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Anxiety Support
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Living Abroad with Anxiety?

Hi everyone! This is my first post, but I wanted to immediately dive into my anxiety and my concerns that I've had recently.

I've had anxiety for as long as I can remember, from toddler to adolescent to adult. I've recently been focusing on how to cope with it enough so that I'm not missing out on all of the things I want to do. I am very adventurous, interested in other cultures, always wanting to explore and learn learn learn. But my anxiety always holds me back because I'm afraid that it will paralyze me like it has in the past.

I am currently applying to teach English abroad in a non-English speaking country. I fully understand the implications that come with being an anxious person in a country where nothing is familiar. I have been contemplating and preparing for this for close to two years. This includes becoming familiar with cultural differences, becoming familiar with the language, researching past English teachers' experiences, etc. I am not here to have people talk me out of this choice, because I know if I don't take this leap I will regret it and view it as a huge loss caused by my anxiety.

What I am interested in, however, is how others have dealt with being surrounded by unfamiliarity or if they have had similar conerns. While in college I studied abroad for a semester in Europe in a very westernized country with a good amount of English speakers. That particular experience was absolutely horrendous but mainly due to being at the darkest point of my depression (which will always be a part of me, but is not something that is a concern; meaning I don't consider myself depressed now, but I know how to catch it and work through it if I start showing signs again).

My anxiety affects my life here, at home, and I am currently discovering knew ways to work through it. I know it will get worse if my application is accepted and I move to a new country. I have a close friend that will also be teaching there and I plan on working to form connections with other expats even before moving (even though I'm very introverted).

I mainly would just like to start talking and connecting with others who are experiencing or have experienced similar things! Thanks for reading all of that!


3 Replies

Calm your mind, Rae, no matter how long you have experienced anxiety you can recover. Though you have suffered even from your childhood you can still regain your peace of mind, your freedom from anxious thoughts and the depression that cones out of anxiety.

You have simply to apply a new way of thinking, a new perception of anxiety and how it impacts on your life. Maybe your anxiety is genetic, still you can gain your quiet mind. A new perception of anxiety: stop fighting the bad feelings, fighting only causes more tension and stress. Your netvous system has had enough of that surely. That only generates more fear which is the fuel on which your anxiety thrives.

So no more fighting, instead when you feel the symptoms of your over-sensitised nervous system simply accept it. Accept the bad feelings for the time being and simply carry on with that which you must do.

Anxiety does not have the power to kill, to disable or to send us crazy. All the syptoms of anxiety, the bad feelings, are mereky fake symptoms of an over wrought nervous system weighed down by the constant fear you send its way. Why be frightened of fake symptoms, fake feelings, why be cowered by a thought?

So instead accept completely, calmly and free of fear. Let the bad feelings have their way, they have had their day, they are on the way out be cause you cannot both accept the bad feelings and fear them at the same time,

Let the bad feelings come, you can still carry on despite them, fearlessly because you now know that anxiety is a fraud and a fake and it's power is limited.

And in the fullness of time your tired nervous system begins to recover, nolonger fueled by fear, and you gain your freedom from anxious thoughts simply because you changed your perception of anxiety and began to accept it rather than fight it.


Rae, congrats for this big step. I love traveling as well and I always think about my anxieties. In a trip overseas, I had to face my anxiety at the highest level at that time. It was so bad that I had to go to a hospital right after arrival. However, they immediately told me it ws anxiety and didn't even charge me for the visit. Anyway, the rest of the trip I wa still oversentitized but I had some people around me that helped me cope with it. The key is to be prepared. If you can confide to your friend doing the same program about your concerns, go ahead. It's good to have someone for moral support when you need it. You'll be busy, so that's a good thing. I was under a lot of pressure at the time, but I traveled again and the experience was amazing! You already know you're an anxious person, so just take a deep breath and enjoy your trip. This will be a life changing experience and you will be just fine. Wish you the best!

1 like

Thank you for this! I'm known to not talk about what I'm feeling or my concerns, but I have begun opening up to this friend and I know she'll be a good support when I'm feeling overwhelmed.

Thank you so much for your support and I'm glad you were able to enjoy your traveling time! Hope you can do it again soon and have an even better experience.


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