Can You Tell?
Don’t look now but your anxiety is showing, I can tell. I could tell from a mile away. What’s that you say — how can I tell? Well, maybe you’re right… I can’t tell, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. In the last decade or so, I’ve noticed how prominent anxiety is in our every day lives and it goes largely unnoticed, that is until it manifests itself into a dramatic spectacle and we all freak out. Let’s try to avoid that.
We live in an age where we are constantly being judged, critiqued, rated, and chewed out. How could we all not be suffering from anxiety. Anytime I post or share something on social media, I feel a wave of tension wash over me. The ridicule and pressure we face from our peers is enough to make anyone feel sick. Whether this is aimed specifically at your close group of friends or your entire social network, it’s sometimes very intimidating putting your opinion out there. You’re essentially at the mercy of your audience and that can trigger some serious anxiety.
Maybe, you’re one of the select individuals who prides themselves in not caring what others think (even though you probably do and even if it’s just a little bit). You can’t deny that you find yourself checking, waiting, and checking again for a period of time following a post. The reason for this? Acceptance.
We all want to feel accepted and we want praise for when we do well — and that’s totally fine. The problem however, is when your sole intent is to boost your rapport and in doing so, causes you stress in anticipation of. I’m guilty of this. I had a Facebook with close to 1000 friends, (which for some may seem low) and when I would share my thoughts — I would fear for rejection or confrontation. I deleted that page and created a smaller one, a more intimate profile that I would share with only my close friends and family. This allowed me to stay in touch with my friends and utilize Facebook for all of the positive aspects it has to offer, while also putting my mind at ease before sharing.
I realize that the source of anxiety I just referenced may not affect you but the point i’m trying to illustrate is that there are choices and actions that you can make to better your own livelihood. That’s what really matters after all, right? To feel good and to accept yourself.
So much of said anxiety stems from within and I feel that the important thing about addressing anxiety is initially resolved like most issues; acknowledging that it’s real and that it affects you. Almost everyone in my life at one point or another has expressed their anxiety and the role it plays in their lives — but always with some degree of resistance. If we remove the stigma, we can get to the root of the problem and move forward. It is a relatively normal feeling after all.
Whether your anxiety is situational or chronic, I feel it is a condition almost everyone has some understanding of. How do we function with such a disruptive burden looming over our heads? I know that in myself, it’s a sensation that comes and goes quickly, but often. Every time that it passes though, I always feel bigger than I did prior to experiencing it and that does a lot of good for ones self esteem; to be able to successfully overcome.
Take a deep breath, there’s a long road ahead. Listen to the little voice in your head or that friend whose coaching you through. It takes courage to vocalize your demons and there’s a lot to be said about those who tackle them head first.
The most important take away here though, is that you should never be ashamed of your anxiety showing.