Reasons To Stay Happy When Dealing With Anxiety
I used to think that closing my eyes tight would drown out the noise inside my head whenever I felt my anxiety increase. As I got older, I developed this nervous ending fear of being around people I was unfamiliar with or sometimes my stomach would knot whenever exams were around the corner, or I’d have this intense battle with my innermost thoughts just to post a recent picture of myself on a social media platform.
Sometimes you may ask yourself if you’re making a mountain out of a molehill, but honestly, it’s so easy to get lost in thought, especially the negative ones that make anxiety even worse. But here’s the thing! I’m still learning that it’s completely normal to feel the way we do and it’s even more important to allow our happiness to shine through the shadow cast by our anxieties.
When we prioritise happiness, our fears no longer seem like the dark clouds in the sky blocking our sight. Learning to be kind to ourselves can take time so here are 5 reminders of why it is important to stay happy in the face of anxiety:
1. Builds self-confidence
Have you ever felt like you’ve been on cloud nine after accomplishing a task that initially felt impossible?
That’s the self-confidence nourishing our minds and souls. The task could be as simple as changing into a new outfit, cooking your favourite dish, taking up a new hobby, or going for a stroll in the park. Identify something that you would love to do and take it one step at a time.
There is no need to pressure yourself because sometimes we are our own worst critics when our self-esteem is low. Baby steps are all you need to help grow your confidence and overcome those anxieties.
2. Regain self-control
Back in August, I had major surgery on my elbow after breaking my arm. Some days later when I met up with my doctor, he said he had never seen anxiety so severe even after they put me under anaesthesia.
I remember panicking that I couldn’t breathe right before I blacked out. A situation I felt as though I had no control over. And yet, the worst came after. I couldn’t describe the panic attacks I experienced at night, feeling as though the darkness would swallow me.
As each day passed, I started to write down my thoughts. It didn’t have to make sense but the idea of putting pen or pencil to paper made me feel as though I was slowly getting back control of my thoughts mentally.
I was starting to see a glimmer of light, but not so much at the end of the tunnel because I knew it would take time. So, when you seek your happiness, you benefit from regaining control of your thoughts, your life, and everything that matches your awesome energy.
3. Fosters healthier relationships
Sometimes it’s good to vent to someone. Not just anyone though. When I found myself too consumed in my thoughts, I’d try to reach out to a close friend or therapist to help calm or organize my thoughts.
Sometimes when we keep our emotions bottled up, anything can trigger anxiety like stress. This in turn can negatively affect our relationships because we allow anxiety to consume our thoughts and control our reactions to those around us.
In my case, I pulled away from family and friends without them knowing what was happening, and it took some time for me to repair relationships when I recovered from my panic episodes.
So having that one person to confide in can help reduce anxiety and encourage healthier relationships.
4. Improves mood
When you suffer from anxiety, sometimes it feels like every day you wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Worse yet for us ladies, when Mother Nature hits, we take a hit for six with either PMS or a cluster of hormones that rattles our emotions.
So, imagine fighting mood swings, toppled with work and school deadlines. What happens? We shut down before we know it. In trying yoga, a couple of times, I realised my aura was more relaxed.
During the early lockdowns, I was impatient seeking immediate results, and began with 5 minutes of yoga stretches to calm my thoughts and find back that balance. Then I moved to 10 minutes and eventually 15 minutes where I was able to quiet the chaos of everyday challenges.
My mood changed drastically because I soon realised I was in control of how I wanted to respond to external and internal factors. Even if I didn’t do a yoga session, I’d pull up some chakra meditation music on YouTube to help soothe my soul and reduce my anxiety.
5. Strengthens the immune system
Have you ever felt a positive change in mood after exercising? And when I say exercise, it can be dancing, walking, or any aerobic activity that gets your heart and lungs pumping.
When you exercise, those good feeling happy hormones such as serotonin and dopamine are released giving your immune system an extra boost in resistance. An article by Choice House talks about cortisol as “the primary stress hormone and as the alarm system for your body.”
When we’re anxious, we stress out and the more we stress, the more we risk infections and break down our immune system.
In this case, I found that taking a stroll to clear my mind used to put me in a better space mentally and at the same time strengthen my immune system.
Happiness and anxiety are opposite states of mind that act like a game of tug of war with our emotions. When we allow anxiety to settle, that fear or tense feeling can make the smallest problem seem like an unmovable rock sitting in our path.
That’s why it’s important to examine well what you’re running away from. Putting your happiness on the front line can help change your perspective on life, improve relationships, nurture your inner soul and allow you to enjoy life to the fullest.
Choice House. (2020, September 30). How anxiety weakens our immune system in recovery. Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://www.choicehousecolorado.com/stressful-vulnerability-how-anxiety-can-weaken-our-immune-system/
I hope everyone enjoyed this post “5 Reasons To Stay Happy When Dealing With Anxiety.” As I am sure you have guessed by now, “5 Reasons To Stay Happy When Dealing With Anxiety” was written by a guest writer. I want to thank Karisse Jackman for writing this wonderful blog post. She did a splendid job and of course I am more than happy to share more content about mental health on Lifesfinewhine. To view her blog and read more from her please click here.
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