So anxiety, right? Feeling overwhelmed. Not being sure what to do with yourself, so much so, that it keeps you from doing regular, every day things. Mental health is something that we as a community don't do a great job of talking about, but today I want to focus my attention on anxiety because it's been something I've been dealing with a lot. And I think it's important to discuss as we all have moments when we may feel lost in our own sauce and aren't sure what to do when the feeling comes over us...
So, to begin let’s debunk the idea that anxiety is just the extreme image we often see portrayed of someone losing their cool, becoming out of control, rocking back and forth in corner, hyperventilating. Although this may be a sign of an attack for someone out there… symptoms can look and feel very different. Symptoms of anxiety can look like pacing. It can look like silence. It often can be seen as irritability, dizziness, sweating, depersonalization, overwhelmed feelings, lightheadedness and so on. You can do the research to see the different behaviors that may occur with anxiety.
For me, anxiety is the feeling of being overwhelmed. Although it doesn’t happen often - once the feeling comes it’s pretty hard to shake. It feels like a heavy cloud over my head. My brain running at a million miles per second pace that I can’t even capture what my thoughts are. I feel restless with exceeding amounts of energy, stunning me into a numbness. I usually feel stuck inside myself and it creates this sense of discomfort within my own skin that I’m unable to escape. My mood shifts and I have no desire to do anything. This feeling literally paralyzes me and alters my behavior in ways that make me feel less than myself. The feeling is truly irritating and hard to bear.
Although I’ve never been clinically diagnosed with anxiety (and I don’t want to offend anyone who has), most times, I feel anxious due to uncertainty, stress overload, when something feels bigger than I can handle, or when I’ve encountered a situation that completely feels out of my control. I’ve even been hit with this feeling on first dates. Sometimes it comes out of nowhere. Over the last year or so, it seemed to hit me more often than I’d like and I started trying to put into practice tactics that would help me practice self-love and be more proactive in the moments I feel myself slipping away and anxiety taking over.
These tactics are just what help me get by, but there are plenty of other ways to deal with anxiety. Do your research. Some of these might work for you or you may choose to try something else. And that’s okay!
Thanks for letting me share this topic with you guys! I hope this helps us further the conversation of practicing self-love and good mental health in the African-American community.
What are some ways you deal with anxiety or overwhelmed feelings? Be sure to tell me in the comments and share this post! :)