeling the space around you, absorbing it, rather than fueling worries and concerns that are just trying to control us.

It’s all about breathing and being observant, analyzing the movements of others. It helps to sustain a much clearer mind, one able to think and react accordingly.

And even though the minutes are bringing you closer to that thing that greets you with fear, just know that the minutes are also bringing you closer to it all being over.

I have untangled the tangled trouble with time.

– – –

Birds.

A way of dealing, of coping, is just like a bird. A bird who escapes the dread, the frozen world. You can escape the cold too, enter a warmer space as if you were always welcome there all along. We can create warm spaces within us, something cozy and welcoming, just like the atmosphere birds fly to with excited feathers.

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