As I opened the door to the shrink’s office both my hands were shaking non-stop (this was an everyday occurrence). It was one of the darkest times of my life, and I couldn’t see where I would end up. I thought to myself in this moment, “am I going mental? Isn’t this where crazy people end up?”
The doctor told me I was very sick, and struggling from a whole host of self-inflicted medical issues of which anxiety was the strongest. I took the last of the money I had at the time to pay for five sessions with the shrink.
It was now session number five and all I had done so far was talk about myself and have him shake his head. I started thinking that it was all a waste of money. In this last session, it was time for the shrink to give me his verdict and send me on my way.
He said one paragraph that changed my life forever. He said, “Tim my diagnosis is that you have all the tools already to overcome your anxiety issues. You have already taken significant steps, and I didn’t instigate any of it. “
He then continued to say “everything you need to turn your life around is already in your own head, and you are one of the smartest young men that has ever walked into this office. Stop second-guessing yourself and keep taking the small steps towards reducing your anxiety. I see great things ahead for you, young man!”
His words were so powerful, yet all he really did was reconfirm the action I was already taking and believe in me. It was nice that someone other than myself saw what I was capable of. This one idea is something that can transform almost anyone’s current level of success.
The story above occurred before my personal transformation a few years ago when I used to suffer from severe anxiety. It involved predominantly experiencing daily anxiety followed by depression and any other mental disorder you can think of. It was fuelled by my ever-increasing stress levels caused by my obsession with business, family issues, and my life heading in the wrong direction.
In this article, I am going to explain to you how this anxiety elevated my entire life to the next level. Now that you have read a bit about the anxiety I used to suffer I want you to understand that this is very normal, and lots of people have the same thing. Anxiety is nothing to be afraid of.
I am now in a fortunate stage of my life where I don’t experience the effects of anxiety anymore, and I believe any mental illness can be unlearned and used to motivate you.
Below are the twelve inspiring ways my anxiety elevated my life.
1. It made me get involved in personal development
Without my previous anxiety disorder, I would never have taken up a commitment to personal development. The way to overcome anxiety (and any mental disorder) is through constant personal development each day.
Back then, I realised that I needed to change my state of mind, so I began listening to Tony Robbins and then that led to a whole host of others like Zig Ziglar, Eric Thomas, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Jim Rohn, etc.
Most of my life, while listening to mp3’s and for the entire day, I would always have the curtains shut, and my office and bedroom were usually in total darkness.
Around the same time that I took up personal development, a strange thing happened: the curtain in my bedroom broke. This seemingly insignificant event meant that in the short term I had to keep the curtain open continuously. This changed my sleep pattern and had a real effect on me.
Shortly after, the curtain in my office broke. It was like it was supposed to happen and was a divine moment. To this day, both curtains are still broken and have to be kept open at all times. This small reminder each day serves as an anchor for where I am taking my life and how anxiety has helped me.
Anxiety can inspire you to do lots of things, but the best thing I have found it can do in my life is to inspire you to take up personal development.
2. It can teach you to think in the now
As I researched what anxiety was and how I could overcome it I figured out a simple concept; anxiety is thinking too much into the future and depression is thinking too much in the past. When I carefully analysed each day I realised that I was thinking about events that were way into the future and hadn’t even occurred yet.
Once I started thinking of these future events, I would then begin to stress about them in advance. The key to overcoming anxiety and using it to inspire you going forward is to stop the habit of stressing about things in the future.
Learn to think in the now and not try and control things that haven’t even occurred. Most of the time the events I was stressing about never ended up happening or turned out in an entirely different way. All of this time spent stressing on the future was wasted and made me tired constantly.
3. It got me reading books
Anxiety has inspired me to do lots of things but one way it elevated my life was to encourage me to take up reading. For many years, I never read any books because reading small words hurt my eyes and I didn’t have the concentration or focus (probably due to all the sugar).
After my experience with anxiety, I discovered that reading was a great way to heal my mind, and so I began reading books on an iPad which didn’t hurt my eyes. I mostly read motivational books and autobiographies of people who had done amazing things in their life.
This simple act started to rewire my brain, and it became the foundation for the success trajectory I am still on. It was a calming way to go to sleep each night rather than stressing about future events or having the TV yell at me about how bad the world was, and how horrible people could be.
4. It helped me quit coffee and alcohol
During my anxiety period, I learned to wake up with two or three coffees in the morning, have a soft drink for lunch, and then bring myself back down again with alcohol at night. Up until this point, all the references society had given me made me think this way of life was normal.
Through reading, I quickly figured out that these things were fuelling my anxiety even further and that I had to give them up. As I slowly kicked these bad habits, my state of mind shifted. I stopped making poor decisions and behaving badly as a reaction to my lack of energy and lethargicness.
5. It made me start tracking my success
Often when you try and overcome anxiety, it feels like you are making no progress. One thing that anxiety taught me was that it’s important to track your success. In the short term, I began to keep a note on my iPad of all the times I had successfully conquered anxiety.
Within a few weeks, I realised I was making a lot more progress than I had previously thought. Unless you write down your win’s, you will never know just how good you are!
6. It taught me to gamify my life
A cool outcome from the anxiety crushing process was that it taught me to play games with myself. As I kept a list of wins, I started to think of ways to increase my winning score and have even more successful situations.
I have later used this same technique to inspire me to write articles by keeping score of my progress and how well I’m doing. The concept of gamification is a great way to fast track any component of self-development. Gamifying your life is much better than wasting your time on computer or smartphone games.
7. It helped me to take control
Through the anxiety process, I discovered that the major driver behind anxiety is control. Anxiety is something that can take control of your human operating system and leave you without the power to make decisions yourself.
This concept empowered me to take back control and not let anything control my destiny. Instead of letting others make decisions about what I was going to do each day, I became stubborn and insisted on taking back control on even the smallest decisions.
Until you take back control of your own decision-making ability, you will never reach the pinnacle of success.
8. It reconnected me to the habit of learning and sales
Anxiety showed me that learning is so important, and it can help us to achieve anything and even overcome mental illness. The way I overcame anxiety, if you break it down, is through learning new ideas, unlearning bad habits, and relearning what made me successful in the first place.
You need to learn new ideas from inspiring individuals around you (or blogs like this), have the discipline to acknowledge your current bad habits and beliefs, and relearn the things that you have forgotten.
So in my personal transformation I used self-help content to learn new ideas, I wrote down all my bad habits and conquered them one by one, and I relearned how to sell by taking an entry level job in sales for a short time. I want to focus on the relearn component for a minute because this was something that had the biggest impact on me.
When people ask me what made me successful as an entrepreneur, for a long time I had no idea. Through overcoming anxiety, I learned that sales is where all my success started from. I learned that sales equals confidence, and confidence drowns out anxiety.
Do you see the benefit of severe anxiety and what it can do for you yet?
9. It showed me the power of meditation
I didn’t actually discover meditation until after I cured the majority of my anxiety but it’s a great way to relax. Meditating, as part of the cure for anxiety, is now common practice although a few years ago it wasn’t that well known when I was going through my own treatment.
Essentially, meditation helps bring your mind back to the present and allows you to re-focus. The easiest way to try it is using an app like the one I have called “Calm.” I find that when I am required to produce moments of inspiration, meditation allows me to settle the mind and prepare for greatness.
Part of my new found inspiration has a lot to do with what anxiety did to my mind and how meditation helped to remove those mental roadblocks. I’m sure it can help you too.
10. It changed my work life
Anxiety helped me to elevate my life by first of all crippling everything I had, and then allowing me to come to the decision that my day-to-day work life had to change drastically. If it weren’t for anxiety I would still be stuck in the same work that I hated, with the same people that brought me down, and the same old beliefs that weren’t serving me.
What you do to earn a living each day has a lot to do with how inspired you are and where your life is heading. It can be tough to change your work life unless you have an event that forces you to quit and start again. Hopefully, if you’re lucky, that event may lead you down the path of entrepreneurship.
If not, that’s okay; there are still many wonderful things you can do to contribute to mankind and discover your purpose for being on earth. After all, you only get one chance at life so use it wisely
Severe mental illness can be the trigger for something new, and all success starts with some sort of challenge or pain first. Anxiety was very much the seed of greatness in my life, and it can do wonders for you if you get the lessons from it.
11. It made me realise everyone suffers from a degree of anxiety
Have you ever seen someone toot their horn or swear at another person? The chances are that they probably suffer from anxiety to some degree. Anxiety can make you very frustrated and cause you to take this frustration out on other people.
During my anxiety days, I was often angry at the fact that I had to deal with this issue and thought I was one of the only ones. What I now know is that lots of people have this mental illness and that it’s what fuels most of the negative people you engage with on a daily basis.
Once I learned to identify anxiety and crush it, I found myself being much nicer to people and less frustrated.This resulted in lower levels of stress, more happiness, and a sharp increase in my overall mental and physical health.
“We are all infected with anxiety, but we have the vaccine already inside of us” – Tim Denning
12. It taught me to be more vulnerable
The biggest lesson I got from my dance with anxiety was that it can help you elevate your life further by teaching you to be more vulnerable. The only way to overcome anxiety is first to admit to yourself that you have it, and then to seek advice by being vulnerable enough to talk to another person about it.
Without courage, you will never elevate your life to the next level. Courage involves you accepting that you need to get vulnerable on a regular basis.
You need to do things that are difficult, and produce the good kind of anxiety, all with the acceptance that you could fail and learn a great lesson at the end of it – what a horrible thing that would be
What major event (like severe anxiety) has helped you elevate your life? Let me know in the comment section below or on my personal Facebook and Twitter Pages.
Author: Tim Denning
Source: Addicted To Success
There are basically 6 reasons why alcohol consumption and hangovers make many people anxious and I’m going tell you what they are. I want to share this with you so that you can be more informed and avoid becoming alcohol’s punching bag.[caption id="attachment_882" align="alignright" width="406" class=" "] Courtesy: Europen Parliament/P.Naj-Oleari Pietro.email@example.com[/caption]
Ever since I became sick with nervous illness I’ve heard a lot of people say that anxiety sufferers should not drink alcohol because it makes you more nervous than you already are.
I’ve always found this to be ironic because there are so many anxiety sufferers that drink alcohol to cope with their anxiety, but true it is.
Now, the fact that alcohol can cause anxiety is just that, a fact. It is a scientifically based understanding, so this is not simple conjecture on my part.
Will alcohol affect all people this way? Probably not, but as an anxiety sufferer you should be aware of the possible pitfalls of alcohol consumption, so pay close attention.
Scientists believe that alcohol causes or at least increases anxiety in 6 basic ways and here they are.
Alcohol can affect our mood because it can affect the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a feel good brain chemical that when in short supply can cause feelings of anxiety and depression.
2. Drop in blood sugar
A drop in blood sugar can cause dizziness, confusion, weakness, nervousness, shaking and numbness. These symptoms can most certainly trigger a bout of anxiety.
This has been known to cause nausea, dizziness, fatigue, light-headedness and muscle weakness. These symptoms wouldn’t cause anxiety per say but they add to a sense of illness which fosters anxiety.
4. Nervous System
The nervous system is affected because in order for the body to fight off the sedative effects of alcohol it puts the body into a state of hyperactivity in order to counteract this effect. This hyperactivity can lead to shaking, light/sound sensitivity and sleep deprivation.
5. Heart Rate
Your heart rate can become elevated as a result of consuming alcohol which can cause a palpitation false alarm and put you into a state of anxious anticipation. Is it a heart attack or isn’t it you might ask. This “what if” questioning can increase your general state of anxiety.
A hard night of drinking can also make you hazy, bring on headaches and create a sense of disorientation.
So if you’re going to have a glass of wine with dinner I don’t think you should be concerned. On the other hand, if you’re a heavy drinker, or binge drinker, then this might cause a real problem for you.
According to The Times Online, scientists don’t know exactly why all this happens but they do suggest that you eat before drinking, drink water in between drinks, and stay in bed if you are hungover to avoid all the problems I outlined above.
Some would say that maybe you shouldn’t drink at all if you have an anxiety disorder – that’s debatable. Do you think that alcohol should be avoided at all cost when someone has an anxiety disorder?
I don’t think that alcohol should be avoided if drinking is part of your social repertoire, however, I also know that moderation and good sense should be your guide.
In addition, although alcohol does have a sedative effect it should not be used as a coping tool. This type of behavior can lead to alcoholism and worse yet, more anxiety.
So if you know that you’re a light weight, or if you already know that alcohol makes you anxious, don’t bother. Maybe I don’t need to say it, but really some people just don’t know when to say no.
Note: I want to hear your opinions. Let me know what you think about this issue – comment below
The effects of stress are well understood, but where does anxiety come from? How do we know that it’s time to be “anxious,” and where is the line between “feeling anxious” and “suffering from anxiety?” We sat down with clinical psychologist Jeffrey DeGroat, PhD and Roger S. Gil, MAMFT, to find that line.
Dr. DeGroat explained that there are a number of psychological theories as to why anxiety exists. There’s the neurological (which we mentioned above), and the psychoanalytical, which describes anxiety as battle between the id, ego, and superego. In this battle, he explains, “anxiety serves as a danger signal to an individual’s ego and/or superego that an individual is at an elevated risk to act upon an unacceptable id impulse. In the face of this anxiety, an individual’s ego and/or superego respond by attempting to manage an individual’s id impulses through elevated means.” Essentially, anxiety is a warning sign that you’re about to do something you may not want to. There’s also the cognitive theory, which suggests that anxiety arises when a person’s cognitive distortions, or irrational thought patterns, make them see everything as a physical threat, whether it’s an actual physical danger, an annoying coworker, or a police officer on the side of the road. In behavioral theory, anxiety is a learned response due to exposure to frightening or stressful situations.
Regardless of which theory you subscribe to, it’s unhealthy when those instincts are turned on constantly. Your body’s stress response is something designed to be engaged when needed and disengaged; and constant anxiety keeps us alert and on edge all the time. Persistent anxiety, however, is a problem.
Gil explained that whether it’s caused by genetics or being brought up in an environment conducive to anxiety (as in, loud environments or parents and teachers who yell all the time), the problem emerges when your body and brain become “wired” to be on the lookout for potential threats that could come from any direction at any time, real or imagined. Anything that could cause an undesirable emotion, he explained, whether it’s fear, frustration, or doubt, could be a trigger for anxiety—and once you develop thinking patterns that reinforce every event in your life as a threat, it becomes a never-ending cycle.
Both gentlemen agreed that it’s an issue when you recognize that your anxiety doesn’t seem to go away, and you’re living with it on a daily basis. This is easier for some people than others though—if you’ve been suffering from anxiety for so long that it’s just part of your personal norm, you may not even recognize that it’s an issue, as Gil explains:
Many people have lived in an anxious state for so long that they don’t know any other feeling so they are unaware that they are suffering from persistent anxiety. Recognizing anxiety isn’t easy in these types of situations however identifying its red flags is a good way to start. Are you pessimistic about the most innocuous situations to the point where it keeps you from taking risks? Do you find your mind racing to what possible negative outcomes there could be? Do you immediately attribute some external circumstance to a positive outcome that could be seen as the result of your efforts? If your answer is ‘yes’ to these questions, then you may suffer from persistent anxiety.
For some people, anxiety is situational. It’s normal to feel nervous at the prospect of having to speak in public. It’s not normal to feel anxiety about having a mundane conversation with your barista. Situational anxiety is one of those things that we can only overcome by confronting it. Generalized anxiety is something that can only be coped with by trying to rewrite the pattern of thinking that elicits it.
Regardless of whether you’re living with anxiety or suffering from an anxiety related condition, there are ways to deal with and lessen anxiety’s impact. It starts with recognizing the effects of anxiety, and then learning the right ways to cope.