Do you know someone who doesn’t experience anxiety? I don’t. There isn’t a single person I know who is free from the effects of stress about money, love, work, and health. The list of stressors is endless; the way people manage it is also endless and very personal.
There’s a long list of ways in which I managed my anxiety over my lifetime. Lately meditation and breathing help me the most, but I still catch myself playing with a loose piece of cuticle to the point at which it hurts. It’s a small action that almost quiets the million thoughts racing around in my brain and enables me to concentrate on the conversation I’m in. Sometimes I sit on my hands when I realize I’ve been picking. That helps also.
What is your physical manifestation of anxiety? I have a friend who looks up and away each time she answers me; it’s a subtle motion. Another friend wipes his palms against his knees and makes sure that he does it equally – twice on the right side and twice on the left side. Another friend bites her nails. Another friend picks his eyebrows. Another friend blows out air away from anyone. And many friends take medication. I could keep listing the many forms managing anxiety takes, but I write this post to make a point. Who cares? Are you good to people around you? Do you work hard to meet or even exceed expectations in your job? Are you kind to yourself? Ok then. You’re successful in your life.
Anxiety has become a cool and trendy topic if you’re a famous person like Larry David; you can have anxiety and laugh at yourself. But if you’re a regular person, it’s stigmatized in an unhealthy way. There was a post going around on LinkedIn about a woman who openly wrote to her boss that she was taking a mental health day. Her boss applauded her honesty and publicly lauded her courage to be out and proudly taking a day of mental rest. The comments to this LinkedIn post ranged from cheers to disgust. From recommendations to promote this brave person to threats to…