It is no secret that anxiety is at the source of many of my shortcomings. One of which is rocking up late. Chronic tardiness is something my friends have come to expect and have had to accept. Most times I'm late because I was at home stuck in an anxious loop, unable to match a top to a pair of jeans or find socks that match. Some days it's deciding on what to wear, others it's what to eat, or watch, or do.
No matter, my anxiety is characterized by a paralyzing fear of making inconsequential decisions.
Most of the time I couldn't say what triggers it. Yet I get caught between what I intend to do and with what I am able to do.
When I feel the anxiety grab hold I look for refuge in a dark place, ideally surrounded by solitude. If I am unable to extrapolate myself from an anxiety-riddled situation, I suffer immensely.
And suffering from anxiety is usually done in quiet and it almost always goes unnoticed.
Anxiety is something most people have experienced at some time in their life. Fewer actually suffer from the condition. And some people have debilitating anxiety to the point where they are diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. But for those who have never experienced it, it is difficult to convey how anxiety leeches on to its prey. Much like depression, you are oblivious as it creeps up on you, inch by inch.
The only rule is to do what works for you.
Having recently entered a new workplace I have noticed my anxieties escalating. At first everything was pretty straightforward. However, with every new day, with every new encounter, and every new challenge, the web of relationships that is my workplace became more deeply intertwined. And the more complicated the relationships, the more complex the work, the more anxiety there is. It makes me wonder; worry even, about how to keep it in check.
Short of taking an Ativan, I had to ask myself: what can I do to get a handle on my anxiety?
Anxiety is unfair. It's devastating because it selects its victimes arbitrarily. So much of what makes up anxiety is out of our control. I realized the only thing I can change is how I speak to myself (thanks for reminding me, mom). I can influence my internal dialogue by reciting mantras every morning. Actually, anytime I feel my resolve wavering I can rehearse them so not to succumb to my anxiety.
More from HuffPost Canada:
In light of this, I have created a list of 10 short sentences to help pull my world into focus when times get tough. These mantras speak to me and to my anxiety but you can find ones that work for you. You can recite them when you wake up, while you are brushing your teeth or during your commute. You can also write them down before you start work or right before bed. You can repeat one or all of them. The only rule is to do what works for you.
- Oxygen is a catalyst for calm so breathe deep
- You are more than just the sum of our anxieties
- Don't believe everything you think
- Action (no matter how small) reduces anxiety
- Stop letting your thoughts control you
- Don't be more attached to your burden, than your burden is attached to you
- Look for the humor in your situations; it will keep everything in perspective
- Stop worrying about what people think because they seldom think about you
- No matter how trying the moment, it too shall pass
- Anxiety is a problem of perspective. Take a step back and reassess
Also on HuffPost: