Why Am I Doing This? by Chris Heedles

Mental Health is not clear cut. People will always say its not black and white, however they fail to mention just how colorful it is in the middle. All diagnoses look different for everyone and symptoms are even more broad. Anxiety for instance is not just constant worrying. Experiencing a desire to control people and events or having difficulty sleeping, could be a sign of anxiety. If a child is defiant or exhibiting challenging behaviors not consistent with their temperament, they may be anxious. Agitation, anger, unmanageable sadness, overthinking, avoiding activities, and even physical pain can all be signs that we are anxious. 

So WHY am I telling you this? Not to make you feel worse but to bring awareness to something that a lot of people do not understand. It is totally okay to have anxiety, its pretty normal, however if we do not pay attention to our behaviors and learn about how anxiety shows up, then we will never be able to manage it. There are few worse feelings than feeling a certain way and not knowing why? To learn about your own anxiety, here are a few tips:

1) Try to identify the factors in your life which lead to your anxiety. This can be people, places, things, or events. 

2) Consider the stress factors in your life, as anxiety is likely to worsen at times of high stress. Work, family, relationships, environments, life transitions, etc.

3) Take note of how your body reacts during stressful times. Do you sweat more? Does your heart race? Does your stomach turn?

4) Take note of how long your anxiety lasts and if it is different depending on the stimulus. Anxious about a PR, how long were you anxious for? 

5) What did you do last time during a stressful event to calm yourself down? Did you meditate to yourself? Deep Breathing? Did you Leave? (Leaving is totally okay)

Bringing awareness to yourself about your anxiety is such a big part of conquering it. It is also recommended to share what causes your anxieties with loved ones and friends so they can understand as well. The more you know, the more you can do to beat it.