the anxiety trick

Hi my loves,

I’m just going to preface this post by saying that what I’m mentioning here today is really, really important if you suffer from anxiety. I’ve essentially found something that has really helped me change my mindset when it comes to my anxious thoughts and I think it’ll really help you too (I hope it does) – I had a really anxious day on Saturday and so I spent a long time trawling through the internet in search of some kind of sanctuary and I’ve found a couple of things that I really wanted to share.

I never speak about the full extent of my anxiety because I feel like if I was to genuinely share the extreme lengths that it goes to, people would think I was actually crazy. As in, send her somewhere she needs psychiatric help. If people knew how bad my anxiety really was then they wouldn’t think I was all there. But I am. I’m all here. Hi. But my anxiety makes me sound like I’m crazy and it makes me feel like it too.

Anxiety does not exist outside of my head. Fact. Anxiety is a physical reaction that causes mental implications and it’s crazy to me that something so soul destroying and crushing to the point where it ruins your life and renders you incapable of doing things…is all brought on by yourself. I created this. I am essentially ruining my own life because of the thoughts in my own head. It’s crazy how we can do that to ourselves – how our minds can turn on us like that. You’d think it’d be the complete opposite and that our minds would do anything to protect us but, apparently not.

I read something yesterday that really opened my eyes to something, I read a few things yesterday actually but I’ll get into the rest in a minute. The first thing I read (or more so, discovered) was that anxiety makes you tired. Now, maybe that was obvious to some people, but not so much me. Apparently, when our bodies get so overworked and overwhelmed with anxiety, they shut down. It’s like the fight or flight club just got a new member – either fight, flight…or fall asleep.

And now I feel like so many of my questions have been answered.

I am tired 99% of the time and I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like that’s normal. I’m one of these people that could sleep for 8349234 hours and still be tired 10 minutes after they wake up – but genuinely. Not one of these aesthetics where people class being tired as a personality trait. I realised yesterday that the simple answer is this – I am constantly anxious – there is not a day that goes by where I don’t experience multiple bouts of extreme anxiety and therefore my body is constantly going up and down in terms of anxiety levels and therefore it’s constantly trying to shut itself down, hence causing me to feel…constantly tired.

It’s as simple as that, and I can’t believe I didn’t know this. Our bodies get so stressed out their first instinct is to just shut down to the point where we feel like we just need to go to sleep. So many things are making sense to me now. Anxiety makes me feel like I’m constantly drained and this was put to the test yesterday actually when I’d discovered this new found information, because surprise surprise something happened that made me feel as though my heart was going to stop. I was in the middle of writing an essay when I read something I wish I hadn’t and sure enough, the anxietyย  began to crash over and drown me like a tidal wave. And what did I start to feel not long after? Tired. Exhaustion. I was so tired that I couldn’t continue on with my essay even though I was absolutely fine 5 minutes ago. This was in the middle of the day, there was no reason for me to suddenly be overcome with feeling so tired but now I knew the reason why – and you know what I did? I took a nap. I never take naps. I’m one of these weird people that just can’t fall asleep during the day but after finding out this new information it’s like I’d tricked my body into believing it needed to nap and so, I did. I’ve mentioned before that anxiety makes me feel as though my body is about to shut down and well…now I’ve discovered that actually, it kind of is.

The second thing I read yesterday day was this, and I’ll link it for you guys but I’ll also summarise it here too just incase you don’t want to read all of it. But it’s changed my perspective on a lot of things completely.

Anxiety is, like I said, all in your head. It’s a physical reaction that has mental implications, and the whole thing is one big trick. You essentially trick yourself into thinking that ifย this thing happens, something bad is going to happen because of it. For example, if you get into an elevator – it’s going to break and you’re going to fall to your death, if you stand up in front of a big group of people – you think they’re all going to stare at you and laugh. You trick yourselfย into thinking that this particular thing is going to ’cause something bad to happen and therefore, you try to avoid it at all costs, or take precautionary measures in order to prevent yourself from harm. For example – instead of taking the elevator, you take the stairs – but does this cure your anxiety? No. You’re just avoiding it. You’re not cured at all. The elevator is still there, and you have to accept this. You have to accept the fact that even though you take the stairs instead, the elevator still exists and therefore so does your anxiety. You have to acknowledge this, accept this, and face it head on.

“You experience discomfort, and get fooled into treating it like danger.”

These two examples really resonated with me and so I’ll include them here, as I feel as though they may resonate with you too if you suffer in the same way –

“A person with generalised anxiety disorder gets tricked into trying to stop the unwanted “what if?” thoughts, rather than accepting them and taking care of present business as thoughts come and go.”

“A person with social phobia gets tricked into avoiding the party, or hiding in the corner if they attend, rather than saying hello to a stranger and seeing what happens.”

And the problem is this – when in these situations that you’ve tricked yourself into believing are dangerous, you take precautionary measures in order to protect yourself, and you therefore believe that these precautionary measures are the reason that nothing bad has happened to you. Therefore, every time you’re in said situation, you “protect” yourself with these precautionary measures, and that is how the cycle starts.

But this is all wrong.

The reason that nothing bad happened to you was not due to the “precautionary measures” that you took. No, the reason that nothing bad happened to you was because you were never in a situation that was dangerous to begin with.

You just tricked yourself into believing you were.

Nothing bad would have happened whether you took the precautionary measures or not, because you were never in a situation that was actually dangerous – your brain just tricked you into thinking you were due to your own anxiety, and therefore, you felt the need to protect yourself. And because nothing bad did actually end up happening, you believe it’s a result of the precautionary measures that you took, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t at all.

And this is how anxieties and anxious routines are created.

You think that if you don’t check that all of the plug sockets in your house are switched off 20 times before you leave for the day, then your house is going to go up in flames, and when it doesn’t go up in flames, you believe it’s because you checked all of the plug sockets 20 times before you left, and because you think this was the reason for your house not going up in flames, you do this every single time you’re about to leave your house because God forbid if you didn’t do it – your house would surely burn to a crisp! And this then becomes your life, and it then becomes your anxiety.

But you have created this anxiety yourself. It is all in your head.ย 

And this is what we need to realise. We need to face these things head on, we need to accept them and we need to deal with them rather than trying to spend our whole lives hoping we can simply just slip past and ignore them. For example, thinking about certain things makes me anxious, therefore my solution is to just…not think about those things. But that doesn’t cure me, that doesn’t “fix” my anxiety. The only way for me to do that is to face those thoughts head on – accept them, acknowledge them, and deal with them that way.

The link to this whole thing isย hereย and I would seriously, seriously recommend you having a quick read if you suffer from anxiety like I do – it’ll only take you 5 minutes and hopefully it’ll open your eyes to your anxiety in the same way that it’s opened me to mine. I’m at this stage in my life now where I’m always looking for the cause of things – what’s the reason I feel like this? Why am I the way that I am? What causes me to react to things in the way that I do? Where did it all stem from? And breaking down my anxieties in such a way to truly understandย whyย we as humans feel so terrified of things that don’t even exist, is something I’m really passionate about discovering. For myself and also for you, in case anything I say can even remotely be of some help.

I’ve had anxiety ever since I can remember, and I used to think it was normal. As a child, I genuinely believed that everybody felt the way that I did – that their heart was going to fall out of their chest at the slightest inconvenience – that it was going to stop beating and burst into a million pieces whenever something slightly out of my comfort zone happened. At the base of everything, anxiety has always been there. Throughout my teen years, I’d say maybe 14 – 17/18, depression took over and became worse than my anxiety. Anxiety got pushed to the back and while it was still there, I couldn’t concentrate on it as much because my depression had completely blown it out of the water. I then used to believe that my anxiety was a result of my depression or that the two were somehow linked, and I guess I forgot that anxiety was always here first.

Now that I’m older, depression is subsiding. I don’t want to come out and say that I’m not depressed anymore, because I don’t know that yet. I’d like to say it, but I know that depression likes to pop up out of nowhere when we least expect it and I’m no exception. I still have bad days and days where I wish I wasn’t on the Earth anymore, but that’s something I’m slowly learning how to deal with.

What it’s made me realise though, is that anxiety is now coming back as prominent as ever, and it’s made me realise that it actually never went away. It felt like it did for a while because my depression completely overshadowed it for a number of years, but now that those rain clouds are slowly dispersing and floating away, anxiety is still here at the forefront as all, as mean and as fierce as ever.

I always thought my depression was my worst mental illness, but now I’m beginning to realise that actually, I think anxiety is. I’ve always spoken about depression more on this blog because like I said, that’s always felt worse for me, but now that I’m having these realisations – over the past year or so I’ve tried to write more about my anxiety too, because that for me is unfortunately equally just as bad, if not worse. Probably worse. I just tried to fool myself into believing it wasn’t.

So yes, I’m not sure what this post is…I just needed to do a huge brain dump of everything I wanted to share and I feel like I haven’t done a long, wordy post like this in a while so, here’s to the first of 2020.

I love you all very much and I’ll see you in my next post.

All my love,

Chloe .xx

40 thoughts on “the anxiety trick

  1. seaofwordsx says:

    I wanted to take my time to read this post because it’s so important. I hate anxiety. It’s definitely a monster. It’s crazy to think it’s all in our head and that we create it. I understand now that I feel so tired always and sometimes exhausted because of being anxious so much. Sometimes I use some anti anxiety meds but that only helps me for a while. After that moment pass I can feel anxious again. I’m literally the queen ๐Ÿ‘‘๐Ÿ‘ธ of avoiding things I fear such as going to the dentist. Last month I faced my fear as you know and got rid of one wisdom teeth. I kept telling myself that if I would go, I would suffer a panic attack and that it would be better to avoid it at all costs which of course is not true. It’s really crazy and messed up how our brain has so much impact on us. Sometimes I find that scary too. I think we just have to find a way to live with it. I know that I will always be a person who gets anxious easily. You wrote such beautiful and inspiring words. I will look at that link. Thank you for speaking up about anxiety. It’s so important to talk about it. Love you ๐Ÿ’– Always here for you. We are all in this together ๐Ÿ’ช

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      I think that’s one of the most beautiful things, actually. Accepting the fact that we’ll always be people who get anxious easily. Just like I mentioned in the post, it’s about accepting those things / thoughts rather than trying to push them away and ignore them. I accept the fact that I am someone who will always suffer with anxiety and get anxious at the most trivial of things, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do anything about it and try and work on it anyway. Thank you so much for reading angel, you know better than anyone the struggles of anxiety and I’m still so so super proud of you for facing your fears and going to the dentist ๐Ÿ’— we’ll get through this together. Love you xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dana says:

    This is really a great post. More people need to share about their anxiety / other mental health issues. I have some very really moments of anxiety but i also never realized just how often i experience anxiety due to day to day activities / interactions.

    I have always known stress so cause me an exhausted feeling however I too am always tired. I have to wonder the relation now.

    Thank you so much for this post !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      Thank you so much! I’m really passionate about speaking about mental health – if I can make just one person feel less alone by sharing my thoughts then, that’s enough for me. Thank you so much for reading .xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. chloeburford says:

    I absolutely adore your mental health posts, they show so much awareness as well as helping me not feel alone. You are such a beautiful and kind hearted person and I will always be so grateful for you. Anxiety is such a horrible disorder and can ruin so many peoples lives so posts like this are so helpful and I will definitely check out the link to the website and learn more. Your chatty brain dump posts are my favourite – sending you lots of love and support xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      Thank you so incredibly much angel, it really means the world. I have such a passion for talking about mental health because it’s such a lonely and isolating place, and I never want anyone to feel as though they’re alone in the way that they feel, because it can definitely seem that way sometimes. I will also always be equally as grateful for you !! You seriously are the sweetest ever. Sending you so much love and light โคโคxx

      Like

  4. questionsfromateenager says:

    Chlo โค This was so, so eye-opening to me. It really explains so much about my own anxiety. I never felt as though my level of tiredness these past few years was "normal", yet my doctor would always blame it on something else: lack of exercise, not drinking enough water, hormones acting up (that was his favourite),… the list goes on and on.

    I am sorry to hear that you have been feeling that your anxiety is gaining more control over you as of late – I know that feeling all to well (I am currently feelings something very similar in fact) and – for the lack of a better phrase – IT SUCKS. It's impressive how long we can stay ignorant when it comes to our own mental health – that is, until it reaches a point where we feel like we are going to explode. I think that this maybe also contributes to the fact that a lot of the time, we do not know how to deal with our anxiety or handle it the wrong and end up suppressing it even more.

    Anxiety is not your friend. I have said this to myself over and over again, countless times. Yet I still find it hard to identify when my anxiety is tricking me into thinking it is an instinct… it is like we have almost gotten so used to it, that its hard to even recognize what it is or how it makes itself noticeable. I think you once wrote in one of your blog posts that "comfort is the enemy of progress". That line has stuck with me all this time. And in a way, I feel like it also applies to anxiety. Anxiety creates that comfort zone for those of us blessed with it. And if you are in a constant state of fear of stepping outside of that zone, then we are held back – held back by ourselves.

    I admire you for being so self-aware and for talking about your own experiences. Anxiety forces us to spend a lot of our time in our own heads, so it is really important for people like us to have a safe space where we can talk about our problems in a non-judgemental atmosphere. And, I don't know about you, but reading that other people go through similar things always makes me feel oddly connected to them. And above all, it makes me feel less alone with my mental struggles because someone out there understands. Sending you lots of love xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      Ahh you never fail to amaze me Fiona. I’ve spent the longest time trying to figure out how to respond to this comment because I swear you’re just the loveliest and most thoughtful person ever – it really means the world to me how you always take the time out to listen to me and read what I have to say, not to mention the fact that you always then go even FURTHER out of your way to actually share your thoughts and give your advice. It seriously means the world.

      You often hear way too many stories of doctors dismissing serious issues as trivial things, it’s actually quite scary when you think of it. I think my doctor is about as useful as yours sounds which is why I don’t rely on them for any help, because I know I won’t get any. It really does SUCK. You’re right as well – anxiety is not our friend. I always try to tell myself that I can just “live” with my anxiety side by side, like it is my friend or like I owe it anything. I tell myself that to try and make things easier for myself but you are completely right – it’s not our friend and for me that’s a hard pill to swallow, because it makes things a lot more difficult.

      I always appreciate the fact you acknowledge my self awareness because it’s really something I try to get across in my posts and something I’m constantly working on, I think it’s really important and it’s helped me a lot. Thank you so much for your wonderful words as always as it really does mean the world, I can always count on you to understand me, you make me feel a lot less alone.

      Sending you so much love โคxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Cordelia. says:

    Thank you for sharing this Chloe! I wished you’ll be unafraid to share with us one day because I dont want you to feel like a freak! Take your time alright! Its okay! (: And wow, this is a new way to look at things, I’m gonna give it a read and hopefully internalize it too!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. priya says:

    Ahhh love this love this love this Chlo! It took me so long to realise that not everyone was in a constant state of anxiousness, and that it was something I was experience in my head. With that in consideration, I am the queen of naps. My family and friends are quite frankly sick of it because if I’m given the chance, I will fall asleep. I have to stop myself from getting too comfy if I’m on the couch because 9 times out of 10, I will fall asleep. It’s gotten to the point where my I’m sometimes falling asleep when people are over. Exhaustion is arguable one of the worst things about my anxiety for me personally, but everything you said in this post really put it all into perspective. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      Thank you so much girly !! Ahhh yes yes yes, I can’t even remember how I came to actually realise that what I felt on a daily basis wasn’t normal, but when I did it was like the whole world just stopped – it was like wait, this isn’t normal? I shouldn’t actually have to live life feeling like this? It’s so crazy how simple things like feeling tired are a result of anxiety yet I didn’t even know until I’d read that post, I wonder how many other things that we pass off as being nothing are a result of it too .xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The Style of Laura Jane says:

    Greatly researched and beautifully written Chloe! You’ve made me think about the link between anxiety and tiredness. Sometimes I get exhausted midday and I assume I’ve just been sat writing for too long or maybe just tired from not enough sleep. When it’s probably my mind going into overdrive and worrying. Thank you for adding the link and describing it. I’ll definitely read. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jessica C Writes says:

    Yes, anxiety definitely makes you incredibly tired. I’m the same way in that I’m tired all. the. time. Also, I’ve read that anxiety can cause memory loss, which is something I also struggle with. But as you said, it is all in our own heads. We can control it, even if it might take a lot of work, patience, and time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      !!! Memory loss?! I had no idea about that! Oh my God. I’m not kidding, over the last 6 months particularly, my memory has suddenly become awful. I forgot how to spell what felt like pretty much every word in existence, I just could not remember the spellings of things at all, and then I was starting to forget words etc. – I actually Googled it a few times because it was scaring me so much as to why I was suddenly forgetting how to spell words I’d been using my whole life, and I think you’ve just given me the answer right there. Wow. Thank you .xx

      Like

  9. Kojo says:

    Such a nice and nuanced blog post. Very informative and eye-opening. Anxiety is absolutely horrible but coming to terms with it truly helps your mental state. Wishing you all the best xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. heatherpfeifle says:

    Iโ€™ve battled anxiety my entire life. I can remember being a kid and feeling so much anxiety but not knowing what it was. It took until I was in my 30โ€™s to understand what anxiety was and it was okay that it was a part of who I am. Accepting it has made it easier to deal with it. I know more about my strengths and weaknesses and how to cope with them. Itโ€™s great that you are working on understanding yourself. Remember to give yourself grace. Anxiety is part of how we are wired. Thereโ€™s nothing wrong with us just because we are wired that way. It just means we have face life a little differently than people without anxiety. And thatโ€™s okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      I feel like the day I realised my anxiety was…anxiety, and not just something that everyone always felt, my whole life changed and I just had this huge wakeup call – I was only young at the time but still, it was this really scary feeling of oh…this isn’t normal? I’m not normal for feeling like this? I too have accepted that it’s now just a part of who I am, it’s not a nice part and it’s a part I wish I didn’t have, but nevertheless it’s still there, and I have to accept that in order to live with it and move on. Thank you so much for your words and advice as always, it never fails to give me a helping hand .xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • heatherpfeifle says:

        Although I know you hate the fact you have anxiety, Iโ€™m so happy that you come to understand what it is at a young age, so that you are able to work through it and find ways to cope. This is going to benefit you in so many ways as you continue to grow and mature. I didnโ€™t understand what I was I dealing with until I was in my 30โ€™s. But I can look back on my life and see that I was battling it as young as 5 years old. No one knew what it was and so I was always told I was just too sensitive or that I need to get over it. That made it so much worse. Now Iโ€™m able to give myself grace and block out the judgmental criticisms of others. Thatโ€™s a big step in finding peace in the storm. ๐Ÿ’™

        Liked by 1 person

  11. BriN says:

    YOU ARE SUCH A GENIUS. I’ve been brainstorming for months as to what the hell might be happening around me. I mean, I feel paranoid, or fret , or behave like a lunatic at times.
    That was so good. Especially the part about the precautionary measures, that we think might be the reason we’re safe right now. That was just. Plain. Brilliant.

    Hugs to you. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      Ahhh this makes me so happy !! So glad this could help you in some way ๐Ÿ’™ after I read it myself I just knew I had to write about it, I felt like it was all so obvious yet my mind had never even wandered there before – I’d never even thought! Thank you so much ๐Ÿ’™ sending lots of love your way .xx

      Like

  12. Kitty Jade says:

    I love how much time you put into this post. It has really helped me – even though I do not suffer from anxiety. It is rare to see bloggers write about their true feelings anymore – most of us are caught up in the production line and not thinking at all about honesty. Well done Chloe, the way you uphold this blog is better than any other I know! x

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Gracie says:

    Wow Chloe. Thank you so much for this post. I haven’t been diagnosed with anxiety so I don’t claim to know what it’s like. However, I do really relate to the feeling of anxiety and what you’re talking about in this post. I often have to remind myself that the stress is all in my head, that I’m creating it and I often find myself saying ‘what’s the worst that can happen?!’ because I feel like I’m worried for nothing and I need to bring myself back down to earth. A lot of the time, the logic works, but it doesn’t control the feeling of anxiety that becomes so overwhelming. For me, it calms it, but it’s not solving it. I think it’s only when we take active steps towards understanding ourselves that we can start to get on top of our anxieties.

    Our minds, feelings and thoughts are so complex and almost impossible to understand. However, we can understand who we are as people and what’s in our souls and hearts and what our dreams are and who we want to be as individuals and hopefully that grounds us and gives us a way forward.

    Thank you for never failing to uphold this blog as a platform to share your honest thoughts, experiences and solutions and for providing the opportunity for others to share theirs โค๏ธโค๏ธ

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chloe Luna says:

      Ohhh you are the biggest ANGEL. Thank you for always taking the time to listen to me and say such wonderful things ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’— it means the whole world.

      You’re absolutely right, I also always ask myself what the worst thing is that could happen…and then try to tell myself that the chances of that ACTUALLY happening are basically slim to none – I’m overthinking it all. Anxiety I’ve realised now is something that we have to accept and learn to deal with rather than try to avoid or work around, otherwise the problems will never go away. Slowly starting to try and fix things using that logic!

      Thank you for being so kind as always and again, for saying such lovely things. It really does mean the most ๐Ÿ’— you are an angel. Sending you lots of love .xx

      Like

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