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Living with Anxiety: Emotional Health

What don’t you have if you’re struggling with anxiety? Emotional health. Not the most earth-shattering statement but pertinent, all the same. Do you really know what’s missing, though? I’m not always sure. Even when I think of a definition it changes, develops as I go through the bump and grind of ‘one step forward, two steps back’, alters everytime a PTSD trigger whacks me across the head with a 2×4.

It may even be that you’ve been anxious so long the concept of emotional health seems pie in the sky.I get the sense that’s pretty common, normal even; When anxiety is part of your life, you censor yourself (deliberately or not), tailoring your definition of health and what it is for you in particular to be healthy accordingly.

What Is Emotional Health?

  • 3D Character and Question MarkDo I have it? Do I not have it?
  • Do I have some aspects more than others?
  • Do I value some aspects more than others?

 

How we define emotional health says a lot about our aims, where we are, what we think we deserve, how much anxiety intrudes on our lives, consciously and unconsciously. Maybe it’s around some of the time, up this week, down the next. In any event it’s probably something you hope to have more of through therapy, and treating anxiety.

Sometimes Treating Anxiety Isn’t Enough

Whatever you definition of emotional health, it should not include treating anxiety in isolation.

Any number of hurdles will need jumping before you can give your emotional health the attention it deserves, not the least of which is the tendency to minimize or dismiss that side of life. In dealing with my anxiety I’ve had to pull myself out of the frame of mind that says treating the anxiety is all I need do. Because it isn’t always the best plan to latch onto, say, a diagnosis or treatment path on the assumption that making progress in that specific area is enough.

When I think about emotional health I think of a well-rounded social and individual being. What that looks like is up to you, but at the end of the day I don’t just want to have fewer symptoms of an anxiety disorder. I want to be an emotionally wiser person; I want to know that I can handle the symptoms of anxiety if and when they return, and I want to know that from a position of relative strength. That means living an emotionally balanced life, one in which I’m not afraid to feel what I’m feeling, or trust my instincts.

Getting there is a whole other post but I’m sure you see my point.

7 thoughts on “Living with Anxiety: Emotional Health”

  1. I can understand normal anxiety. { But those of us who have had an overload of bad experiences are changed, then there are brain chemicals, hormones and a polluted world.
    We don’t have normal anxiety, have you ever tried to do a normal everyday thing. I butter a bagel and my hands are shaking, my stomach l is full of butterflies I want to jump out of my skin. These are reactions from being scared, afraid.
    I’m only making breakfast. Why do I feel this way?
    I’m afraid of going out in public? Someone might want to enter act. So I don’t go anywhere. This started a few days prior to Christmas.
    My decline started about August of 2014. I didn’t suffer like this before.
    I work for the world’s largest retailer. I have been in direct customer service since April 1998. I’ve been a manager, a leader, a teacher and the person in charge of a large project.
    I was not afraid I flourished under pressure and solved problems.
    I was not the best, but I know a lot.
    Now I can not work, because I cannot will myself to go anywhere. Thank God for the Internet, and no it does not enable me not to try.
    Meds are not totally helping.

  2. I was wondering if you could speak to the legal rights a person has on a job, when they experience heightened anxiety. Recently I became aware of a person disclosing personal difficulties to supervisor, and was then questioned on his abilities to do his job or consider possibly looking at other options. As far as I am aware, there was no productivity problems, he was just found tearful, and experiencing an anxiety attack.

    Thanks,

    Chris

  3. Anxiety disorders are common emotional difficulties that had emblem up to date our life. Indeed, anxiety experiences burden inevitably everybody with nervous trouble. Therefore, anxiety has got its good side in parallel with its bad consequences. Without anxiety we would display ourselves to many life jeopardies, even we w’ll feeling calm. Really anxiety is vanguard of every unexpected events that may harm seriously our global well-being. It is psychiatric entity when damages life functioning of respective patient. In this case it should treats at psychiatrist. But the successful treatment of anxiety depends from our meaningful understanding of these emotionally disturbances that affects us in any time and everywhere. It ought to manage our feelings through daily contradictions. Otherwise, we would fall victim of tremendous psychic sufferings.

  4. I love when you write. Perspective shifts when we focus on the other areas we’d like to work on other than JUST the problem. I love how you’ve included the hierarchy of needs. Really I could call them hierarchy of WANTS. As I’m secure in one level I want to climb to the next. Unfortunately not always as easy as just finding a set of stairs.
    The right support team, information (like your blog), & right meds give me the strength to start my climb up the hierarchy pyramid of needs and wants 🙂

    1. Hey Leslie,

      Thanks for the lovely compliment! Yeah. Lol Wants. I get that. It is a weird thing to see it in a list like that. As you say, deceptively simple.

  5. Hi Kate!

    I’ll try to leave you another comment– I tried a little while ago but forgot to put my e-mail address so it didn’t post.

    This is a powerful article. For me, I can really see where my anxiety has slowed dowm my emotional growth. My therapist will tell me things in our sessions where I’ll just reply, “Man! I wish I had known this stuff years ago!”

    Simple things like how to stand up for myself when people are rude to me. How to say no rather than yes when I don’t want to do something. All these little things that the anxiety has had so much control over my whole life — I am just now learning to address.

    Lady Delphinium-

    1. Hey Lady Delphinium 🙂

      So glad the blog is helpful to you. Couldn’t get a better compliment.

      Yeah, those ‘ahuh’ moments are great but similarly I do just wish they weren’t quite so far apart. lol

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