I suffer from anxiety a lot more in the morning. Sure some people might call it getting up on the wrong side of the bed, but for me its innate anxiety that can denote exactly how the rest of my day will pan out.
Often as not I will wake up with that familiar numbness I get with anxiety, an almost hollow sadness takes over, and whilst I’m brushing my teeth, all my worries compound into fear. Though I can happily say it happens less and less, sadly it still happens relatively frequently. Some days I am able to shake it off and carry on getting ready and some days it seizes me.
Once seized, my drive to work will seem a little bit greyer, sometimes my panic will try and attack me, telling my something will probably happen to me on my journey, trying to wrack my brain with anxiety. As I arrive into work, everything is taken the wrong way and I find it hard to stop the tears prickling at the surface, just waiting for a moment to surge down my face.
So as you can imagine a really fun day ahead!
I never really knew how to deal with it, I would either make plans to leave work early, to go home and be by myself, feeling completely and utterly useless and down on myself, or by some luck it would slowly lift and I would find myself laughing at the jokes being cracked around me.
Or I can just say No. No to the anxiety taking over me. No to its control of my actions. No to the incredibly annoying tears. As the spells were getting closer together I realised saying No was an option as well.
As the anxiety started to fog up my brain recently, I smiled. Smiled and thought about the good things. Like really cheesy and terrible advice that we ‘worriers’ are often given, I decided to look on the bright side. I decided to choose happiness. I thought of all the things I was thankful for, I had a great family, supportive boyfriend, wonderful friends, a steady job, the privilege of education, I was fit healthy and at that moment my IBS was relatively ok! Things were OK! It seems simple and it won’t work for everyone, but filling my mind with things that made me genuinely smile, turned my forced grin into a genuine giggle from silly memories I had floating around my head. Those few minutes helped to lift my mood and ultimately ease my anxiety. Obviously if I was in the throws of a strong panic attack this might not work, but for the general low I feel in the morning it definitely triumphed.
I believe that we can choose to be happy. To open our eyes to the world around us, to the beauty of nature, even when it is raining. To the love of others even when we don’t love ourselves that much. Yes I have an issue with hormones, but that it is triggered by a thought, so surely I can use the power of thought to overcome it. By choosing happiness, making a plan, having steps in place, we are taking control of our lives rather than letting Anxiety control it.
Everyone, even people who don’t suffer from Anxiety and Depression, can choose to take control of their life. Choosing to diet, to get fit, to start a relationship, to end a relationship, to go out even when you are feeling crap. These are all moments when you are choosing to put yourself first. To make yourself happier. As long as you don’t live telling yourself that ‘once I am thinner/fatter I will be happier’, ‘Once I meet ‘the one’ I will be happier’ as speaking from my own experience, it won’t make you happier. Don’t pin all your happiness on one goal, as if you fail so will your smile. You have to seek happiness and joy in the journey to getting there, on a day to day basis.
This has truly helped me in dealing with anxiety, although I’m also aware that sometimes a good wallow is also a great medicine!!