Fear of the Unknown—I think that’s been the main topic for this past week for me.
I’ve dealt with a lot of anxiety, but for whatever reason, it’s been hitting me like a ton of bricks. It feels absolutely debilitating, like you’re having a heart attack, like your lungs are slowly closing in, and the more you try gasping for that last gulp of air, there is none left.
Anxiety is something that, I would say, most people deal with. Some people don’t, others don’t deal with it as much, and for others, it can get really awful. It’s really different for everybody.
It’s an awful thing to have to go through. I was on the phone with a friend from home who also struggles with anxiety. The minute she told me it was like “the fear of the unknown” I knew that was exactly what it was.
The uncertainty, constantly thinking, worrying about what’s to come, what’s going to happen, what’s the outcome. Sometimes, it gets to the point where it’ll hit you out of nowhere.
Other times, there may be an occasion that will trigger your thoughts to start racing. It’s like once it starts it seems like it doesn’t stop.
It’s like we could be completely fine one minute, and then the next minute we could be convincing ourselves there’s something wrong. Even though there’s nothing wrong at all, it doesn’t matter because our minds are tricking us into thinking there is.
Many different people deal with different side effects from it. A big one that I personally deal with is shortness of breath.
It’s an absolutely awful thing, thinking there’s something wrong because you can’t breathe. All you want in the world at that moment is just to be able to take a deep full breath of air but you can’t and it’s the most frustrating thing.
The worst part is that it can hit you anywhere, at any time, with friends, at school, in the workplace. That sometimes can make it worse because you never really know when it will happen, hence, fear of the unknown.
Breathing exercises are so important because you are able to slow the heartbeat so it isn’t racing. Inhale and hold it for four seconds, or however long you are comfortable with, and exhale for four seconds.
Pretend that you are inhaling relaxation, and exhaling all of the stress and tension you may be feeling in that moment. Some things that I like to do to try to relax is to just turn on some peaceful background noise, meditate, journal; I like to paint, it all really depends on what you like to do and what you know will help you in that moment.