Anxiety. The word alone gives me the chills as I automatically remember how my body reacts when I encounter this feeling. My palms become sweaty, my hands start to quiver, and I can’t make eye contact for longer than three seconds. Honestly, I still struggle with dealing with anxiety when it decides to knock on my door.
Generally, I’m not an anxious person. I’m quite confident in myself and my abilities, and I try to always think positively despite negative situations arising. I find that anxiety tends to hit me when I’m fearful or nervous about an outcome, such as a job interview for a role I really want or stepping into unfamiliar territory when I’m not feeling as confident in myself. Either way, the same thing happens I get the sweats and a nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach.
In moments of worry, I rely on my support system to reassure me and give me the safe space that I need to feel these emotions. Once I established that these feelings are normal. I manage them by accepting that anxiety is not strange or something to be embarrassed about. Even Beyonce gets nervous! It’s quite normal and common (this is mild and moderate anxiety, rather than an anxiety disorder).
Ask yourself what is the worst possible outcome of the situation that is making you anxious? Now ask yourself what is the best possible outcome? One healthy way of thinking that shifted my mindset was realising that the worst thing that can happen is probably not the worse thing that can happen. Me not getting the job I wanted although at the time leaves me feeling disappointed, in the greater future I will look back and that moment will only be a small chapter in my story. This perspective works in situations that are not particularly high risk.
Some practical examples of what I do are going to my safe space for advice and support. Having a network of trusted individuals who can balance acknowledging my feelings but also holding me accountable is important for me. Going to the gym also helps me relieve stress and redirect anxiety into something tangible. Lastly, I also allow myself to just exist; I watch Netflix, curl up in bed and just relax.
In the past, wellness to me was linked to how I looked physically: what the number on the scale was saying and how smooth my skin was when applying makeup. With a lot of self-work, wellness takes on a new meaning to me now. I prioritize wellness as a fundamental aspect of my life.
“Wellness is the act of practicing healthy habits on a daily basis to attain better physical and mental health outcomes, so that instead of just surviving, you’re thriving.” – Pifzer
For me, it’s a pursuit of being and feeling my best self. Rather than comparing myself to a standard, I set the standard. I am the standard for me. I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t admire other attributes, lifestyles, and careers and wish I had them from time to time. I centre myself by always striving to be the best Andrea. I invest in things and activities that make me feel good whilst doing. Whilst working out doesn’t always make me feel good, what makes me feel good is knowing that I have shown up for myself. Whenever I feel anxious or start to doubt myself, I remember that I am dedicated to being the best version of me, and there is nothing that can take away from that.