Helpful Benefits Of Having Anxiety In Your Twenties

Anxiety sucks. But when you get through the worst of it, you may find that there can be some unexpected positive outcomes. Now, for everyone who’s already prepared to chop my head off for saying this, simmer down. I’m not saying anxiety is easy, or something that anyone ever wants to have. I understand that the “upsides” I discuss below will take some time to get to. All I’m saying is that positive things can come out of what you’re dealing with, and all is not lost. So, that being said, here are 12 things that may help remind you that some goodness can come out of your struggles.

1) You develop a new way of looking at the world.

Anxiety opens your eyes and causes you to see things in a way you’ve never seen them before. It can change the way that you judge certain people, the way you spend your time, and/or the way you talk to the people around you. A lot of the time, anxiety pops the bubble that you’ve been living in up until now. It’s scary, but it forces you to understand things you never would have otherwise.

2) You form a deeper sense of empathy for other people. 

Anxiety makes you feel like you’re not yourself. It overwhelms you, worries you, hangs over you, and sometimes forces you to uproot your life. You understand, in a way that you hadn’t before, what it’s like to feel scared or alone or out of sorts or helpless. In the past, when someone screwed up or acted out, made a mistake or had a meltdown, you may have been tempted to judge them. But anxiety has caused you to think about and observe and see people in a way that you previously had not been able to do. Even if you don’t understand or know what someone is going through, you know what it’s like when someone feels like they’re upside down.

3) Being vulnerable isn’t as difficult for you anymore.

It’s still difficult, because no one likes to be vulnerable. But oftentimes, anxiety can force you to start reaching out more to people out of a sheer need for help and support. Anxiety sometimes makes you feel crazy and restless and in dire need of simple human connections. You’ve learned to stop worrying about your pride and image so much, because receiving love and encouragement from someone is so much better and easier than showing a brave face.

4) Anxiety ends up putting things in perspective for you. 

Once you’ve experienced any kind of anxiety, the path to happiness seems much less complicated. When it feels like you’re drowning inside your own head, unable to tell your thoughts to shut up, you’re not thinking about how you wish you had a higher position at work, or more followers on your social networks, or a long list of celebrity friends. In fact, those are often the things that can spark deep waves of anxiety in the first place. Once you really and truly feel anxiety, career rankings and social status become pretty silly, and all you care about are things like family, friends, and doing things that really matter. It’s not until you’re in the dark that you can truly understand what brings the most light into your life.

5) You often become less attached to things.

Yes, a shopping day or a brand new phone can be comforting, but you’ve realized that the only thing that truly makes you feel more at peace is being around people you care about. When you’re in the middle of a deep bout of anxiety or panic, you’re not wishing for a multimillion dollar mansion, designer clothes, a personal chauffeur, and more money than you know what to do with. All you’re thinking is that you want to have a sense of peace, rid your life of any unnecessary clutter (both physical clutter and non-physical clutter), and surround yourself with the people you love the most. In your darkest moments, the path to being happy and content is not overwhelmed with bright and shiny things. All you want to focus on is holding the hands of the people that bring you the most peace and make you feel the most alive.

6) It can help you to form bonds with people you wouldn’t normally be close with. 

Anxiety is not a rare thing in today’s world, and tons of people go through it. There’s something to be said about going through something and having another person know exactly how you feel and exactly what it’s like, without having to explain anything to them. But dealing with anxiety doesn’t just bring you closer to new people you meet through therapy or support groups or trying a new hobby that you hope will help brighten up your day – it also can bring you closer to people you already knew who you previously thought of simply as mere acquaintances. Anxiety can sometimes lead you to open up and form deep connections with people you wouldn’t have interacted with otherwise.

7) Your mind becomes a lot more focused. 

At this point, you’ve been through enough. You don’t care as much about how your image comes across to people, what is and is not expected of you in society, what you should do to impress other people, etc. You’ve been at the bottom of the pit, an angle that makes most other things seem pretty unimportant. By now, you’ve figured out what and who you want to spend your time on, and what is just a waste of your time.

8) You have a greater appreciation for the happy and joyful moments in your life. 

Anxiety doesn’t necessarily mean you have to lead a miserable life. Once you’ve learned how to treat it and have figured out the best way to handle it when it comes around, you can still maintain a very normal and often happy life. Except this time, you’ve had enough low and dark moments to appreciate, even more than you already did, what it feels like to have true joy, content, excitement, and love in your life.

9) Sometimes, you end up trying things you wouldn’t have tried previously. 

When it comes to dealing with anxiety, people’s suggestions for curbing it are pretty surprising: trying improv, training for a marathon, taking up a new hobby. Basically, people tell you to do things that you’d think would just bring even more anxiety. However, many people have found that putting themselves in nerve-wracking situations actually helps them deal with anxiety, because it teaches them how to handle their nerves and deal with feeling uncomfortable and terrified. The release that comes from doing these types of things is so great that people often fall in love with the very thing they were once afraid of.

10) A lot of other things become a lot less scary. 

Similar to the point above, anxiety helps you with putting things in perspective. When the thing you’re most terrified of is whatever is going on inside your own mind, every thing else slowly becomes less scary, bit by bit by bit. Maybe you’re still scared of public speaking or scuba diving or just going on a date, but you’re able to put your fear in place because you’ve had much more difficult moments where you were a lot more terrified. Learning how to take control of your anxiety instead of letting it take control of you really helps you to understand that you can handle just about anything that comes your way.

11) Your fear of not having control sometimes helps you to gain a stronger sense of control in other areas of your life. 

Because our twenties are so unpredictable, we often let ourselves go in a lot of areas: we drink too much, or we have really poor diets. We work too much or too little. We watch hours of tv instead of getting up and going outside. We let things that we could easily control just slip right through our fingers. Anxiety can often exacerbate this problem, but not if you’re willing to work on your anxiety. Once you’ve decided to start fighting against your anxiety, the fear of not having control that often accompanies anxiety will lead to you doing everything you can to feel more in control. You maintain a much healthier diet, you drink less, you work hard but you learn how to say enough is enough. You exercise, you force yourself to get off the couch and do whatever it is that you need to do to feel stimulated, whether that’s taking a walk or socializing or reading a book. If you’re trying to fight against anxiety, you’ll often find you start subconsciously improving all sorts of areas in your life.

12) You can sense when other people are having a hard time, and you know how to help them. 

You’ve been through it – through the worst parts of anxiety. You know the warning signs and the symptoms and the look people get on their face when they’re mentally present but their mind is a million miles away. It’s become a lot easier for you to sense when someone around you is struggling, even if it’s not specially anxiety that they’re suffering from. You’ve been through enough to know how to recognize it, and reach out and help them. You may not think much of it, but helping someone to feel just a little less scared than you did helps more than you’ll ever know.

Read This When You Feel Tired Of Everything

To the one who feels tired of everything,

Let’s first get this out of the way: it is okay that you are feeling this way. It is completely valid to feel tired. It is okay to feel that you lack the strength to go forward. It is okay to question the point in trying. It is okay that you don’t feel the same motivation you had in the beginning. It is all okay.

It is okay that you feel stuck. It is okay that you feel uncertainty. It is okay that you feel this way, this is all part of being human.

It is okay to feel frustrated when you have yet to accomplish your goals. It is okay to feel that you can’t, and you need to take that step back. It is okay to feel emotions other than happiness. It is okay to talk about what you feel. It is okay to let your walls down to the people you trust. It is okay to feel hurt, it is okay to feel pain. It is okay that you want to stay in bed for the day. It is okay that you take that step back to care for yourself.

It is okay.

But do you know what is not okay?

It is not okay if you question your worth based on your performance. It is not okay if you degrade who you are for giving yourself a break. It is not okay to hurl verbal abuse at yourself when you wouldn’t to anyone else in your situation. It is not okay to pretend everything is fine when you feel it is not. It is not okay to keep it all to yourself when you know that talking it out will help you. It is not okay to hide behind your responsibilities to avoid the real problem.

It is okay to take a break. It is okay to feel tired about everything.

But it is not okay to allow yourself to stay that way.

It is not okay to believe that you are broken. Beauty does not come from being broken, but rather, beauty comes from what you choose to do with the broken pieces.

It is not okay to believe you are a lost cause. You have tried before, and you will one day try again.

To the one that feels tired of everything,

Know that it is okay to feel this way, but it is not okay to stay this way. Know that you are running this race at your own pace, and not the pace the world tells you to. Know that even when you think no one understands, you are not alone. Before anything and anyone else, you owe it to yourself to get through this. Know that you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

Sometimes, You Have To Take A Break

Even though you might feel like you cannot afford to rest, even though there is a lot of pressure being put on you, even though you want to spend your time making productive leaps toward your dreams, you cannot keep moving until you collapse.

You are allowed to slow down. You are allowed to take a break every once in a while. You are allowed to breathe.

Letting yourself relax for the first time in a long time does not mean you are being lazy. It does not mean you are slacking and do not deserve to reach success. It means you are self-aware and self-loving.

It doesn’t matter how desperately you want to reach your dreams. Sometimes, the answer is not to force yourself to go-go-go. Sometimes, you have to rest today if you want to be on your A-game tomorrow.

Even though it feels like you have a million different things to get done and a million people you could disappoint, do not fight through your mental or physical exhaustion. Do not push yourself passed your limits. Do not fall off the ledge.

You need to take care of yourself first. Your sanity comes before your work.

If you go without a rest for too long, if you end up reaching a point where you snap because you cannot take such a jam-packed schedule anymore, then you are going to suffer a setback and you are going to have an even longer recovery period than you would if you gave yourself a break today.

Instead of waiting until the last possible second to give a shit about yourself, schedule me-time every week. Make sure you have at least a few hours, or even an entire day, to unwind from the stress you have been under.

You have accomplished so much more than you realize, so stop telling yourself you are not good enough. Stop acting like you have not earned a rest. You have. 

Turn off your email notifications. Put down your pencil. Close your textbooks. Give yourself permission to enjoy  the rest of the day. Not everything has to be done right this second. The world is not going to end if you ‘waste’ one day.

Except, that is the thing. You should not think of pampering yourself as a waste. You should not think of self-care as a waste. You should think of it as a necessity.

Yes, reaching success requires effort. Yes, you have to do a lot of work if you want to make something of yourself. No, you cannot become lazy — but taking a break every once in a while does not make you lazy. You are allowed to sleep extra. You are allowed to binge watch a series. You are allowed to have fun — or do absolutely nothing at all. You should not feel guilty about days like that.

You might care about your work more than anything, but your priorities need to shift if you want to live your dream life. You need to start caring about yourself more than everything else. The rest can take (a close) second.

8 False Beliefs We Need To Eradicate If We Want To Become Our Most Mentally Healthiest Self

Life doesn’t get easier, we get stronger.

We get stronger not because we necessarily become tougher, but because we learn.

We learn how to think, what to do, and how to perceive certain experiences in a way that allows us to grow and adapt to our circumstances as opposed to being defeated by them.

These are the top beliefs that we must shift if we want to become our most mentally healthiest self.

1. “I have to respond to everything that bothers me.”

Throughout the course of your life, you will be confronted with people, circumstances, and situations that are at times frustrating, at times blatantly unfair, and at times completely harrowing.

Often, your judgments will be warranted. Your anger will be justified. Your response will be healthy.

However, for the sake of your own mental health, you cannot respond to every single thing that bothers you. There’s just too much stimuli. You’ll end up completely consumed by it.

You have to learn what, and who deserves your attention.

What you give your energy to is what you bring to life.

2. “I am either defined by my worst mistakes or my greatest achievements.”

This polarized way of looking at yourself is neither healthy nor realistic.

People tend to either imagine that they are defined by one of two things: the worst things about their past, or the best ones. Neither tends to be completely true.

You are defined by how you treat other people, what you show up for, how kind you are, your defining characteristics, and how others feel when they are around you.

The people who actually care about you aren’t thinking about your greatest failures or successes when they’re around you.

You can balance out your perspective by remembering you’re probably not quite as bad, nor quite as perfect, as you might want to think.

3. “My growth is contingent upon my material successes.”

It’s easy to think that our success is measured by what other people can perceive — in other words, our worldly achievements.

Whether it’s belongings, status, physical attractiveness, or whatever else, it’s almost too easy to imagine that we are merely the sum of what others can physically see.

The truth is that our inner growth is far deeper, and often far more subtle than that.

Our growth is contingent upon our willingness to reflect, make a change, rest, and change the way we think.

4. “I am the sum of other people’s opinions about me.”

Of course, you’re going to continue being afraid of other people’s opinions when you think that you’re defined by the sum of them.

You aren’t.

Other people’s ideas of you are temporary, fleeting, constantly shifting, and largely filtered through their own feelings, beliefs, and insecurities.

Though it is true that if there’s a consensus about you, that might be worth exploring, a lot of the time, you have to take what others think with a grain of salt.

What matters far more is how you are willing to see yourself despite what their opinions may be.

5. “If I’m not the best, I’m not good enough.”

I know that the world has done a great job of convincing you that life is a competitive sport and that you are only as good as you are better than someone else.

This is simply untrue.

Another person’s beauty is not the absence of your own; another person’s success is not the absence of your own; another person’s happiness is not the absence of your own.

Every individual can experience their own version of a good, healthy, happy life.

You are not only as good as you are better than someone else.

6. “Other people only deserve my respect if they earn it.”

Everybody deserves your respect.

This is true even if you’re angry with someone, even if you disagree with their actions, even if you dislike them as a whole.

When you start deciding who deserves your respect and why you end up establishing rules and standards to give yourself respect.

It’s a toxic, vicious cycle.

If you just approach all people and treat them with dignity, you’ll find it a lot easier to have grace with yourself even when you’ve made mistakes or failed.

7. “The person I feel the strongest about is the person I’m meant to be with forever.”

The person you are meant to be with is the person you end up with.

No more, no less.

It doesn’t matter how strongly you feel, what they say or don’t say, what promises are made or not made, how electric you believe your star-crossed connection might be.

If that person does not show up and willingly commit to a relationship with you — that is not the person for you, not now, and maybe not ever.

The person you are meant to be with is the person who puts actions behind their words — nothing else to dissect.

8. “The outside world controls, and dictates, my destiny.”

When we think that the outside world has the power to take us off our path, we fear failure, or what might “fall through.”

When we become more self-aware, we recognize that even if the path may bow in a direction we didn’t anticipate, we always control the narrative and the final destination.

No matter the setback, we can always adapt, we can always adjust, and we can always learn.

It’s not about what the world doesn’t hand us — it’s about what we do with what it does.