“We cannot change anything unless we accept it.”

— Carl Jung

One of the hardest parts of living with anxiety is that it can be challenging to always anticipate it and then accept it. Resisting anxious thoughts or feelings more often than not do the reverse, it exacerbates it and leaves us feeling frustrated, drained and sad. I will commonly look at the world around me and feel why me? Why can’t I enjoy life the way everyone else around me seems to be? The trouble with this reasoning is that we think we know how everyone around us is but the reality is we cannot read their minds either just like we may appear calm to the world around us.

Follow a Routine

As cliché as this sounds, the popular saying “An idle mind is a devil’s workshop” rings very true especially to those of us who suffer from anxiety. Having a schedule that is well defined and productive keeps your mind occupied to channel away from anxious thoughts and obsessive thinking. Consistency is so pivotal to forming positive habits and routines — this could mean sleeping at the same time every day, waking up at the same time everyday, going to the gym etc. Find ways to build a routine that is sustainable but also flexible for when you need some “me time”. Sacrifice activities that push you over the top. Listen to your body.

Focus on Building Meaningful Relationships

A deep, meaningful connection with a partner, friend or counsellor is so enriching to our everyday experience with anxiety. Being able to share our thoughts and emotions freely helps alleviate the burden we feel so acutely within us. I find that with anxiety spending a lot of time around larger crowds derives less meaning to me since I cannot engage as closely and be authentic and true to who I am.

Practice gratitude

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

— Melody Beattie

Like with any adversity we face in life it is easy to dismiss what is good in our lives and overemphasize our anxiety, depression, OCD or whatever it is that makes us feel unfulfilled. The reality is these disorders do not define us but are merely challenges we have to deal with. For me, the positives I’ve found for myself are that my perfection and observation skills are unparalleled because of my anxiety to get it all just right. My home is always in perfect order due to my obsession with physical and mental clarity. Does it drain me of my energy? Absolutely. But it does yield some results for which I am grateful. Over the years as I have had to share a home with a spouse I have learned to let go slowly. Be grateful for every step you take as you heal.

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