Living With Anxiety


Jessa Lopez

Interpretation of what anxiety feels like. Illustrated by Jessa Lopez.

Randi Goldman, Staff Writer

Anxiety. What is it? Where does it come from? Anxiety, is a mental disorder which causes the person affected to worry, to be nervous, or to  feel uneasy. Anxiety is the constant fear that you’ll say something ‘stupid’ and people will dislike you. Anxiety causes panic attacks, being uncomfortable in some social situations, and sleeping problems.

What is anxiety to me? Anxiety has been a constant struggle for me. It’s like a boulder that weighs me down and prevents me from doing things that a lot people don’t have a problem with. I can’t talk to new people without the fear of saying something wrong or sounding ‘stupid’. Anxiety prevents me from going out of my comfort zone. Anxiety also lets me sense slight changes in tone, attitude, or mood. When that happens it usually makes me feel like I’ve done something wrong, or someone is mad at me. In reality, it’s usually not my fault, it’s something else that’s happened throughout their day.

When I’m anxious, or I’m having an anxiety/panic attack, it feels like there’s an elephant stomping in my chest area. Sometimes it leads to stomach pain and the feeling like I’m going to throw up. Also, there have been times where late at night I’ve found myself thinking about things that I did or said during the day that I ended up thinking were stupid. I’ve lost sleep because of constant overthinking.

But, anxiety doesn’t have to be something that holds you back. I’m not saying that you have to go out and start randomly talking to everyone you see. There are other things you can do to ease the mental aspect of anxiety. If your overthinking is half as bad as mine, you need something that’ll take your mind off of whatever’s bothering you. You can get a therapist, or talk to someone you trust, but therapy is not always free. I’ve heard that people ease their anxiety with meditation, taking deep breaths, and even different forms of exercise.

Personally, exercise works the best for me. Exercise is also a huge stress reliever for me, and it can also be good for you! If I exercise without music I usually focus on form, stamina, and water intake. I also find myself focusing on pain from stretching, which is sometimes less painful than anxiety-related pain. Music while exercising is good because you focus on the lyrics, instead of any pain. Also, if you’re doing exercises like planks, push-ups, or anything that you can do in your room, you can watch or listen to videos on YouTube. I usually watch/listen to Roman Atwood’s vlogs because he’s really positive.

The most important thing to know about having anxiety is that anxiety doesn’t have to control your life. You’re not alone.