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5 Things Anyone Suffering With Anxiety Can Relate To

It's not just about constant panic and worrying.
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Mental health in general is still not completely understood by society despite the fact that a lot of people continue to battle with it in silence. "I think there's little question that there's more anxiety today, and that women, in particular, are feeling it," says JoAnn E. Manson, M.D., chief of the division of preventive medicine at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital. She also adds, "I see it not only among patients but with friends, colleagues and people I interact with daily." 

Depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses are often overlooked because it's a sickness no one notices; it's a condition that a person decides to fight on their own because they're afraid that they would be judged by everyone around them.

There are different kinds of anxiety, like social anxiety disorder and compulsive disorder, but anxiety in general is not just about worrying all the time—it's bigger than that. Most people suffering with anxiety have to deal with fear, frustrations, and feelings of uneasy; if you're one of them, here are a few things you'll surely understand:

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  1. Meeting new people can be a challenge.

"Will they like me?", "What if they think I'm boring?", "Oh no, I should just cancel meeting up with them". These are legit concerns for someone with social phobia; it's nothing to be embarrassed about.

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If you're suffering from social anxiety disorder, you are always afraid that people would judge you. You're fearful of what others perceive about you before even before meeting them!

  1. People think you're just shy.

Just because you don't prefer to do small talk with others doesn't mean that you're not capable of doing so. You're just scared of what other people would think once you try striking up any kind of conversation with someone else. Being shy and awkward is totally different from social anxiety issues; people with this disorder experience fear, anxiety, stress, embarrassment, and humiliation on a daily basis.

  1. You feel anxious about feeling anxious.

Most of the time, you worry about the thought of having to overthink and worry about anything—and the more you try to stop it, the more overwhelming it becomes. And sometimes, you don't know how to make it go away.

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According to psychiatrist Mark Banschick M.D., one way you can get over an anxiety attack is by doing meditation and breathing exercises—saying that "daily meditation can make a huge difference in your life, and it costs very little."

  1. Thinking about the future freaks you out.

Excessive worrying is not new to those who are battling it out with anxiety. Plus, you have the tendency to create problems in your head that never even existed in the first place. Because you worry about everything a little too much, you imagine scenarios that won't even possibly happen.

If chronic worrying is starting to affect your daily life, it's best to see a doctor so that your illness won't be a hindrance in living the life you want.

  1. You've had sleepless nights. 

Once again, excessively worrying about random things have somewhat kept you up all night. You start to drown in your own thoughts and before you know it, you're already neck-deep in unwanted feelings that were never in your mind in the first place.

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David Neubauer, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins Medicine and associate director at the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center in Baltimore, Maryland says it's important to get your sleep cycle in check before anything else.

"It's really like a circular pattern—emotional problems can affect sleep, and lack of sleep can affect people's emotions. There is quite a bit of overlap between symptoms of insomnia and anxiety and other mood disorders."

He also adds that people with anxiety have trouble falling and staying asleep. "The spectrum ranges from everyday kind of problems that might make us anxious and affect sleep all the way to people diagnosed with anxiety disorders who are likely to have ongoing problems." 

This story originally appeared on Femalenetwork.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.

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Ana C. Pascual for FemaleNetwork.com
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Katherine Go 2 hours ago

Cold Food

The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.

Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.

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Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.

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For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?

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Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.

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Choosing between dreams and practicality is never easy. My CETs season just ended with the release of the UPCAT results. Anxious as I logged on the website, I started to think about what would happen if I didn't pass UP. Ever since I was six years old, I fixated on the idea that I will become an iska, serving the country and studying at my dream school, which is UP. I strived and studied hard for the UPCAT, sacrificing a lot of things like hang-outs and gala weekends for reviews.

Throughout my CETs journey, I started seeing myself studying only in UP, and while there were no results yet, my friends and I already started planning our lives around the fact that we're gonna study in UP. It was a big deal for me, my friends and my family that I get the chance to study in UP since it's so far from my hometown which is Benguet, and better yet, it's a very well known university.

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January 2020 came and universities started releasing CETs results. I was expecting my DCAT and ACET results that month. I passed DCAT but brushed it off because even though I liked the school, I never really saw myself studying there. Same thoughts with Ateneo, since it never really crossed my mind that I might study in ADMU. In fact, Ateneo was never really a choice for me, I only took it just to have another choice in case I failed the UPCAT. I also applied for financial aid not because I was really planning on studying there, but more of "para lang sure na may college ako". I know it's a bad thing but they were just my back-up schools because my main goal was really UP.

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One Friday afternoon, ACET results came out. I passed, managed to get a scholarship, and in that moment, my plans just started to crumble.

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Seeing that I got a 100% tuition and fees discount, free dorm fees, and an additional book allowance got me into considering studying to Ateneo. Suddenly, I got torn between UP, my dream school, and Ateneo, which offers so much more.

As the months passed, and after talking to my parents, my plans and decisions got more jumbled and messy. I still wanted to go to UP even if there were no results yet but Ateneo offering so much would mean a lesser burden to my parents in terms of finances.

Even though my parents told me that they'll support me no matter where I choose to go, the practicality that Ateneo offers in terms of finances was not an easy thing to waive. Sometimes I would laugh at the fact that I'd spend less on a private school than on a state university. Talking to my friends helped somehow, but they also have various opinions about the two universities. I managed to tell myself to hold off the problem until UPCAT results get released, and so I did.

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UP released the UPCAT results and seeing that I passed made me scream and cry, literally. At that moment, all I was thinking was that I passed my dream school and I'm officially a QC college student.

My parents were so proud of me even though they got scared because I screamed, but ultimately, they were happy for me. The next day, I sat down, stared at my UPCAT and ACET results, and told myself that I needed to decide. This was the hardest part. I tried deciding using the pros and cons method but it didn't really work. Talking to my parents also didn't help because they'd support me either way, so their judgement was not a factor at all. I also had the same course in both schools so that wasn't a big help. I was 99% close to letting go of my dream university and decide to go to Ateneo.

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I weighed options and Ateneo was the cheaper and more practical option. I also started to see myself studying as a blue eagle, roaming around the campus etc. And financially, I didn't need to worry much except for food. At that point, I started to really like the idea of going to Ateneo more than studying in UP. But then, as the weeks went by, the Ateneo Plan started to lose my interest.

I realized that studying in Ateneo would be a great opportunity, but not something that will really make me happy. The finances and all would be so much better but I wouldn't be happy and content, and I felt that Ateneo couldn't give me everything that I wanted and needed. Then a light bulb lit up.

As I was imagining myself at UP, I ultimately felt that happiness and content that I didn't feel with Ateneo. I realized that, if I didn't study in UP, I know later in my life, I would regret it. I would regret not choosing my dream university because I didn't choose what would make me happy.

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In short, I chose my dream over practicality. I know that I would be successful in both tracks, but I simply chose my dream because it is where I'm happier and more content. Besides, we can make our dreams practical but not all the time can the practical choice equate to our dreams. So to those having a hard time choosing between dreams and practicality, weigh it out and always remember to put yourself and your happiness first. And of course, choose the choice that you know you'll not regret later on.

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