Anxious Thoughts of a Worried Mind
Anxious thoughts, a personal experience
For a large portion of my life, I have felt the wrath of countless anxious thoughts and feelings. However, as you are reading this, I know I am not alone.
But what is an anxious thought? Well, I don’t believe it can be fully and accurately defined. If I were to put it into words, I would say it is that worrisome feeling about absolutely anything—that you know is ridiculous and unnecessary—but you can’t help but obsess over. For example, it could be that feeling of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, and then constantly rehearsing in your mind what you should have said to make it sound better.
The sad truth is, this is a very real problem that many people struggle with every day. We are always told to speak about it with people and express our feelings. My opinion is that this doesn’t help everyone, and in some circumstances, it only makes matters worse.
Now before you bite my head off, I believe people who suffer from anxiety do need help. However, from experience, a large proportion of those who tell the world about their anxious thoughts appear to be attention-seekers who haven’t the slightest idea of the clinical condition. Let me be clear: there is a huge difference between feeling anxious from time to time versus having anxious thoughts take over your mind. The difference is that the first is normal; the second is a problem. The first is brief and uncomfortable. The second is a constant misery.
Distinguish the frauds from those who need help
This brings me onto my next point. What you may find is if someone constantly talks about ‘their anxiety’ and appears to crave sympathy from others, the likelihood is they have no idea what it actually is. I have encountered people who act this way. It is quite ironic when you think about it. There is me, not even telling those closest to me about this miserable condition, and those who constantly complain and use their so-called ‘anxiety’ as an excuse. They have no idea. These individuals have even asked me why I’m so confident. The irony. Now I am not saying if you tell people about your anxious thoughts then you are automatically an attention seeker. It can take a lot of courage for someone to admit it. I mean those people who make it your problem, seek sympathy and attention for something normal, they mistake for this life-damaging mental illness.
Progression is imminent
I am someone who always felt these thoughts just come to me, not even wanting to think about them, not wanting to give a fuck about them. Excuse my French. The truth is, it isn’t easy. However, the progress I have made over the past few years, I am proud of to say the least. This is the aim of this piece. Not just to get it out there and make people aware, but to give advice to those who are going through similar experiences.
The first step is cliché to say the least. Admit to yourself that the way your mind is working is a problem. Once you admit and believe this, you are one step closer to getting on with your life. Next, try to understand that these thoughts are merely a figment of our imagination. They are exaggerated by our mind. I shall give an example. A few years ago, I would have these thoughts flood my mind during and after certain social situations, even with some of my closest friends. Thoughts would include: I said this, therefore they don’t like me, they must think so badly of me, they aren’t really my friends etc.… The truth is, I am still close to these people to this day, and all those sleepless nights worrying literally meant nothing! But how did I overcome this?
Overcoming those negative thoughts
Well, it is quite simple in theory, takes practice in reality. Think to yourself, how do I think of people? When you do this, you realise, you never have these thoughts about people, and therefore why should they think that of you? And even if they did, your opinion of people never really mattered, why should theirs? Once you accept this and think it through every time you have an anxious mind overload, you slowly become aware that these poisonous thoughts are not real! We are not what we think other people think of us. We are whoever we wish to be. I came to this realisation when I found out one of my closest friends, who I was convinced had all these negative feelings about me, was actually in the same position. He thought I had the same thoughts about him. This made me realise two incredibly important life lessons. Firstly, I was not alone. And secondly, nothing is ever as bad as it seems. Ultimately, we should not care about what people think, however our mind set doesn’t just change, you must take the steps to think differently. This thought process certainly helped me.
The next step involves letting go of the past. I went through a stage of remembering something I did five or six years ago and worrying about it. The truth is, you realise you aren’t that special so to speak. I came to this conclusion when I started to notice people I hadn’t seen in years. As soon as I saw them, thoughts of certain events would come to mind and eat me alive. The truth was, either they didn't remember, or didn't care! Making mistakes is human nature, they help us learn and grow. We should not regret what we have done in the past, rather accept it, learn from it, and move on.
This next piece of advice I find extremely important, and I shall try to make the point as original as possible. Love yourself. Now, the problem is, this seems to be a paradox in modern society. Everyone emphasises the importance of loving yourself, then, when you do, people associate it with arrogance. The truth is, loving yourself and arrogance are two completely different kettle of fish. Arrogance is, truly believing you are right, dismissing everyone else’s opinions and truly believing there is no room to grow as a person. Loving yourself is accepting who you are, whilst embracing ways to make yourself a better person. Once you accept this, you start to think about the person you are. As long as you love the person you are, why shouldn’t anyone else? Even if they don’t, remember, it is impossible to please everyone.
The last step. Enjoy the little things and have fun! Life is a precious gift, one day it will be over. Whether anything happens after life is down to debate. Although, we can all agree that the rollercoaster that is life should be cherished and enjoyed. Rather than hopelessly worrying about the unknown, just enjoy the gift that is life. Otherwise, what is the point in living?
© 2017 livingontheedge