Anxiety is something that has plagued my life in a negative way the past two-ish years – more intensely, the last six months. However, I have experienced some form of it for most of my life, especially as I look back. I’m definitely more “prone” to it, you might say.
This is probably a very common narrative for the majority of the world at this point.
The thing that’s been getting to me lately, is the idea that although a lot (most of) the worst things I experience in life are due to my anxiety, so are some of the best. Although I “blame” my anxiety for some of my struggles, I have to thank it for many of my successes.
What does this mean?
Anxiety is a big part of what made me a successful athlete.
“Do you think that was long enough to spend at the gym?”
“I wonder what everyone else is doing.”
“You could probably stay just a little bit later. Go a little bit earlier.”
“Maybe you should go for another run. Do another squat. Take 100 more shots. Hold the plank for 15 more seconds.”
“Will this ice cream have an effect on my weight?”
“Will this one beer undo all the work I’ve done in the past two weeks?”
“When are you going to fit in your workout today?”
“I wonder if so and so can bench, squat, clean, as much as me or run as fast as me.”
Anxiety is a big part of what made me a successful student.
“You could probably study more. Stay up a little later and get up a little earlier, while you’re at it.”
“Reread your essay one more time (I’ve already read it three times).”
“Redo that. It probably isn’t good enough.”
“Anything less than an A won’t do.”
“What can you do to improve your grade?”
“Make sure you stay after and ask questions, and probably schedule a meeting.”
Anxiety is a big part of what makes me a good friend, daughter, girlfriend, etc.
“I wonder how they are doing. Make sure you ask. Double check to make sure they aren’t lying when they say they are good.”
“You’ve reached out to her, her, and her. Now, reach out to her, her, and her.”
“It’s okay that they haven’t reached out. They are probably busy (as if I’m not). They will sometime soon.”
“Say goodnight/good morning to your mom, dad, brother, and sister. You can’t say it to one and not the others.”
“Make sure everyone else is okay before yourself.”
This same story is true for me in many parts of my life. It’s interesting. How many successful people have anxiety? Does this, at least in part, help drive them to success?
Anxiety is so complex. There is so much out there to read and research about it, all of which have different perspectives and angles.
My most recent read highlights the fact that when anxiety occurs in the body, as it does with everyone at some point, it is an alarm system trying to warn us of something. Prior to reading this perhaps unique perspective, I have spent a lot of time looking inward – researching the brain, creating routines to boost the release of dopamine and serotonin from exercise, sunlight, writing, water, and completing short to-do lists.
Now, although I know those things are equally important, I am wondering if now might be the time to look outward. What in my environment is causing me anxiety? Does something need to change? Is that what it’s been this whole time? Changing is easier (in a sense) than changing the inside.
These are not questions I have answers to, nor will I answer on here, but are possibly questions or thoughts someone else might benefit from. They are my weekend leisure thoughts.
That’s all for now. 🙂
love always, caitlin