#ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike Sheds Light on Anxiety

Over the weekend, I was feeling anxious. This isn’t surprising, since I have a chronic anxiety disorder. My anxiety tends to heighten when I am sick. I had strep throat, and was lonely and sad. I texted a friend to plan an upcoming trip across the country. When I didn’t hear back from her, I started to worry. What if she was mad at me? Did I somehow offend her and didn’t know it? I decided to tweet about my feelings (as I do sometimes when I am anxious) and used the hashtag #ThisIsWHatAnxietyFeelsLike. People were responsive and supportive. They commiserated with my feelings of being anxious waiting for a friend to text back. It was then that I knew this could grow into something larger. That’s when I decided to open the floor up for other people to share their stories about what anxiety feels like to them.

I invited people to share their stories about living with anxiety. <a rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/TheSarahFader/
I invited people to share their stories about living with anxiety. TheSarahFader on Twitter

The floodgates opened and the anxious thoughts started rolling in. It was inspiring to know that I am not alone in the way that anxiety overwhelms me. Anxiety affects people in a variety of different ways. Anxiety feels different to each individual person.It was refreshing to read about people’s experiences with anxiety. This tweet was a great example of a physiological metaphor exemplifies anxiety:

Here is what anxiety feels like to her.  <a rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/LaLaLaRuex/status/830543381872918528" ta
Here is what anxiety feels like to her. This viral tweet is still making its rounds on Twitter

Or this tweet quoting Carrie Fisher:

<a rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/JoyPearson/status/830515771230924800" target="_blank">Joy quotes Carrie Fisher wh

Before I knew it there was a burgeoning community of anxious people sharing their thoughts about how anxiety touches their lives. Some tweets were poignant, while others were humorous. I related to so many of them, and anxiously strove to keep up with sharing all of the tweets that used the hashtag. It was a thrilling experience to see so many people connect with this hashtag.

Laura speaks about anxiety
Laura speaks about anxiety
<a rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/LindsayBissett/status/830559635387985920" target="_blank">We are not weak, we are
We are not weak, we are anxious
<a rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/soupernic/status/830572125043978240" target="_blank">Being mentally paralyzed by
<a rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/OutNumberedisMe/status/830637221623508992" target="_blank">Obsessing about the fu
Obsessing about the future
<a rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/RealSarahC/status/830511122901917696" target="_blank">Sobbing anxiously</a>
Sobbing anxiously
<a rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/katatwell/status/831016252680310784" target="_blank">When your boss wants to talk
<a rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/CulturalSavage/status/830930791399985154" target="_blank">When your stomach is ki
When your stomach is killing you
<a rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/literarilyjess/status/830796356319006721" target="_blank">High functioning anxiet
High functioning anxiety exists

Some people even wrote blog posts inspired by the hashtag.

<a rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/coco_linell/status/830795977602772992" target="_blank">Coco blogs about anxiety</
Coco blogs about anxiety
Melissa overthinks on her blog. <a rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/MelisLov/status/831149385811640320" target="_blan
Melissa overthinks on her blog. She's probably overthinking this
<a rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/bcuzimrussian/status/830610013781630976" target="_blank">Anxiety is an unwelcome
<a rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/WriterDann/status/831147458793140226" target="_blank">Dann wrote a blog post abou

I’m overwhelmed (pun intended) by the support for #ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike. I even created a separate Twitter account for it @AnxietyHashtag. Thank you to everyone who participated in this viral anxious movement. I love you all.

<a rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/SchizophrenicNY" target="_blank">Art by SchizophrenicNY</a>
Art by SchizophrenicNY
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