Something I have found about having chronic anxiety is that this often leads to avoiding triggers, which includes avoiding conflict. For example, you might find it difficult to set boundaries in a relationship, or you might find that you've been putting off having a difficult conversation with your supervisor at work. For me, this might look like walking away from arguments or being as diplomatic as possible in an interaction with someone to avoid some sort of conflict.
Anxiety Treatment – Treating Anxiety
Not long ago, my therapist asked me to think about my anxiety triggers. I thought about the multiple triggers that lead me to feel anxious, and I realized that one of them is illness, whether it is my own or that of someone I care about.
When I have racing thoughts, feel overwhelmed, and feel like things are out of control, it becomes a major struggle to feel a sense of calm. Calmness, when you're anxious, becomes difficult to achieve, at least at the moment, because it's so hard to quiet all of the other thoughts and resulting symptoms that accompany anxiety, especially when you experience a panic attack. So, then I try to pull myself away from being overstimulated.
Something that I have learned about my anxiety is that it won't go away. It has been something that I have coped with since I was a teenager, possibly even earlier than that, and it is never going to go away. But there are things that I can do to lessen the effects of anxiety.
A part of being chronically anxious includes constant worry about what might happen in the future. But what I've also experienced is that along with this is not just the worry, but the fear of not being good enough, of feeling like you don't meet up to certain standards, and feeling like a failure.
Over the years, I have learned so much about my anxiety, not only through formal education but also simply through taking the time to analyze what I am going through. Some might say that this is just a part of dealing with anxiety -- the overthinking and the constant overanalyzing of what you feel, think, and do. But I think it has also been helpful because it has helped me recognize my triggers and anxiety symptoms. It has also helped me figure out things I can do that are helpful for me. One of those things is leaning into my anxiety and accepting the anxiety instead of running away from it.
After years of coping with anxiety and trying to understand it, I've learned that one of the things that affect how I feel is how others feel. In other words, I've found myself quite empathic towards the feelings of others. For me, empathy and anxiety occur together.
If you often deal with anxiety, sometimes it might seem as though it is difficult to be happy and anxious. While anxiety is not the same as depression, I think that dealing with it can sometimes lead to depression because, when you're anxious, you may find that you experience negative emotions that lead to a general feeling of sadness. You might also find that you focus more on those negative feelings than other ones.
Something I've learned about my anxiety is that sometimes, instead of being consumed by worries about the future, it is possible to be overwhelmed by the past to the point that my memories trigger anxiety symptoms.
As someone who has experienced anxiety for a long time, I’ve become aware of specific situations that trigger feeling anxious. One situation that can trigger my anxiety is when I make a mistake, and then anxiety makes me focus on that mistake. The problem with this is that, as we know, mistakes happen often. There, this can sometimes be something that’s continuously troubling.