Although I’ve suffered through anxiety more than half my life, I can’t help but think that there are many different avenues and triggers for anxiety.
We all have our ‘thing’ so to speak that makes us anxious. Whether it’s being alone, driving, going somewhere with friends, etc…
But for me I’ve noticed that other things might ‘trigger’ those anxious thoughts and feelings for me without even realizing it’s a trigger.
Over the past few months since becoming much stronger and more in control of my anxiety, I’ve been so much more aware at different aspects of my life and really trying to narrow down what things make me uncomfortable…but more so WHY?
Today I am talking about the comparison trap that we as women, and men, face on.the.daily.
Let me give you an example:
It’s been a day for you. The kids are in need of an exorcism, dinner is the last thing on your mind, your husband won’t be home until after bed time, and you have to sit at soccer practice for 2 hours tonight after you ‘make dinner.’ Aren't you stressed just reading that? Welcome to my Monday’s friends!
Anyways, you need a break. So what do you do?
Get on Instagram.
HEEEYY, Becky worked out today! That’s nice, I didn't.
I see that Jennifer made a healthy smoothie for her kids breakfast…I’ve walked by my husbands birthday cake 34 times this morning and taken a bite each time.
What’s that, Lindsey is on a vacation again in Hawaii wearing a bikini? We are still trying to pay off that hospital bill that will take us 2 years and I need a bigger size swimsuit this year so there is that…
Just then you are interrupted by one of your kids crying because someone took their barbie shoe, and back to reality it goes.
And that my friends, is why you have anxiety. That is why you can never get off that anxiety train. You are front and center inside the first train car just screaming at the conductor to toot the horn and drive faster. You don’t want to get off and explore all the world has, and see all the blessings around you. You would rather stay on the ‘train’, be miserable, hate your life, and never feel good about yourself.
Also, not sure if the train analogy did it for you, because the second I started writing that I remembered I knew nothing about trains…
What I’m trying to say is that, life is stressful. Kids are stressful, jobs are sucky, bills are the worst, and sometimes relationships break us. So why on earth do we get on social media and start comparing our lives to others ‘highlight reel’? How can we expect to be at peace and have gratitude when we are literally hating everything around us…and feeling completely inadequate.
It is causing us anxiety, and we don’t even know it! It’s the precursor to an anxiety attack in a situation already tough for us. Think about it!
If i’m being honest my friends, I want you to know that I have deeply struggled with this. It happens so naturally for me, that I don’t even realize how sometimes comparing myself and my life to others is such a habit. And when I feel that way it prevents me from being happy and confident in my abilities because I am already feeling so many negative emotions.
I know it’s hard to see others happy, when inside you aren’t. It’s hard to see others take their kids to Disneyland when you can’t even really afford to take your family to the movies. I know how hard it is when everyone around you can eat whatever the hell they want and you have to watch so much of what you eat that it really affects the way you view your body. And it’s the worst to see a happy marriage when you feel like your whole relationship is falling apart…
But I promise friends that the second you allow yourself to walk away from toxic comparison, usually via social media, everything gets better. Sure, our life situation might not change, but when you aren’t weighed down with depression and anxiety from looking at someone else’s ‘perfect life’, you are SO.MUCH.HAPPIER. You can do life, and all that it throws at you…at sometimes, some of those things don’t even seem that bad. You begin to see how blessed you really are.
Think about who you follow on social media, or who you compare yourself too:
Do you leave their influence feeling….influenced? It comes down to a basic question…Do you leave happier or more depressed?
I’ll end on another analogy…and don’t worry, it has nothing to do with trains. Let’s just state that from here on out I will never make a train analogy again ok?
I was sitting in church on Mother’s Day and a lady behind me made a comment that has stuck with me so hard it’s never going anywhere. She said that when she was in middle school her class was having a major cheating problem. So the teacher decided without telling the students that he would give each student a different test. When everyone got their grades back, majority of the class failed because they had all tried to cheat off each other, without realizing no one had the same test.
Think about that for a second in terms of what that has to do with life…
We all have our own test. We all have our own questions that need our own personal answers…Lastly, we all have our own challenges and strengths. NO ONE IS THE SAME. So why would we try and ‘cheat’ off someone else’s life that looks completely different than our own…it just doesn’t make sense.
Not bad for a non-train analogy huh?
I truly love you friends, we have to be in this together. With support and love!!!