Tackling our individual gremlins can be so daunting. What do I mean by the word “gremlin” well for me… anxiety. Often times when consuming social media posts we see beautiful people leading beautiful lives and we compare what we have going on with them. We look at others “perfect” lives and strive to be more like them, why? Because we feel if we could only just be a little thinner, richer, prettier we will be happier.
Social media is an amazing tool to build relationships and learn but it can also be absolutely destructive to our personal lives. On my current social media accounts I was looking through and even I had noticed that I was constantly posting about how positive and great life was. While I do aspire to be a bright light for those who choose to follow me, I also strive to be REAL.
I recently shared my story with a very dark gremlin I have been facing for my entire life on a live video on Facebook. A few years ago I hit rock bottom with my anxiety. I was transitioning from a Biology, Pre Med degree to a full time teaching position. In this transition we were given a crash course in how to teach in some of the neediest areas, essentially an entire education “degree” in 5 weeks. I stood alongside of other brand new college grads, that I had never met. This experience was something I wanted, it challenged me in ways I cannot even begin to explain. However, it opened a door to such severe anxiety that led to panic attacks, no sleep, dark thoughts and intense worry.
In the past I used exercise religiously to combat any feeling of despair and loss of control, but at this point that simple was not enough. I was worried to the point of, what I thought, was no return. When you ask me what I was worried about, well everything. Everything from “what am I going to wear tomorrow” to “where will I be in a year”. When I would take myself out for exercise I could hardly move, running wasn’t happening for me anymore. I was so consumed with my own thoughts I had been debilitated.
Thankfully, I learned strategies to overcome severe anxiety and panic attacks with time. I was able to identify triggers, move through the emotions of anxiety and come out on the other end alive. Feeling of anxiety ride on my shoulders daily, not every day is a bad day and for the most part I have it under pretty great control.
If I have undergone this type of panic and intense worry, others out there must experience this from time to time as well. I want to share with you my tips for determining what your triggers are, how to avoid these triggers and what to do if you are experiencing anxiety in the moment.
I hope that you find these resources as useful as I did and still do when I am feeling my worst.