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Anxiety is a common epidemic today ravaging the lives of so many. If you don’t have anxiety, your one of the lucky one’s that lives a relatively normal and worry free life.
For those like myself that suffer from an anxiety disorder, we are lucky enough to get through a day without over worrying or having a full blown panic attack.
As an advocate for mental health, I am passionate about bringing awareness and solutions to problems that rob people of having a peaceful mindset.
I am going to share some personal battles I have faced throughout my life that have robbed me of so much time and simple pleasures of life.
This post isn’t solely just to bring the mood down with a melancholy type post complaining about my anxiety, it’s also a post to inspire others and bring hope to those whom are trying to heal.
Although I still face the relentless attacks of anxiety, it is nothing in comparison to what I used to battle and I am literally on a swift uphill climb to being cured and it feels great.
This is my story on how blogging cured my anxiety.
There are many different forms of an anxiety disorder, what I have been diagnosed with is hypochondria.
For those that don’t know, it’s an distorted perception on one’s health which causes a person to worry excessively that you are or may become seriously ill.
It is a long-term condition that can fluctuate in severity. It may increase with age or during times of stress.
So in my case, I worry excessively about any and every physical symptom I experience, I burden my friends with my excessively wayward thoughts and I literally rob myself of daily activities based on my fears.
It brings a lot of shame and guilt, as I am fully aware of how many people are actually suffering from fatal illnesses.
Working at a hospital is a humbling reminder for me that there are others with real illnesses and I honestly have nothing to complain about.
I guess I’m one of the “lucky” one’s as my anxiety disorder doesn’t lead me down a path of severe depression or self harm, as others can.
Although anxiety can be lonely and depressing, I’m aware it’s nothing in comparison to other illnesses.
I don’t say that to brag because there are pro’s and con’s to all various types of disorders.
However, I can pull one positive outlook on my disorder that no one really ever has to actually worry about my health since it’s always all in my head!
Anyone that suffers from hypochondria can understand the process of forgetting whether or not your going to overdose on the iron content in your multivitamin and therefore, you should probably stay home in case you pass out and of course have your phone right next to you, should you need to call for help.
This will sound SO completely ridiculous to anyone that does not suffer from hypochondria, yet for someone like me it seems like a completely valid plan and perhaps now your wondering yourself if you overdosed on a multivitamin!
Even if you don’t specifically have hypochondria, you may have another type of anxiety disorder; social anxiety, general anxiety, PTSD, OCD or many more, in which case you can relate to some degree with my thought process in that last sentence.
So even if you suffer from a different kind of disorder, this will resonate with anyone suffering from anxiety.
Now because I am hypochondriac, I have never actually been medicated for my anxiety because, I would be terrified of what it will do to me.
I do not judge or look down upon anyone that is medicated because I know that certain medications do actually work for some people and it’s done wonders for them!
So removing the option of taking medication I was basically left with counseling, which I am a firm believer on the benefit of seeing a shrink.
With counseling you can learn how to manage your thoughts, feelings and utilize the tools given to train your mind to think differently.
It’s a lot of hard work, but it can help cure this disease to a certain point.
The rest of the work is entirely up to yourself.
Exercise is proven to help with anxiety, but if you have a disorder like I do, your worried to workout because your mind will go over your imaginary checklist:
• Did I eat enough today so that I don’t pass out?
• What if I pass out, does the facility have sufficient protocols to assist me in an emergency?
• What if I’m the only one at the gym, who will know should something happen to me?
• I don’t think I had enough water, I better bring 2 extra water bottles in my bag
The list could go on to how many “check marks” I have to cover on my list.
It’s ridiculous and so frustrating!
I still go workout, I still go to work, I still go to school, but I have to work twice as hard as the average person to pull myself together and stop over thinking – everything!
So, what I found after going through some pretty traumatic events this past year was that I needed to make my home a safe place.
This sounds silly, but sometimes us different people (anxiety ridden individuals) don’t really have a place where we feel safe.
Even normal people need to have somewhere that they feel completely safe at.
My home became a safe haven for me and I started implementing self care exercises to make me feel more relaxed.
• taking baths with lavender Epson salts (it’s a natural scent that calms you down)
• using candles to light the room and using dim lamps
• having calm music always playing in the background
• journalling more
• taking moments to deep breathe and stare out my window
• taking social media breaks
• turning my phone off after a certain time
• terminating contact with certain individuals
little things like this really started helping me feel more safe, calm and I was able to gather myself.
When I finally decided to find myself again this summer and pick up on the things I used to do, it lead me to start my very first blog.
I started researching, writing, reading, analyzing and watching so many other blogs, tutorials and resources.
My creativity started to flow and I submerged myself completely into a hobby that I left off a very long time ago.
The best part was, when I was entrenched in all of this “blogging business” I didn’t even take notice of my health, which was super abnormal for me.
I realized after my first month of blogging that I hadn’t even had an anxiety attack.
Sure there were a couple moments I was out somewhere and my mind started doing it’s thing (you know what I’m talking about), but it was nothing in comparison to before.
I realized that putting all of my thoughts and energy into something that was so positively distracting, that my mind didn’t have room to even go off on it’s own tangents.
Because my home was converted into this relaxing safe haven in combination with the very place I did all my blogging, my entire time being at my house blogging became a solution to my problem.
When I’m in the zone, writing, creating and feeling inspired, it’s as if nothing else exists nor matters and it feels great!
I can compare it to the feeling of going on a really good run in the evening when it’s getting cool, I feel empowered and in control of my anxiety.
Now I’m not saying blogging is the cure of everyone’s anxiety, nor am promising it will work for everyone.
I am saying however, that perhaps changing your environment and submerging yourself into a creative outlet, like blogging, can almost completely cure your anxiety.
I think far too often we, especially in North America, are so busy doing so many things all the time.
Our phones are always buzzing, we always have appointments, very little time to do anything and we don’t take care of ourselves enough.
No wonder we are the leading Country of anxiety disorders!
I’m not encouraging anyone to be lazy, I think being productive is crucial to being a healthy member of society, I am saying though that it’s OK to take a break sometimes.
Sometimes we just need “me” time, a space to gather ourselves, a place to create and an outlet to channel all our inner angst into.
Of course, if your in a toxic environment, interacting with unhealthy people and constantly being exposed to your anxiety triggers then your obviously going to disable your own growth.
There are many other factors that negatively impact our anxiety and I’m in no way suggesting the mere fact that blogging simply is the cure of all cures, no.
It’s not realistic, as there are so many other factors that play into healing from anxiety.
For me, a drastic change to my relationships, environment, boundaries with people, finding myself, learning who I really am, not letting others define me, avoiding drama, seeking counseling, taking a social media break, a drastic change in life circumstances and changing the way I thought, were the catalysts to healing my anxiety and blogging was the cure.
I still have my moments where my thoughts go astray, but it’s nothing compared to before.
Blogging really has helped cure my anxiety but the word “cure” is subjective in this case, as it really depends on your interpretation of what “cured” means.
For me, not having a full blown panic attack on a daily basis and being able to find joy in daily activities again is the equivalent to being cured in my opinion.
Irregardless of my little slip ups where I tend to worry.
That is how blogging cured my anxiety.
Good anxiety resources:
Judgment Detox which will help you eliminate the lies and judgements you cast upon yourself to release you into living a better life
Little Book of Mindfulness which will give you little 10 minute exercise a day to learn how to give yourself peace
Pint It For Later!