From Disease To Self-Development: How I Made My Anxiety Work For Me

I am Srishti Gupta, founder of TrendToFit. This narration is my journey of battling two heart diseases, ruining my mental health, and then turning into a mental health advocate.

Representational image.

This is about how I got inspiration from anxiety to become a wellness and mental health enthusiast and help people who are suffering from anxiety. My mission is to help anxiety sufferers get rid of this demon by teaching them self-love and other mechanisms such as yoga and exercise.

I had to undergo two heart surgeries five years ago to get the treatment of two heart diseases diagnosed during my college days. I had a hole and valve disorder in my heart medically known as Atrial Septal Defect and Pulmonary Stenosis successively.

Amidst this chaos and tension, I had developed a very negative towards which was affecting my life and career very severely.

I was so lost in my thoughts. I forgot to eat, sleep, and even breathe properly. One day when I found my mother in grave fear of losing me, I decided to dedicate my life start from a fresh end.

Initially, I started writing my thoughts on the diary and set some fitness goals, which helped me come out of depression to a great extent.

What helped me much in this journey was the ‘change of attitude.’ Here are the things which I did to change my attitude.

I Embraced My Anxiety

Growing up, I always found people believing that anxiety is something that no one should carry with them, as if anxiety is a choice, and something one can control. I never understood why we are taught to suppress it instead of embracing it. I often would ask myself, if people can accept my flaws, weaknesses, and other physical diseases, why they end up downplaying when it comes to anxiety.

I couldn’t understand why I needed to fake my feelings when my heart was wanting to cry out and forcibly stop my emotions from coming out just to look calm. And why it’s not okay to look anxious. Whom could I harm if I chose to show up my real emotions instead of masking them?

In a decision to look relaxed and chill, I had distorted my mental health to a great extent. Gradually, I decided to embrace my anxiety and not feel ashamed about it. I noticed with the time, and it has helped to manage the anxiety with more grace. I don’t feel awkward and restless when anxiety hits me now because I have embraced it. Psychology also says that the things you accept, won’t bother you much.

I Stopped Masking My Emotions Caused By Anxiety

There is no harm telling the people who are fighting the anxiety that they are strong. But it doesn’t always work. My personal experiences allow me to say that. It sometimes reminds people how life has forced them to stay strong forever. You might not know how desperately people need to be vulnerable sometimes.

In my case, too, hearing ‘you are strong ‘was aggravating my anxiety, and no one noticed! It was stopping me from releasing my emotions. This phrase had to suppress my anger and grief. It exacerbated my anxiety every time whenever I would hear this.

I wondered why nobody tells me instead that “You have been so strong all your life. You don’t need to feel strong all the time“. I just wished people would be my side and not remind me of staying strong. I always expected them just to hear my emotions rather than giving a lecture on being strong.

But now, I have learned that my mental health is more important than masking my feelings. I won’t pretend to smile if I don’t want to. It unburdens my soul. It allows me to release my emotions.

I Stopped Trying To Learn ‘How To Be Happy Alone.’

Imagine the situation when someone wishes to have friends and loved ones by his/her side, and what would happen if they have to hear cliche things ‘learn to be happy alone’?

You would argue staying happy alone is a healthy practice, and people would be motivated to find happiness within. It might be a bit of good advice, but it also inflicts more pain on a lonely heart. When people have been fighting loneliness for a long time, they just want your support, not your motivating words.

Please understand that phrases like “you are strong, anyone would be lucky to love you, you are going to find someone, you can go through this face, you are strong!” can also be toxic depending upon the severity and the situation of a depressed heart. You can persuade them instead that you are with them.

Moreover, you don’t need to learn how to be happy alone, even if you have none to share your feelings with. Nobody needs to do to learn it because every human being has a good listener. Yes, we call it/Him Universe/God. You just need to believe this.

Trust me; when I realized Universe listens to everyone and brings justice in everyone’s life, I never felt alone in my struggles. I cry my heart out to this Universe, and I know it listens and reciprocates. It gives me happiness that I am not alone. A true friend is with me.

I Realized Anger Is Always Not Unhealthy

I agree anger isn’t a very productive tool to release emotions. But it isn’t bad either the way we think of it. It’s normal to think anger poisons the hearts, but it can be creative at the same time. It can be used to heal the hearts as well. It doesn’t mean you should be an angry person, but the point of saying is we should not punish ourselves for showing the anger.

Earlier, when I didn’t know any other method to let my frustrations out other than anger, I used to spend days regretting my anger episodes. This left me in severe anxiety and guilt several times.

Now, I practice mindfulness to curb my stress and share my emotions. I also have realized anger isn’t always unhealthy, and I don’t need to feel anxious about it. I focus on reducing my anger and releasing my emotions mindfully by bringing a change in my attitude.

I Exercised And Found It To Be A Coping Mechanism 

My mother inspired me to set short term fitness goals. Initially, I failed multiple times, and I was not even regular. But then later, I found that exercise and yoga work as a coping mechanism. Science has also proved the same.

To keep my motivation high, I also invested in fitness gadgets and workout clothes. When I shed some weight after running, it gave me happiness. I added more nutrition to my food.

Adopting this attitude, I appeared for a few competitive exams. I cleared a few of them as well. But I could not give up on the idea of writing blogs and inspire people to pay more attention to their physical and mental health. In today’s busy lifestyle, it has become a challenging task to give time to fitness. During my journey, I found exercise works as a coping mechanism to improve mental health. Therefore, I want to inspire people to live a healthy lifestyle despite their busy lifestyles. On my website, I share my experiences on how setting short term fitness goals can help get rid of anxiety.

If you are also suppressing your feelings for the sake of looking strong and being kind to everyone, I encourage you to respect your pain and embrace your anxiety and not be ashamed of it. Though anger is always not unhealthy, you can also adopt these productive ways to release your emotions and set yourself free. It may be the most powerful thing you ever do to bring peace in your life.

I feel that to be successful, you should try not to overburden your soul and talk about your anxiety and fear without feeling ashamed of it. Don’t hide your emotions and make your heart free today!

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