It’s normal to feel anxious from time to time, and it’s important to know the distinction of that and having and anxiety disorder. I have personally never suffered from any type of anxiety disorder, but I have friends and family who do, and therefore have seen first-hand how debilitating and life-altering it can be. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
In quite the contrast, those close to me tend to describe me as emotionally ‘put together’ and ‘self-assured’ and to a certain extent I am, BUT, I am not completely immune.
Like all of us I get a little anxious and nervous from time to time and for things I am a little embarrassed to admit! But screw it – I will anyway!
Below are some of the random day to day things that I find really nerve-racking and emotionally draining and in doing so will probably break the ‘strong’ façade I have worked so hard to preserve.
I can cook. I have been told by many that I can cook quite well BUT my lack of confidence in this area means that any time I am cooking for anyone, other than my husband, the stress sweats start and my stomach is in my throat until the meal is over.
I don’t know what I am worried about. I know enough about cooking not to kill anyone but being a perfectionist means that I am not of fan of doing ANYTHING that I have not yet mastered!
A glass of wine while cooking tends to help with the knotted stomach but one too many could simply make matters worse.
2. Conference calls
I HATE them so much. Give me a face to face meeting any day.
My company does next to no work in the UK. All our clients are based overseas and as such we tend to do conference calls quite regularly either using skype or conference calling.
Either way it can be a disaster. Someone undoubtedly has connections issues, no one is ever clear to hear and people talk over each other ALL the time.
Because of this I always come away from the calls feeling like I have achieved nothing and on top of it I spend the 24 hours leading up to every call with butterflies in my stomach!!
3. Saying No
I’m a people pleaser. Always have been and think I always will be. However, since acknowledging this fact a year or so ago I have made moves to change this.
I now say ‘No’ a lot more. I don’t instantly agree to any and every invitation, take on every new task at work or fix every problem any friend may be having. HOWEVER, it still stresses me the F out!
It is a learning curve and I guess will take time to rid myself of panic and fear of disappointing someone.
4. Organising events
So I planned our wedding this year!! Damn that was painful. The most anxious and stressed I have ever felt in my life was the lead up to that day.
Don’t get me wrong, being highly organised and efficient meant it was smooth sailing on the surface. The lead up was chilled, the day went perfectly, and everyone raved about how amazing the day was.
However, inside, my body and mind were in manic overdrive and I didn’t truly relax until I was in the hotel room sipping champagne with my husband at the end of the night.
This was the biggest event I have ever planned but even smaller and less pressured gatherings have spiked my anxiety levels way more than is necessary. It is the main reason I never plan a birthday party for myself.
I have learnt however that the mind is evil, and the anticipation and dread is always much worse than the actual day itself.
5. Joining a new gym class
This one seems crazy to me even as write this but I find gym classes way more nerve-racking than I should. Anyone that meets me would probably say I am socially confident and would be baffled by this but I would never join a new class on my own.
I can’t even really defend myself here. I just get so stressed out. I have planned to do it and then flaked at the last minute and just done my own workout in the gym.
You may have noted a recurring theme in all the above scenarios. It would appear that perfectionism and people pleasing are my biggest downfall. For me, a fear of failure and need to impress lead to stress. I put too much energy and pressure on myself to keep everyone around me happy to my own detriment and is part of the reason I am currently reading the book ‘The life-changing magic to not giving a fuck’ But that is whole other post.
Let me know in the comments below if there any other random things that get you in a muddle and whether you get stressed about similar things to me.
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