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Anxiety-Schmanxiety

What is interoceptive exposure and how does it help rid you of phobias? If you live with fears or phobias, chances are you want to keep yourself as far away from them as possible. Fear can cause high anxiety and can contribute to panic attacks. Living with extreme fears can reduce the quality of your life as you avoid people, places, and situations because of phobias.
I’ve been a pretty massive introvert with anxiety for my entire life. Compared to the population at large, my threshold for social interaction has always been exceedingly low; even after a simple night out with friends, I generally need at least a day of alone time to recover. Of course, I’ve struggled with severe anxiety for my entire life as well, and because of that, I thank God that I’m an introvert. I sincerely believe the fact that I’m an introvert with anxiety makes it easier to keep my anxiety under control.
You may have learned somewhere that anxiety is a mental illness. Anxiety is so much a part of the human condition that almost every one of us across the globe experiences it sometimes. Does this mean that the entire world has a mental illness? For part of Mental Illness Awareness Week, let's explore whether anxiety is a mental illness. 
No matter how intense anxiety is or how much it interferes in your life, you can shrink it, step over it, and keep going. However, doing so is a process; to have lasting positive effects, anxiety must be reduced gradually. To overcome anxiety permanently requires a gradual approach with a lot of patience, persistence, and perseverance.
All my life, I’ve struggled with stress -- similarly, all my life I’ve had a sensitive stomach. Occasionally, in what seems like the most random times, my stomach becomes upset for what seems like no reason at all. I had never really given it much thought until now, instead just accepting it as a random quirk of my body.
Teaching yourself to breathe might seem strange, especially as a way to reduce anxiety. You started practicing breathing even before you were born, and you've been breathing ever since. The respiratory system is hardwired to work with the brain and body to keep us functioning well. What happens, though, is that over time, we develop bad breathing habits (like bad posture habits, bad eating habits, and myriad other behaviors that don't do much for our wellbeing). The breath is essential in managing anxiety, and learning how to breathe correctly will help reduce your anxiety.
I’ve written about mental health disclosure on this blog several times in the past. In those posts, I’ve taken a strong stance in favor of the practice, because I am firmly committed to the benefits mental health disclosure brings to those who are mentally ill.
When you live with anxiety, the mere thought of joining an anxiety support group can kick the fight-or-flight response into overdrive. To avoid attending an anxiety group with other people, you might be willing to fight tooth and nail to escape into the safety of the space under your bed. However, anxiety support groups offer benefits like the ability to share your experiences and challenges, to be deeply heard, and to offer a listening ear in return. These are only a few of the benefits people can reap by joining a support group for anxiety. Here are six more reasons to join a support group for anxiety.
As September is Suicide Awareness Month, it is only appropriate that the subject of suicide and temporary anxiety should be touched upon in this blog. Like with any mental illness, the specter of suicide is never far from the man or woman with anxiety. When you think about it, this makes sense – to someone weathered and beaten by an unending torrent of stress, suicide can seem to be a logical way to end that stress and keep your mind at peace. This, of course, is a failure of logic, for as the title of this blog makes clear, anxiety is temporary, while suicide is forever. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
Every time somebody attempts or dies by suicide, at least six people are left struggling profoundly to deal with the difficult, overwhelming emotions that are a natural part of grief1. Those bereaved by suicide often feel high anxiety and guilt. Unfortunately, however, this intense anxiety and crushing guilt can be overlooked as everyone focuses on the person who has attempted or died by suicide. If you have excessive anxiety, worry, fear, and/or feelings of guilt in the wake of suicidal behavior of someone you care about, know that you're not alone and that your feelings aren't wrong or selfish. The following information can help you identify your anxiety and guilt as well as know what to do about it. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)