by Jonathan Pishner

What if there are certain people who “aren’t allowed” to have anxiety? What would happen if they struggled with constant stress and couldn’t tell anyone? Having to keep anxiety a secret can be very painful.

When you think of someone suffering from anxiety, it’s easy to picture a certain type of person. Someone who lives paycheck to paycheck, someone studying for their final exam, or someone who just lost their job. These people are allowed to have anxiety.

But many don’t know that there are a lot of people who look like they “have it all together”, while internally, they’re suffering. And many of them are scared to admit it to anyone.

Picture the high level corporate executive who drives a Lexus. If he needs to talk about his stress, who can he feel comfortable telling? How many people would look at him and just dismiss his worries because he “has it all?”

Now picture a doctor with a thriving practice. If he’s anxious and stressed all the time, who could he tell? It would have to be scary, because he would wonder about that secret getting out. He would wonder who would actually go see a doctor that struggles with anxiety.

These same ideas apply to all kinds of people who can look great on the outside, but might be hurting inside. This could apply to: business owners; entrepreneurs; teachers; police officers; firefighters; executives; lawyers; doctors; soldiers; nurses; counselors; psychologists; surgeons; public speakers; and on and on.

Look at the list above. Now ask yourself how many of those people would be very afraid to admit to anyone that they had high anxiety.

I’m betting the answer is “all of them.”

So what can you do if you’re one of the people who struggles with high anxiety and can’t tell anyone?

The first thing is to recognize that you’re not alone. Almost everyone, no matter how good their life looks, will experience high stress at some point in their lives. The funny thing about humans is that we accidentally create much of our own stress, and the more “successful” we become, the more we tend to create extra stress. If this applies to you, know that you’re not the only one reading this article and thinking “that sounds like me.”

The second thing is to know that anxiety doesn’t have to be permanent. Anxiety is usually a problem that can be solved. Some people see a counselor. Some meditate. Some redesign their lifestyle. A simple Google search on “how to fight anxiety” returned over 53 million results, so there are a lot of things that have worked for other people. Even if yours has lasted a long time, you should view it as something that can have an end.

The last thing is that some people just need to be heard. Find someone who can listen non-judgmentally to you. Some people choose counseling for that, and we’ve worked with a lot of people who “aren’t allowed” to have anxiety. But some people choose to talk with spouses, spiritual advisors, friends, and others. The important part is to find someone who won’t get judgmental over the fact that you have high anxiety, just because you also happen to have “a great job”, “plenty of money”, or “everything.”

And remember, it’s not just you. There are plenty of people who struggle with stress and anxiety, even though you wouldn’t know it just by looking at them.

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