Worth Living Ambassador Kara Lynn
Kara Lynn graduated university with a B.A in Psychology and is in the final years of Psychiatric nursing. Being an avid mental health advocate, Kara is able to offer therapeutic programs to aid in challenges that people face while being able to bring awareness and enlightenment to those within the community to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.Not all mental illnesses come from trauma, and not all traumas inspire mental illnesses, however these are paired among society.That said, Kara is also a motivational speaker, looking to inspire and encourage others to live a healthy, positive and full life.
Anxiety disorders can occur for a variety of reasons. Alcohol abuse, medical conditions such as an underlying endocrine disease that causes nervous system hyperactivity, and stress are just a few examples.
Although anxiety has been considered by some as a condition to be feared or frowned upon, anxiety is a much needed component for our survival. Every living being has some level of anxiety. It is a key component in threatening situations and is part of the fight or flight response in the sympathetic nervous system. Your fight or flight mechanism ensures greatest possibility of protection by providing increased energy in potential danger situations. Research has also shown that low levels of anxiety lead to greater risk of death, therefore making anxiety crucial to our survival.
This is all important to confirm you are not alone in this.
Taking deep breaths tend to ease tension in times of stress and apprehensive situations, while allowing the mind to bring its focus back to a less agitated state.
In 2015 I lost my best friend. I had arrived home from work and received a call from one of my oldest friends.
In a quick moment, my mental and physical state changed.
For the first time, I found it difficult to breath and the only words I could muster were “I’m so sorry”, as if it were somehow my fault that he was no longer with us. In an instant, I took the blame for an unforeseeable and unfortunate outcome. The anxiety I had felt consumed me. It took my logical and practical thought and replaced it with what felt like irrational feelings.
I thought I could have done more to prevent it. But I couldn’t. You can’t control the inevitable even if the inevitable is unexpected and may be preventable. When you seek control and guidance, anxiety will take away clarity and leave behind uncertainty. It takes away your potential to understand situations and instead leaves you with questions that hinder your actions.
It was the first time I had ever truly experienced loss. There was a constant weight that sat centre on my chest everyday as I lay in bed and the most simple tasks such as eating became daunting.
An attempt to return to work proved unsuccessful. Stepping out from the four walls of my bedroom into what felt unknown frightened me. I’d make it part way then find myself returning home. Back to the comfort of my own home, to my own bed which became my sanctuary, with my cat who stayed snuggled by my side. As I would lie in bed, the weight on my chest would grow heavier. It was as if someone was laying on top of me, restricting me from movement.
I pride myself on being pollyanna. I could no longer just sit in bed, basking in sorrow. It didn’t make my situation easier, if anything it was more difficult. It seemed to heighten my current state of emotion.
Did I stop hurting? No, absolutely not. But I refused to give up. I devoted all my attention into school and found daily activities that could ease what I had been feeling for months. I put my focus in the gym, improving my health and lifestyle while removing alcohol in its entirety. Slowly, I began to see the outcome I desired. I no longer perceived anxiety as a venomous snake holding me back from what I wanted to achieve. It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight but I continued to strive for results that fed my eagerness to overcome what set me back for months.
Finding motivation in people you surround yourself with while using resources to return yourself to a happy medium helps to discover what you desire and what it takes for you to conquer your biggest fears. Start small.
It takes work and dedication. In some cases, the anxiety may never fully diminish. However, each step forward is a step toward success and overcoming your obstacle. Find what works best for you.
Life isn’t always about what you don’t have, it’s about what you have and finding ways to enjoy them. Life can be grim and uninviting if you allow it. Investing time and energy into activities and resources can uplift your mood and provide the proper coping skills in anxious situations.
Keep a journal close by, write down what made your day enjoyable and what didn’t. Look for improvement in unfortunate moments. Find the good in the bad, the happy in the sad. Everything happens for a reason. We may not want to believe it because those unfortunate moments hinder our ability to see past the negative, but the positive is there. Search for it.
I’m blessed that I got to spend half my life laughing until my sides hurt and making bets where I could win for a dinner at the Keg. I’m forever grateful for the abundant knowledge I’ve received from him.
What works for some doesn’t work for all. Finding what lifts your spirits, what inspires you, and what motivates you will have the greatest impact on your future.