Besides anxiety being it’s own negative emotion, it can also bring about a number of other negative emotions we never ask for, such as shame, vulnerability, and embarrassment. Accepting our anxiety is sort of like taking a school course – it’s a process and takes time, but time well spent. It’s all apart of a self-improvement journey, and anyone who experiences anxiety can succeed in it. With that being said, here are 5 ways to stop feeling ashamed of your anxiety, and learn to accept it.
1. You’re not alone, and never will be: Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million people ages 18 and older. Let me say that again – FORTY MILLION PEOPLE! 40,000,000! That’s 18.1% of the American population. The average large stadium can hold 50,000 people. Now imagine having all those people, forty million, standing before you (I can hardly picture what that many people look like). And that’s just in the United States – 1 country out of 195 in the world. We are certainly not alone in our anxiety experiences, and we never will be. We are not the first, and we won’t be the last.
2. Practise affirmations: Affirmations are a great way to positively change your personal belief system. Many successful people in the world use affirmations to reach their goals. Repeating the following three affirmations morning and night are a surefire way to help you accept your anxiety and feel less burdened by it.
~ I forgive myself and my anxiety for any hurt it may cause me.
~ I accept my anxiety for what it is, as it is a human emotion felt by many, and I will never truly be alone in it.
~I am emotionally strong and resilient.
3. You are more than a mental illness: You’re a brother, a sister, a mother, a daughter, a father, a son. You’re a lover, a giver, a carer, an sympathizer, a painter, a musician, a writer, a scientist. You have your own individual fashion sense, your own collection of favourite movies, TV shows, books, songs, tastes in food, laugh, sense of humour. You have your own race, gender, culture, and country you live in, religion you go by (or don’t go by). You have your own unique hairstyle and colour, beautiful eyes, and bright smile. You have your own set of skills – set of skills unique to you and nobody else. You are a human being – a human being with a heart full of passion and beauty, which equates to much more than an intrusion of the mind.
4. Realize the strengths you have gained from your anxiety: Anxiety can make us feel like we’re sitting at the bottom of a deep dark pit looking up at a beautiful blue sky we wish we could reach. But without the fear, the panic, the vulnerability, and all the negativity that comes with anxiety, we wouldn’t be the versions of ourselves we are today. Maybe you’d still be working that crappy job you worked five years ago, or you wouldn’t have found your love of art you discovered as an outlet for your anxiety. Maybe you’d be less compassionate or empathetic than you are today. With anxiety, we don’t just lose, we gain in many ways as well. You just have to look for it.
5. Forgive those who don’t understand: There may be times in your life when you have to unexpectedly bring up your anxiety to someone you don’t particularly feel comfortable mentioning it to. I can remember in the past, and even in present time, there have been many times I had to tell someone about my anxiety, and I felt very uncomfortable. Mainly because I never know what their reactions will be. Some people are understanding because they’ve experienced it themselves, some people are cool with it and accept you even though they may not fully understand it, some people don’t understand it and want to learn more, and some people are just rude. For those with rather distasteful remarks, don’t mind them. Easier said then done, I know, but it’s just sheer ignorance. It’s not your fault, or anyones fault other than their own for lacking the knowledge and kind heart to be respectful to you. Whatever experiences you’ve had, know that there are plenty of people who support you and will always support you, as we empathize with what you’re feeling.
P.S. If you have any personal tips you use to help you better accept your anxiety and feel less ashamed by it, leave a comment down below! The community would love to hear from you. 🙂