You see this attractive man and wonder, “what exactly does he have to do with changing anxiety’s narrative?” I’m sure there’s some half-baked study that shows a correlation between looking at beautiful people’s mugs and mitigating anxiety. It’ll probably go something like this. “The candidates in this study showed a 30% decrease in anxiety, highlighted by a moment of anodyne whilst looking at celebrities faces.” Or something…
And it may have some merit to it, I mean – just look at the searing hotness of Camila Mendes. (Pictured below.)
Recently, there has been a spur of basketball players disillusioning the world at large about anxiety and the effect it has on anyone and everyone. Namely, Kevin Love (Pictured above) and Demar DeRozan. (Not pictured above) They set out to change the narrative of anxiety, a narrative painted with heavy strokes and tenebrous undertones. A narrative rife with negativity, of hopelessness and solitude. It’s been a narrative carried out across social media, internet forums and the omnipresent cult of anxious kittens.
And I won’t take it anymore…and neither should you.
So, lets change it and shed some light on anxiety. I believe that inside all of us there lies a spark, a glorious incandescent wisp of light. Through time we harness this light and shine brighter than we ever thought possible. As one person, I can merely light up a room, but together – well, we could light up the damn sky.
Changing the narrative that, “only certain people get anxiety.”
As with being homosexual, a black man with a hood, a person up to their neck with tattoos, or even an Instagram model – anxiety too, has a stigma that comes along with it. The common perception is that it only targets certain types of people, like a really picky serial killer, that it does not and cannot afflict those with obscene amounts of wealth, attractiveness, or even success. So, let me quell the noise on that right now. Every single person you meet in your existence on this earth will encounter some form of anxiety at some given moment. Think about that for a second. Every single person.
That’s right, men, children, women and even your frayed cat will get anxiety.
Unfortunately, because of this stigma that society has placed on anxiety, many people feel disenfranchised and instead of revealing that they suffer from anxiety, they cling to the narrative and remain hidden. Because of this, there are thousands of people who will never go to a therapist, never speak to anyone about it and most likely will get worse – unless we change this narrative.
Changing the narrative that, “generalized anxiety cannot be cured.”
Many people believe that general anxiety cannot be cured. Yes, even you (I’m looking at you three reading this now.)
I’m sure every pharmaceutical company wants you to believe this fallacy, but I’m here to tell you it can and it has many times. In fact, you are living proof of it.
When you came out of the womb, you did not have anxiety. Now, I know I wasn’t the doctor that physically delivered you – unless, in my spare time I am a time-lord doctor with a bank account I clearly am not privy to. My point is, you didn’t have it then and it is a temporary thing now. I wrote an entire article about how I had general anxiety for 5 months and got rid of it without any medication and you can too.
I read this powerful comment on one of my previous posts that said “you do not have anxiety, you are anxious, you do not have depression you feel depressed.” I love this, because anxiety is a temporary feeling that will go away, even if it takes a few months, or years, it will go away. You can do this! The first step to accomplishing anything is believing – so believe!
Changing the narrative that, “medication is the only way to feel better.”
I want to preface my comments by saying that some mental illnesses require medication, like bipolar or other hormonal imbalances, but with regard to general anxiety you can feel better without medication. (Although there may be extreme cases where you might as well.)
Exercise: My personal favorite is exercise, the release of beta endorphins and the fact that you have to focus on breathing (you know, because without that you literally die) instead of anything else really helps. Exercise will not only help with relieving stress and anxiety, but it can also strengthen your mind and you will at the very least look nice.
Therapy: Therapy really helps you get down to the bottom of why you are experiencing anxiety and besides, the calm accepting voice of your therapist can make all of your worries just melt away, that is – as long as they are not Hannibal himself.
Yoga: I know, Yoga pants are “totally in” but yoga is not only physical, there is a spiritual aspect to it that helps you to release. Go ahead and say “namaste” and watch all of your anxiety fall away with the hums of your yogi.
Cognitive behavioral therapy: Probably the most difficult of all, but unbelievably effective. Changing your mindset might take a long time to achieve, but if you are able to do it, you can say “bye” anxiety and hi to “society.”
Touch: Anywhere from a massage to a miss placed hand, the sensation of another human touching you can really help assuage anxiety. (Trust me, I know first hand, wink wink.) If you are simply untouchable, then look into very nice sheets that make you feel comfortable, I’ve heard that helps as well.
If all else fails, just visit my blog – apparently anxiety cannot exist when reading my posts so do that as often as possible.
Changing the narrative of “You are alone in this.”
Congratulations, you have just been inducted into the most dysfunctional brotherhood that has ever existed. Welcome, my child. We may roam the shadows in our clandestine dimly lit houses, but we are a guild of the unseen and when you most need it you will have help here – online, of course. (I’m not sure what you were thinking.)
There are tons of people just like you out there, feeling the same way that you feel. So, join Facebook groups, air your grievances online and for the love of all that is good and holy watch Rick and Morty. It helps, it really does.
Changing the narrative that, “Anxiety is bad in every way.”
Anxiety is one of the least enjoyable experiences a human can endure, however it does serve a purpose. (Aside from being annoying) Our body emits a response to nearly every given situation and when you are not in alignment with yourself, that is when we normally feel anxious. People normally refer to it as “listening to your gut.” That sinking feeling when you know something has gone wrong, or that you are about to enter a very precarious situation. That too, is anxiety and it may be effervescent, it might feel sickening, but it is also helpful.
So, the next time you just happen upon a crime scene and suddenly you feel a pit in your stomach the size of the Grand Canyon – yeah, you can thank your anxiety for the warning.
It is going to take a lot of time, effort and copious amounts of alcohol to change the narrative of anxiety for good, but with every voice added to the fray, more change will occur. So, go ahead, write your story and bare it all to the world. Get outright naked if you have to, but do it.
“Remember, only you can prevent forest fires.” – That bear from that commercial a long time ago.
I now hold these truths self-evident and banish these myths to the shadow realm along with your anxiety….exodia……obliterate!!!