Stress is caused by fear. Fear of failure. Fear of not fitting in. Fear of instability. There are so many things that we fear on a daily basis, but fail to admit to ourselves or even identify as fears in the first place. As a result of the fears we carry, we feel stressed, anxious, out of control…but we continue to live the same way because we don’t want to show our vulnerability.

Throughout my life I’ve struggled with anxiety and it wasn’t until I sat down and thought about what was causing my feelings that I realized that my anxiety was stemming from fears that I had. One of my biggest fears is fear of the unknown, of the things I don’t have control over. I’m a planner, I struggle to be spontaneous and just go with the flow. While I’m waiting to see how things are going to turn out I feel impatient and when things don’t go as planned I experience extreme disappointment.

It took a long time for me to get out of my head and really understand the feelings that were the cause of my anxiety. If I didn’t have these fears I wouldn’t be me, so the struggle was to figure out how to reduce my feelings of anxiety and still be myself. In doing so, I realized there are some things I can’t change. I can’t change that I like to have control over my life however, while this is the way I am, I need to remember that this is where my anxiety comes from.

I’ve come to understand that there are certain aspects of my life that I don’t have control over, so in order to avoid feeling anxious, I refrain from making plans in the first place. If I have no plans, there is nothing to worry about. I’ve learned that life is about sometimes losing control and making the wrong choices. In order to reduce my stress, I need to be open to making these mistakes once in a while. I need to avoid having unrealistic expectations about how the future will turn out, because if things don’t go the way I expect, I’ll continue to experience impatience, anxiety, and disappointment. I know in life these emotions are inevitable, but if I can learn to reduce their severity, I will be better off.

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