Hey guys! In my last post, I wrote about High functioning anxiety, what it is and how it affects me, so today I wanted to write about how I deal with the effects this has on my life as there are so many AMAZING ways to deal with this, so it’s definitely not the end of the world!
Leading up to this trip, I have to admit my anxiety has been through the roof. Part of this is human nature and completely normal, but it is still a lot higher than I would prefer - especially when I should be overwhelmed with happiness and excitement.
If like me, you are not at the stage that you feel you need to use prescription meds then this little blog is perfect for you to gain some tips as I will go through what works best for me.
Disclaimer - I was on anti-stress meds for about a year and I felt they didn’t allow me to reach any potential during the day and instead of feeling calm, I felt spaced out and not fully with it 100%. Completely my own opinion and for others these may work perfectly for you.
So, how do I cope on a day to day basis?
High-functioning anxiety - Essentially silent anxiety hidden behind a smile.
So, as mentioned a few times already, I have anxiety – SURPRISE!! However, it’s not the stereotypical anxiety where the person gets too scared to leave the house. Quite the opposite actually. If you were to meet me in person, and to an extent get to know me through this blog you will realize that I am a go getter.
I have worked in management for years, set up my own clothing line, run a freelance photography business and I absolutely froth off exploring, adventuring and getting myself bang in the center of the action. On paper I am what most would call a successful business woman - HAHA!
See, I told you…#lifegoals.
However, behind this facade of confidence, 90% of the time I am internally freaking out. I mean that. My phone rings…I panic. The door bell goes, I panic. Opening my inbox in the morning, I panic. The worst for me is talking in front of people, especially groups larger than 2 humans - I literally start to sweat, my heart rate goes through the roof and my breathing (when I can actually remember to breathe) is next to non-existent and so shallow you would think I was in a life or death situation. It’s not fun. I tell this to Leo most days as it’s not something I can really control either which makes it worse as anxious people are also control freaks.
‘’You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone. Change begins at the end of your confirm zone’’ – Roy T Bennett.
I have always been someone who pushes themselves (sometimes too far and to the point of breaking) but, I do love experiencing new and exciting moments. However, I have been in my comfort zone for nearly 2 years now and the reason is simply because I love my life. This is not something I even feel guilty about saying out loud in a society where so many of the population complain about hating their lives and feeling depressed, stuck in a rut and just unexplainably sad. I feel that throughout life when you find a pocket of happiness, don’t try and change it unless it needs to be changed . . . and that's been the past 2 years for me.
I have loved my daily routine of getting up at sunrise and starting the day with a good solid three hours of work before going to the gym for a couple of kick ass classes, seeing one of my amazing girl friends for lunch, working in the arvo and cooking something yummy for me and Leo. OK, so reading this back it looks like I have turned into a housewife, but my point is I love these little things in life.
This is all about to change, and I ask myself . . . am I ready? At this point, I am not overly sure. The mixed emotions that come with change are creating a weird imbalance and it's not the best feeling in the world if I'm honest. Apparently when you leave your comfort zone you experience 5 feelings.
These are :
I guess by what I have just written, I am in the between stages of 2-3 ...with maybe a little of 4 and a smidgen of 1.
An important lesson I have learned over the past few years is to never lie to yourself – we have to be honest about what we want and take risks rather than lie to ourselves and make excuses to stay where we are. When you are outside your comfort zone its when you are able to experience yourself the most - it's true, there have even been scientific studies to prove this.
Humans love being comfortable, why wouldn’t we? It’s the little pocket of warmth that allows us to feel safe . . . but is it where we are at our happiest? I'll let you think that one over and come to a decision as everyone is different.
I love hurling myself into the unknown and we are about to do just that. During these scary moments and these unsure steps that we are about to embark on, I actually fully expect to illuminate magnificently - maybe slightly over exaggerating here but still plan to become the best version of me as daunting as it may seem.
However, I currently have this feeling which is a cocktail between un-explainable excitement and anxiety jumbled into one which allows me to have no control of my emotions – great! I touched on this briefly in my last blog post, but I have decide to explore it further as it interests me.
‘’The further you get away from yourself the more challenging it is. Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun’’ – Benedict Cumberbatch
According to science, Getting out of your comfort zone from time to time creates just enough good stress to ramp up your focus, creativity, pace, and drive, and it helps you respond to life stress when unexpected things happen. Getting out of your comfort zone is hard because humans are wired to expect the worst-case scenario. Your brain wants to keep you safe, so you have a natural negativity bias — a stronger reaction to actual or anticipated negative events.
When you’re evaluating whether or not to take action and you receive negative information, it influences you more strongly than equally positive information. You’re capable of dreaming up a lot of gloom and doom in your head, and a lot of the time, you expect the worst. Most of the time, taking a calculated risk produces a favorable outcome. When it doesn’t turn out as you’d hoped, chances are, everything’s still a-o-k after it all shakes out?
I think it’s like everything in life, the whole fearing the unknown, but I know in my heart that as soon as I step out of this comfort zone, I will blossom into my truest authentic self. It will be the combination of bliss, confidence, courage, and gratitude all wrapped up into one life-altering experience. (Well at least that's the plan)
Anyway that's my ramble of all the thoughts in my head for today done...now off to make dinner!
Hey! I'm Ally. I left the UK in 2011 to move overseas and ended up in New Zealand - my new home. This year we are taking a gap year to loop the world stopping in some AMAZING destinations - and I'm passionate about sharing these adventures with you!