Monty Python always taught us to always look on the bright side of life. I think a positive attitude and a positive outlook on life is key to tackling anxiety. So instead of being a pessimist, I always try to be a bit more optimistic. So, I am trying to see that sometimes, but not all of the time, having anxiety can be a good thing. So what do I believe are the positives to having anxiety?
At times even though I feel that I am a failure, that things aren’t going right in my life and that I’m not worthy of good things, there are other days when I realise that all of this has given me a strength inside me that is huge. To have anxiety and worry so much and feel so nervous about doing certain things and going to certain places, but still doing those things and going to those places shows that I do have strength inside me. Despite feeling all of these anxious symptoms, feeling this dread, anguish and having physical symptoms that come with it, I’m still strong enough most of the time to go and I still turn up. I still tackle everything in life that I can. So actually by having this anxiety most days, but still getting on with the ins and outs of everything, I have strength. I am strong.
Appreciation For The Good Days
There is a massive appreciation for the good days. I am lucky to be in a place where I have been working on my anxiety for a few years now and so I have a lot more good days than I have bad days. However, there are still some pretty bad days that I have where the anxiety will consume me and I worry about everything in my future, I start dwelling on my past, and it all feels just too much. But what this teaches me, is to have an appreciation for those good days. When I have a good day and when things are going right in my life, when I have good friends around me, when I’m feeling happy and good things are happening, I am so grateful and thankful that these things are in my life. A lot of people just bumble through life day by day, nothing really changes. They don’t necessarily see how good things are in front of them and sometimes when they’ve had a rubbish week obviously they will point that out, but on the whole if you don’t suffer with anxiety sometimes you never really do you see the beauty in some days, the goodness in some days and really really feel grateful for those days and appreciate them in the same way that people with anxiety or depression feel. So every good day that I have I am so grateful for and it renews my hope that things can be better and they will get better so there is a huge appreciation.
I never really lived caring what others thought beforehand. This has definitely changed for the worst. I now care way too much about what others think. But on the flip side, other than my nearest and dearest, I never cared a whole lot about anybody! Now this has changed and I have become a huge empath. I feel deeply for others. I also find myself caring about old friends that for whatever reason, are absent from my life now, and I miss them so much. I care too deeply now. Oh, if I could wash away some of these thoughts and feelings away, I would. But sometimes being empathetic is a good thing. I care. A lot. And sometimes this extra care and attention to other people is a must. Because in our World, kindness is dissolving and dying. And if only people were more thoughtful and emphatic- maybe this wouldn’t be happening.
To Be More Mindful
At the beginning of my time suffering with anxiety, a friend of mine asked me if I had looked into mindfulness. I never really heard of this before and I just thought it was another form of meditation and for me sometimes sitting still and emptying my brain feels absolutely impossible and is just not my cup of tea and so I didn’t even bother to look into it. Although mindfulness also teaches you practices of meditation, there is so much more to this concept and it has taught me so much about myself and the way the brain works and it helps me to not feel so ashamed of having anxiety. I’ve realised why sometimes my brain follows the thought patterns it does and mindfulness is teaching me to not necessarily follow that direction anymore. It’s teaching me to be more in the moment. I’m not worrying and fretting about the future, it’s teaching me to appreciate the small things in life like on a stroll into town; I am now more mindful and I can breathe in the fresh air, look at the beautiful sky and feel appreciative of my life in that moment. It does teach meditation practices too, some of these I’m still practising but others I have found really useful like the body scan. Mindfulness has opened up a new way of thinking for me and this has benefited my mind body and helped me somewhat in terms of combatting the anxiety I feel. If anyone wanted to start learning about mindfulness the three books that I have used so far for information are;
My Anxiety Strengthens Certain Relationships
Having anxiety has made me trust in those around myself more. On days where I feel utterly overwhelmed, I have to be strong enough to put my worries on others and ask for help with those around me. This can be for simple things, such as asking my husband to cook dinner instead if I’m feeling like the day has been a bit much. Or telling one of my close friends about a “silly worry”. I think by opening up so much, it actually helps to create stronger bonds and strengthen those friendships and relationships. And it certainly makes me so thankful and grateful for the family I have as they never fail to make me feel better.
I now want to help others.
After having suffered with anxiety for the last 5 years now, I feel like I have learnt so much about mental health and what works and what helps. I hate the thought of anyone else suffering with mental health so now it’s made me want to help others. It’s made me think kinder as a human, I have more compassion and even friendships that have drifted apart- I hope they know that there is always an open door policy with me. I want to help others and be there for them. That’s exactly why I started this blog, mental health isn’t spoken about enough and there is this huge stigma surrounding it and there needn’t be. We all could do with a helping hand sometimes and we should all get help and reach out when we need that. By talking about my experiences- I hope that someone else gets the confidence to speak out and realise that it’s totally fine not to be ok all of the time. But let’s work hard on fighting this unwanted monster this together.
Those are 6 reasons that really stand out to me as positives for having anxiety. I’m sure there are many more but actually, that’s one flaw- sometimes it’s hard to pick out of the positives. But reflecting on these, I realise that these are good qualities to have. I haven’t always done or said the right thing in the past for myself or those around me but life is all about making mistakes and learning from them. And if I have learnt anything from this whole experience, it’s to reflect on the positives- no matter how small.
Do you find that there are some positives to your anxiety? What are they? I would love to know so please do feel free to leave a comment. If you liked this blog, please share and like it on WordPress or Facebook or whichever social media platform you feel you want to- that would mean so much, thank you.