Navigating how to challenge anxiety

Anxiety, unfortunately, is something that has relevance to a lot of us. I would wager that more of us in today’s world have anxiety than not, and while this realization is disturbing to some extent, it’s also logical; it makes sense so many of us are dealing with this specific form of mental illness considering what the last two years have been like courtesy of COVID, and there is absolutely no shame in identifying as someone with anxiety because of its prevalence among us.

I’ve dealt with anxiety for over ten years now. It is startling to say that, honestly, considering how long it has been, but because I’ve experienced anxiety for as long as I have, I like to think I’ve come to learn some solid coping mechanisms, and further, how to effectively go about challenging it.

The biggest lesson I have learned in the context of challenging anxiety and refraining from allowing it to influence choices and decisions is the importance of pushing myself and being firm in resisting its power. I can say with complete confidence that, for me, personally, forcing myself to ignore anxious and intrusive thoughts is how I have been able to gain any progress in navigating my own anxiety.

I can also say with complete confidence that resisting anxiety and its thoughts is one of the hardest things I have done in my life. Anyone who experiences anxiety themselves knows and further understands the power of intrusive thoughts, and mustering the mental strength to challenge these thoughts is a feat in itself.

The hardest element in the equation of resisting anxious thoughts is actually making the effort to start. It’s bloody fucking hard. But, if you’re able to start, you’re sure as shit able to continue, and you will amaze yourself with the progress made in good time.

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