Being “tuned-in” is our superpower!
When we suffer from anxiety, it can be debilitating. It can affect our lives in ways that are negative and poisonous. However, when harnessed, I believe it also gives us an advantage.
I have had anxiety for several years, it peaked when an ex-boyfriend went to fight in Afghanistan with the military. Initially, I did not know what was happening. I worried about everything! This continued even after he came back safe. It was as if I looked for things to worry about. Worrying can be addictive and it is almost like a maze in your mind you cannot escape. I was diagnosed with anxiety, received medical treatment, and sought therapy.
In regards to mental health issues, getting treatment always improves your life. Anxiety never fully goes away, its always there lurking in the background. By thinking positive, I have learned to see the benefits of being hyper-aware.
I have noticed that my anxiety has taught me empathy. Also, I am more productive and proactive. Perhaps I am putting a silver lining on my struggle. However, once I changed my way of viewing it, anxiety has improved my life in many ways.
If you suffer from anxiety, you may not notice yourself growing after treatment and your anxiety becoming a part of who you are. It is changing the way you look at life.
“When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade!”- Elbert Hubbard
Here are a few ways our anxiety makes us more productive, compassionate, and empathetic:
- We plan our outings: Typically, our traffic routes are planned before we even leave our homes. Other drivers make us nervous (or angry) on the roads, so we plan all of our stops and exactly what routes we are going to take to avoid congested areas. This usually results in less swearing and an overall stress-free day. We are never late to appointments, work, and other obligations. We owe this to planning our route every time.
- Parenting: We notice hazards and possible accidents and prevent them before they happen. That chair in the way while your little one is on the warpath? Moved. The door to the stairs they could fall down? it is NEVER left open. We scan the room constantly and remove any dangerous items, resulting in a safer environment for our children. We prevent accidents before they happen!
- Punctuality: Due to our social anxiety, we are usually the first people to arrive at any social gathering. We like to find a chair in the back, talk to the host, find out who is coming, and get comfortable. To most of us, it is a nightmare to walk into a room full of people that we do not know. Truthfully, being consistently late is a disrespect to a person’s most valuable asset in life: their time. We try very hard not to make people upset.
- Empathy: Most people with anxiety I have encountered are very empathetic people. We are the people paying attention to the person trying to talk while everyone talks over them. We are the people who will strike up a conversation with someone who is standing in the corner alone. We do these things because we feel their pain. Sometimes, we can put aside our own insecurities to aid someone else and that is a beautiful thing.
- Productivity: We are usually proficient at time management. We stress about not getting our work assignments or chores at home completed before a certain time. Therefore, we tend to tackle them quickly and efficiently. We usually have way too much time to burn once our work is completed. Thank goodness for the internet!
- As pet owners: Being empathetic people, we understand others even when they cannot say a word. We also love animals. We always notice if our pets are not feeling well or aren’t happy. We worry about them and we care for them relentlessly when they are sick. More than likely, your pet has cared for you when you were sick (cuddles!). We are forever grateful and returning that love.
- Hosting: We are very in-tune with our guests. We notice when they need a drink top-up or are looking for the bathroom before they ask. I believe anxious people are great at looking after others. For some of us, our social anxiety makes it hard for us to ask for what we want. As a result, we make sure our guests do not have to worry about anything.
- Relationships: We tend to worry about our partners, friends, and family a lot. We reach out to our loved ones to see how they are. We always remember if they have medical testing, a big interview, or a personal problem. As a result, we check in with our people and this keeps our personal relationships rock solid.
Whether you can relate to these points or not, I hope it has you thinking about the ways your anxiety has improved your world.
We all have our crosses to bear in this life. We can choose to be a pessimist or an optimist. I view my anxiety as a tool that assists me in my daily life and strengthens the bonds I have with my loved ones.
I hope now you do too.