Recently I’ve been learning subconsciously what anxiety actually is. I always linked it to a condition I have, that comes up in certain situations which I can’t seem to handle. I’d say ‘I can’t do that, I have anxiety’. It’s only until very recently I’ve changed the way I say this to ‘I suffer from anxiety’ or ‘I have an anxiety disorder’. This isn’t to be pretentious or judgemental towards the illness, but rather as part of my way of fighting it. Let me explain.
As most of us know, anxiety is a natural reaction to situations which the body uses when preparing for a fight or flight scenario. We all get anxious about things. The most confident person in the world gets anxious about situations.
For me, the physical feelings are what drives my anxiety condition, and this is the disconnect. My brain seems to have forgotten what the feelings are for, so links them to something else. And this is what I’m trying to change.
Within my every day life, I have certain things which make me get anxious. The feelings start and the anxiety worsens when I link them to something else. What is strange, is that other situations make me anxious with the same physical feelings but my mind accepts them for what they are. Example:
If I drive up the M1, I get a racing heart, hot, shaky, tense, fidgety and I start panicking that in stuck with no escape.
If I confront someone about an issue, I get the same beating heart, the same gut feeling, the same hotness, but my brain uses it to drive me forward.
I find it incredibly strange that in two situations that bring on the same physical feelings get two completely different responses.
So what I’m trying to do is bring on the recognised feelings more often. I want my brain to remember what this feels like and mix this in with scenarios that would usually make me panic and see what my brain makes of it. I see it as an experiment, a bit of a challenge, to see if what exactly I can do with my anxiety disorder and how I can manipulate my own mind.