“Anxiety is fashionable nowadays”. Yes stranger on my morning commute to University, you would be correct in thinking that now, more than ever, people will admit to struggling with mental health illnesses. And strangely, Mr Stranger, I actually agree with you that it is fashionable to say you have said condition. As someone who has been crippled with anxiety, who has had their supposedly ‘perfect’ life ruined by that very demon, I feel like I’m perfectly informed to make that conclusion.
Before you embark on a mass unfollow of all my social media platforms, hear me out.
Not a day goes by when somebody isn’t writing a blog post, just like this one, about their anxiety. Thanks to greater social acceptance, suffers are no longer ashamed to become public with this dark shadow. Some critics have said this sudden lack of embarrassment is a way to become more relatable, and more popular on social platforms. It’s essentially click bait. Like it or not, people are nosey and like to know that they are not alone. But why should this be a bad thing? Surely the more people who ‘come forward’, the more understanding society will have, and the fewer hurdles people will have to jump to get access to coping tools and treatment. So what if so-called ‘popular’ bloggers and youtubers, and even celebrities, mention their anxiety every day. To me they are simply raising awareness and tolerance for a condition that has so long be seen as taboo, and showing the world that you can be a high-achieving, successful human being whilst suffering from a mental health illness. If it takes away even the smallest amount of fear or confusion from someone, then I’m glad and happy that anxiety is fashionable.
It’s thanks to anxiety’s ‘new’ status that some rather helpful products are emerging, helping people to control and challenge their worries. One of those is The Happiness Planner. Available in both a dated, and undated version, the Happiness Planner is essentially a regular planner, with a special focus on mindfulness. Now, I’ve had a bit of experience with mindfulness. To date, I’ve had two courses of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), one with a more traditional mediative focus, the other focusing more on challenging. Neither approach is wrong, different ways work for different people and the second just happens to suit me better. Whatever method you prefer, this planner is the perfect way to practice the techniques and cement them into your lifestyle. It’s the ideal companion.
With the aim of encouraging a healthy mindset and showing users that they have control over their attitude, you get out what you put in. This is the undated 100 day edition of the planner, perfect for giving as a gift at any time of the year. Featuring a section focusing on your lifestyle at present (what makes you happy, unhappy, your goals etc), 100 daily planner pages, weekly reflections and goals, and a 100 day review at the end, the planner lets you look at the bigger picture, rather than small details (something I do when anxious). Although day by day, you focus on the here and now, the reflections are so useful to learn from. After a couple of weeks I’d found my long-hidden triggers and have been able to challenge them. Anyone with anxiety will tell you that recovery is a slow learning curve but it’s tools like this that make the entire process that bit easier.
Do you have anxiety? What tools do you use to keep it at bay and learn from it?