Hello b e a uuuutiful people. The weather is absolutely glorious today and I have just had the best snack of medjool dates, blueberries and some fruit and nut bar. So good and so easily pleased…
My life is immensely blessed and I am very privileged in all that I have; amazing family and friends, nourishing food, water, a roof over my head, clothes to wear etc. That said, life is not always rainbows and butterflies and I feel that we need to share the downs as much as the ups as that is real life.
Girlfriend over here had rocky week last week with a wee bit of anxiety that came up. There was a lot of anxiety, self doubt, fear and emotion that came up and it took over for the entire week. Now that I have shifted the funk and am back feeling like my normal self I feel inspired to write.
Given that anxiety can cause a lot of pain, sadness and frustration within us, I thought I would write about ten positive benefits from my journey with anxiety to show that it is not all pain and sadness but a lot of growth, gratitude and learning. Anxiety actually helped my life for the better in so many ways.
Here we go…
- I have learned to love myself. Sounds corny doesn’t it all this self love stuff but I am telling you it is KEY for each and every one of us. One of the greatest lessons I have had from anxiety is to love myself. To love myself fully, to love myself hard and to love myself when I am in the thick of anxiety. Because that is when it is the hardest to love myself as I often feel unworthy, ashamed and like I “should” be over it. I deserve my own love through all the shadow parts as well as the shiny, “approved”, unicorn parts.
- I have learned to eat in a way that is healthiest for me. When I first got anxiety and panic attacks at 21, I was mid eating disorder and was not nourishing myself at allllllll. Six years down the line, I am at a place where I intuitively nourish myself in a way that is right for me. Sometimes that is all the fruits and veggies, and sometimes that is a cheeky burger and a salted caramel brownie (oh hello). I respect that eating wholefoods from the earth and gentle nutrition supports a healthy mind, but I also respect that having no restrictions around food and eating intuitively is incredibly important for a healthy mind.
- I have so much compassion for others going through mental health issues or even any issue. As a society, many of us tend to shy away from the shadow of life, the “too emotional”, the darkness and the deep trenches of pain basically every person on this planet will have or will experience at some point in their life. One of my best skills now is being super compassionate. I can sit with people in their shadow and give them love and compassion. People can be “too emotional” or “anxious” etc in front of me and I will not judge them, I will just offer them love and support.
- I honour my emotions. Before I had anxiety I used to be your typical “don’t show emotion because it is weird and weak” person. I used to cram down my emotions or release them in toxic ways like disordered eating, harming myself, drinking until I passed out and taking party drugs. Now I honour my emotions, good and bad and I know it is not weak to feel a lot. I am a highly sensitive person and an empath and that is OK. I now look after myself emotionally in healthy ways. I talk to my friends and family, I do yoga, I use EFT, I meditate, I journal, I sit with uncomfortable feelings and I bloody well get some therapy if I feel like I need it. No shame.
- I have a soul nourishing, ever evolving spiritual journey which is a big part of my life. I would be one of the least likely people voted at aged 18 to be on a spiritual path later in life… but anxiety woke me up and spirituality has been a huge part of my healing journey since. I am constantly learning and growing in my spiritual journey. It fascinates me. I always say to Johnny that in my next life, I am going to do a Religious Studies/Theology Degree and travel all around the world learning and discovering all things spiritual. There is still time in this life maybe right… Retirement!?
- I am patient with anyone who struggles with anxiety or other mental health condition (I have only been exposed to a few different ones). If someone is having a panic attack, having some food issues, or feels anxious, I can be with them, be patient and help them through it. I know what it feels like and can give compassion and support.
- I have learned to lean on people. Again, just like emotionally, pre anxiety, I was “little miss independent, must never lean on anyone for support”. Now I can happily lean on people when I need to. We are all in this together and we are here to support each other. It is not weak to ask for help.
- I stopped binge drinking and destroying my body. My first panic attack was off the back of a massive night out where I drunk until I blacked out. That was the first trigger for the whole anxiety experience. If anxiety hadn’t woken me up, I would probably still be out drinking myself into oblivion. I feel incredibly lucky really, because so many people still go out and get hammered, yet I can’t because it gives me anxiety. And the best thing is that I don’t even want to do that anymore. I used to still try and get drunk because I was worried people would think I was boring. Now that I am comfortable with who I am, I couldn’t give two shits what people say about me not drinking.
- I started to have a more meaningful, soul enriching and fulfilled life. My life wasn’t about boozing, partying, how thin I was and what outfit I was going to wear anymore… It slowly but surely became about getting out in nature, nourishing myself, being with the people I really love, having fun in ways that didn’t harm me, starting a more meaningful career, loving and serving others and learning and discovering all about this incredible universe that we live in.
- Anxiety was the catalyst to put me on the right path of starting to become who I actually came here to be. I didn’t come here to be a binge drinking party girl who was obsessed with her body image. I came here to live my life and offer my skills and talents to help others in ways which I can.
So there we have it. As you can see, although anxiety has been a pain in my butt, it has also been a loving pain. It really changed my life for the better. Although I can still have some pain with it, my life is incredibly more fulfilling then it was pre anxiety.
I know it can be super tricky and horrid when you are in the thick of the anxiety but are there a few things that anxiety has actually helped you with? Let me know in the comments 🙂
Have a lovely day!