Living with ill mental health can change lots of things in your life, and to you. The people around you can’t understand what is happening to you, why you have changed, why you can’t do those simple things ‘everyone’ can do and you used to do. They become frustrated as you can’t effectively communicate your difficulties or the issues you are facing as you don’t really understand it yourself. You distance yourself from others and they distance themselves from you as the lack of understanding creates a rift so big, it’s easier to withdraw than deal with people.
A client ended my anxiety programme this week, in floods of tears. Having worked hard with me, who she felt was the first person to understand her and her emotional state, she was afraid that she would never meet someone who would ‘get’ her again. We have a maintenance session booked in three weeks to see if completion brings about some reflection and letting go of the fear of being alone.
Knowing what makes you feel anxious (triggers) will help you better understand how to manage your anxiety. Sometimes we have to understand ourselves before other people understand us.
Three tips for learning to manage your anxiety
- Treat your anxiety like an opponent. Find out everything about it, how it affects you, what actions you take because of it, what you can do about it?
- Challenge your thoughts, question your anxiety, question your decisions.
- Challenge expectations e.g. Anxiety doesn’t have to control you.
Understand it – Challenge it – Change it.