Did you have anxiety growing up? Do you want to learn how to better manage your anxious energy?
Jen Halper and I recently discussed the impact of growing up as an anxious child on our Socialmerk YouTube Channel.
We know first-hand how much anxiety impacts your day-to-day.
So the first thing I want to say is if you’re living with anxiety, you are not alone.
The statistics show that one in four people live with some form of mental illness. It’s a lot more common than you might think.
Operating with Anxiety:
If you want to better operate with any mental illness – be it depression or GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), you have to first tap into it.
It’s important to understand why you are anxious and what is driving that feeling.
Self-awareness is critical because it allows you to not only tap into the feeling as it’s happening, but it helps you understand why you’re feeling the way you are.
Understanding your triggers can play a huge role in allowing you to feel empowered and more in control.
Whenever you can, you want to put yourself in the driver’s seat. Reminding yourself that you are the leader, not your anxious feeling, will help you to move past the feeling faster.
As kids, both Jen and I grew up with anxiety. However, the root cause of the anxiety was drastically different for us.
For me, I grew up with anxiety because I knew that my parents were going to get divorced. I was a perceptive kid and could sense that they weren’t happy. The anxious feeling stemmed from knowing divorce was inevitable, but not knowing when it would happen.
Because I wasn’t sure when “the event” (my parents getting divorced) would happen, my anxiety was triggered anytime I left the house. I didn’t know if that was going to be *the* time that some major decision was made.
It left me feeling uneasy, uncertain and scared.
Jen, on the other hand, has no memory of her parents getting divorced. They separated when she was just three years old, so she didn’t have anxiety in the same way that I did. She knew that when she’d get home from school, it would just be her mom and sister waiting for her.
However, Jen was anxious about school. Starting a new school year, and getting on the bus, was a major trigger for Jen.
Because anxiety is such a palpable and powerful feeling, all it takes to tap back into it is thinking back to those experiences.
A simple trip down memory lane can be a triggering event.
It’s important to understand that the triggers we have as kids can follow us into adulthood.
Through therapy, you can gain more self-awareness which allows you to tap into your self-talk and understand what you’re feeling and why.
While growing up with anxiety can be difficult, both Jen and I have come out of it the other side.
It is because of the anxious childhoods that we respectively had, that we are as sensitive, self-aware and empathetic as we are today.