That completely stumped me until I remembered my struggle with anxiety.
For me, I went through a slew of different stages.
Stage 1. Complete lack of awareness.
This is an interesting stage. For me, I always believed being highly strung was my reset. It didn’t matter what I did, I was always on the go and running a million miles an hour. It was just a part of my personality. And I was also proud of it. Adrenaline was my fuel.
This is very common.
I have met a lot of driven, determined, focused individuals who have this state of mind. When you’re productive, hitting goals and not having an issue then why would you slow down?
This leads to the next stage.
Stage 2. Denial.
This is the hardest stage.
After a few years of being the energizer bunny, cracks began to show. My health plummeted. My face became a landmine of cold cores and I was constantly having issues with my stomach.
However, if someone said it was because I was stressed and anxious I became immediately frustrated.
I had been running a million miles per hour for years. Why all of a sudden would my health take a dramatic turn for the worst?
It didn’t make sense.
Denial isn’t just difficult for the person, but for everyone around them. For the person, nothing makes sense. For the people around them, they have to watch them run around in circles.
There is a moment where you don’t want it to be stress and anxiety. You want it to be something else… Anything else.
Many people fall into this trap. Solely focusing on the physical symptoms without even giving stress and anxiety a second thought.
Stage 3. Frustration.
Ahh good ole frustration.
This is the stage where you’ve probably tried everything. Seen every doctor, nutritionist, naturopath, specialist or shaman imaginable. I know I had (maybe not the shaman, but still).
At this stage, I had spent upwards of $30K looking for that magic pill. That one thing that could answer all my questions to all my health issues.
I spent time, money and energy solely focusing on my physical health.
Equating into extreme frustration and self-pity because NOTHING worked.
Frustration is going to happen. You’ve spent time, money and energy researching causes of your health issues to no avail.
Then having that realization… There isn’t a magic pill. You don’t have some mysterious Amazonian virus. Or new age allergy. No. You are suffering from stress and anxiety.
Stage 4. Acceptance.
This stage can take people years. For me, it took three years. However, once I finally accepted that I was, in fact, stressed and anxious, my health turned around.
My situation stopped looking bleak. I stopped looking for a quick fix that didn’t exist. I stopped researching different bacteria, viruses, parasites, allergies, and intolerances.
However, I started accepting stress and anxiety. I started recognizing that stress and anxiety was something that I needed to consider more seriously.
I stopped looking at it as a weakness, a flaw, something that didn’t exist for me
Many people fight this. They fight it tooth and nails.
Without accepting stress and anxiety, you end up fighting it. Which leads to an increase in health issues.
It’s a vicious hamster wheel.
Stage 5. Action.
This one is where you roll up your sleeves and get to work. Working on yourself and focusing solely on an issue you originally didn’t think was a problem.
Taking action is tough and is scary.
Once I started taking action, there was no stopping me.
I stopped having stomach related issues. My swelling decreased. My cold sores were nonexistent. And I had a better handle of external factors.
Yes, you have to be willing to change and make better choices. You have to be willing to do the work.
But that’s when things start to fall into place. Your health stops being a problem and life becomes better.
There are too many people suffering from anxiety silently. They don’t seek help. They sit in their own thoughts.
63% of the global population in fact. That’s a dramatic statistic. I desperately want to see that fall.
This statistic is causing a rise in disability, time off work, doctors appointments and unfortunately suicide.
Something has to change.
Seek help. Find someone that understands you. Someone that you trust. Someone that you feel comfortable letting down your barriers with.
If you are anything like me, letting down your guard doesn’t come naturally.
I hated being viewed as weak or that I had a problem. My pride stood in my way.
Once I got over that and started seeing help, it made a huge difference.
Don’t sit there thinking that you can get through this alone.