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How does it feel not being able to breathe? And what I mean by being unable to breathe is not due to the fact that you have pinched your nose or something but because you were too anxious to synchronise your breathing properly. What does it really feel like every morning that you wake up with anxiety? What does it really feel like thinking about facing the day and going through a repeated loop of anxiety that is also known as routine?
Big chunks of the human population commute to work every working day and are having to put up with different—yet familiar—faces around them. These faceless people do not understand how you truly feel though; they do not know of your broken sleep which was accompanied with a series of bizarre and uncontrollable thoughts that kept running through your brain for the duration of the nocturnal time. They cannot comprehend as to why you fail to seize the following day.
"Carpe diem" is one of the most popular quotes around the world and it is usually accompanied with the following phrase: you had a bad day, it will pass. But in reality the so called “bad days” never do; for some of us, it is a bad day almost every day. Suffocation is emotional in this case and the series of thoughts do not stop just because you had a “bad day.”
For the duration of the day at work, you have to put up with tasks assigned to you that you do not want to complete. You are anxious because you want to speak up your mind but you are stressing out when you have to express yourself in front of a room full of people and what they might think of you. You are anxious when you think, when you attempt to breathe, and even when you go to sleep. You can feel the anxiety affecting your stomach; it makes you feel uneasy and in a way is like your body is warning you that you have to find out a way to unleash the stress, somehow you have to.
Some of the primary thoughts of an anxious brain involve the following questions: what if it does not work? What if I am not good enough? What if I cannot do this? What if I fail them? What if I fail myself? Why do I have to speak up for others or even for myself? What if, why, what if, why…? The loop is infinitely endless.
Also, once in a while, when your piling up of emotions has reached its limits it will bring you to a point that you will be unable to breathe completely. You should know that during this phase, the uncontrollable thoughts have won over you; they control your breathing and no matter how badly you attempt to calm yourself, you will probably fail.
But, if you do suffer from anxiety, just know that they do not fully control your being. Push yourself as much as you can; speak with your own people, with people that you trust, and tell them how you feel. Do not take more than you can handle and for crying out loud, learn to say those painful No’s.
And if you are lucky enough not to go through with it yourself, simply know that anxiety is not a stereotypical bad day; it is a real emotional struggle that many people around you are suffering from.
As a piece of advice, I beg of you, do not ignore someone that goes through with it. Be kind and try to understand their struggles; make sure you listen to them, not just with your ears but with your heart wide open. Make sure you make them aware of simple things such as: not to go through with tasks that they do not feel comfortable completing, not wanting to face the world alone, and that the work that they have done so far is enough. But the most important out of all, make sure to let them know that they are enough!
When you are suffering with anxiety, you are a part of a dark forest; but if you meet people who will truly listen to you even through the darkness, they will hopefully guide you towards the light that the "stress-free" fireflies shine for a new way to follow, away from all these bad days.
Be empathetic and more in tune with your surroundings.