9 Life Aspects Affected by Prolonged Anxiety and Angst
Have you lived with anxiety for several years? Do you often feel that the long period of angst has significantly impacted your quality of life? You are not alone. A life with years of anxiety can result in various effects on your life aspects. Some of them, you can read about in this post. Perhaps, you can recognize some of them?
This post is for those who haven’t received the proper anxiety help in time and have carried untreated anxiety for several years. It is for those who need to feel that they are not alone in feeling that life is especially challenging because angst has been a part of their lives for a long time.
Anxiety over an extended period can never fully depict the personal consequences and costs you have due to anxiety, no matter how much I try to describe them here. It depends on who you are as a person, how much anxiety has been part of your life, how intensely it has been felt, how long you have been affected by anxiety, and the help you have received to manage it.
The points I describe in this post may not become an issue for you, especially not when you (as you are now) seek knowledge about anxiety and reach out for help to overcome it. It’s important to remember that for some, anxiety is only present for a short period, especially for those who receive the right help and tools to manage it in time.
What is Anxiety?
For those who want to read more about the impacts prolonged angst can have, continue reading here.
When Anxiety Affects Your Self-Esteem
Your self-esteem is a significant factor when it comes to overcoming or living with angst. Low self-esteem can trigger anxiety and keep you in its grip. Conversely, strong self-esteem can erode if anxiety has taken its toll over time.
Having anxiety in your life for an extended period can make you lose touch with who you are behind the anxiety. It can make you forget yourself, and lose grip on your inner core, and inner values.
What do you want when anxiety is not an issue? What do you do if you are not anxious? What are your dreams, wishes, and goals if anxiety is not a determining factor in your life?
Your self-esteem is the core inside you that needs strengthening so that you stand firm in yourself. Self-esteem is the feeling that you are okay when you feel what you feel, think what you think, and mean what you mean. Self-esteem is the space in you that anxiety tries to take over. And self-esteem is the strength you need to reinforce to push anxiety aside. Self-esteem can help you regain balance, security, and trust that you are good enough and capable of what you need to do, so the angst disappears.
You can work on strengthening self-esteem even when anxiety is present. Self-esteem is, in many ways, like a muscle you can train to be strong every time it becomes weak. It is also something you need to maintain to keep it strong.
When Anxiety Affects Your Relationship
It is possible that you and your partner are not “meant to be,” but it may also be that anxiety is affecting your relationship and causing problems. Consider the following:
Anxiety over an extended period leaves its mark on the relationship. Either you keep it outside the relationship, affecting your connection, or you incorporate it as a reality you both have to deal with.
Regardless of how your relationship and history with angst are, it will challenge you and your partner sooner or later. Do you talk about anxiety, for example? Do you share experiences of anxiety? Do you confide in your partner about anxiety – 100% honestly? Does your partner see you when you are anxious?
Your relationship is important to focus on when you struggle with angst over an extended period. Not only because it can create a secure and safe base where you can seek support and care. It can also be the place where you make peace with being who you are, whether you are free from anxiety or in the midst of an anxiety attack.
Creating a relationship that embraces differences, individuality, emotions (including anxiety), honesty, and trust is truly worth fighting for. With a strong relationship behind you, you can handle many more of the challenges anxiety poses for you.
Here are some useful tips you might use in your relationship: Are you a caregiver for someone with angst? 10 tips on how to help best while taking care of yourself.
Anxiety Can Affect Your Friendships
Good friends are the best in the world. Especially when you feel surrounded by the right ones. And what feels like real friends, only you can answer. But even if you surround yourself with the most amazing friends, anxiety over an extended period can also affect even the most solid friendships.
When your friends accept and acknowledge your anxiety, you have a good foundation for ensuring that angst does not hinder your friendship. Honesty and trust are also strong components to prevent anxiety from getting in the way.
However, friendships, no matter how strong, can be challenged by boundaries that need to be set, responsibilities, and needs that need to be distributed between you. It can be challenging for friendships where communication has mostly consisted of unsaid things but feelings and sensations, respect, and equality because it may become necessary to put words on and express complex thoughts and feelings.
Extended periods of anxiety can also test your friends’ patience because they may feel they have to compromise their own needs to maintain your friendship.
On the other hand, anxiety in many ways can also trigger greater openness, leading to more significant respect and mutual love. Being honest and open about anxiety can create deep and trusting friendships that can be a lifelong support and a secure base from which you can derive quality of life forever.
Your Social Life Can Be Affected by Anxiety
When you experience anxiety, do you reach out to others, or do you withdraw socially? Perhaps you are one of those who need others’ presence when you are anxious, but the chance that you withdraw is quite significant.
People with social anxiety often have difficulty participating in social situations, but other types of anxiety can also affect your social life.
In encounters with other people, there are many unwritten rules and cultural ways of being expected of us. When you feel anxiety overpowering you, it can be challenging to adhere to these unwritten rules. An unwritten social rule, for example, could be not showing a loss of control or emotions in public.
How do you feel about showing your anxiety when you are in a public place? For many, showing anxiety in social settings is generally crossing a boundary. Most people prefer to be alone with their anxiety, which can ultimately lead to isolation and loneliness.
Fortunately, anxiety has become more common, and the word “anxiety” is more often brought up as a topic of conversation. It is increasingly acceptable to share anxiety with others – to a certain extent. More people are familiar with anxiety, and more people are familiar with having anxiety themselves. And if not, it is becoming more normal for them to know someone who has anxiety.
Many find that anxiety takes up less space when they speak openly about their anxiety. Not necessarily showing it but acknowledging it and
standing up for it. As a part of themselves deserving acceptance and recognition. Openness about anxiety can lead to warm relationships, respect, and greater understanding and recognition – and perhaps greater trust that others also dare to open up.
When Anxiety Affects Your Work Life
In your workplace, there is likely a lot of daily anxiety experienced by many. Some experience anxiety in meetings where they have to participate in debates or present products and projects to others. Others experience anxiety during their lunch break, when they have to eat with others and engage more personally than professionally. Others experience stress-related anxiety, social anxiety, panic anxiety… and yes, all kinds of anxiety.
Many hide anxiety, tense up, and put on a smile, waiting until they get home and collapse completely like a marathon runner who has finally finished the race. Some suddenly experience stress attacks and have to be on sick leave for a long time. Some choose never to come back.
An extended period with anxiety can become a life condition that can affect our choices and behavior throughout life. Perhaps we have chosen our education based on whether it causes us anxiety or not. Perhaps we have chosen education despite our anxiety. Perhaps we believe that we have to be a certain way to be accepted in our society and spend all our daily hours on a job that goes against our values and makes us unhappy (– and anxious). Or is it the workplace, tasks, and deadlines that stress us and trigger our anxiety? Where does it start? What does it take?
It may be that the workplace could become a fantastic place if the environment could accommodate a loss of control and anxiety. If you didn’t have to hide it but could confide in a leader or a good colleague when it arises, and you can give yourself what you need for the anxiety to dissipate.
It may also be that anxiety at the workplace is a clear sign that you belong somewhere else. That you have lost your way in your career, ended up in the wrong place, and lost yourself?
What would your anxiety say to you if it had words – and you were ready to listen?
When Anxiety Affects You – or Your Colleague
Why does he behave like that? It’s as if your co-worker always does somersaults that you don’t understand… he gets worked up and thinks everyone is after him, or he always arrives late for the meeting – or gets sick during presentations… There is always a reason why people react and behave as they do. Our norms and culture give us some answers, but we don’t know the person’s own reasons. Maybe he’s just anxious?
Some companies are geared to handle you and your anxiety in their personal style and culture, and larger companies have hired Human Resources to take care of employees’ well-being and development. Some can even help you with a therapy process and are willing to restructure the nature and flow of tasks to meet your needs.
But that’s not always the case. Sometimes, you will experience that it is one of your colleagues’ needs that affects you and your workflow. Anxiety can push many work processes, so it’s important to address the word anxiety. The more open you are about your anxiety, the easier it is for others to create healthy environments that suit you, and you will be better able to make the effort you want to make.
Openness about anxiety expands tolerance among colleagues. Openness about anxiety also shows self-responsibility and self-insight. It is something that can strengthen humanity in the workplace and make the workplace a good place to be – even with anxiety.
When Anxiety Affects You During Education
Have you chosen an education based on what you dream of doing in the future, or have you chosen your education based on whether you get anxiety or not?
Many experience their first anxiety in their teenage years. It is during the teenage years that choices for education are made. Even though the dream education has been conscious for many years, the choice itself can suddenly be jeopardized by the discovery of the demands and expectations encountered at educational institutions. It can be demands for performance, achievement, social interaction, presentations and lectures, or communal eating – situations that can trigger anxiety.
Fear of failure and not being good enough or belonging compels many young people to bypass their actual dream education and instead choose a secure and safe education, which, in the long run, they do not desire or become happy with. Many hops around, and some are fortunate to find alternatives that make them happy anyway – others end up on shelves where they don’t belong.
But what can you do if you have anxiety and need to choose education? Or if you are already in the process of taking your education and have anxiety?
Anxiety is not just a thought. Anxiety is also physical. It is true that anxiety can start with a thought, but you will quickly experience the physical reactions spreading through your body with a pounding heart, shaking hands, a pit in the stomach, and many other anxiety symptoms.