Whether you suffer from anxiety on a daily basis, or if it’s triggered by certain events or deadlines, we can all agree that anxiety is everywhere in our culture and it feels awful.

It seems that we are all affected by anxiety at some point in our life. And then there are those of us who live with anxiety on a daily basis.

When we feel anxious we are tense, our heart rate increases, and we tend to focus on the future rather than the present.

Anxiety steals our joy and our little moments.

But, for a long time, anxiety was a way of life for me. I would go to bed full of worry. Scanning through my list of “what ifs.”

I lived that way for my entire life until I did one thing that has lessened that feeling of anxiety to almost none at all.

And, that was to tell someone my secrets.

Letting Light In

Eventually, my anxiety and worry got to the point that it caused me to have a breakdown.

I had held it all in and all together for so long and tried to deal with it on my own.

But once I had my breakdown, I ended up seeing a counselor, and that is when the healing began.

By simply telling someone else what I had been privately dealing with on my own for so long took the burden off of me. I was pushing the darkness out and letting in the light in the form of validation and compassion.

Once you know you don’t have to go it alone, there is a great sense of relief. And, simply talking to someone about your worry and anxiety can take that constant buzz in the back of your mind and move it to a place that is visited only some of the time and not all of the time.

Secrets are shame being hidden

When we release our secrets, we are releasing shame.

We hide and ignore our worry and pain thinking that by doing so we can make it go away. But, actually the opposite happens.

Suppressed feelings actually get worse not better.

‘Shame cannot survive being spoken.’ ~Brene Brown Click To Tweet

Once we speak our shame, we have the freedom and power to be who we are meant to be. We can become the best version of ourselves.

Sharing with the right person

Remember, sharing your secrets will absolutely lower your anxiety IF you share with the right person. Choose a trusted friend, family member, or counselor who will be compassionate.

One of the worst things that someone could do is deny how you are feeling. No matter how outrageous our worries can seem, they feel real to us. And, validation goes a long way in the healing process.

So, release your deep, dark secrets into a safe place. Let go of the burden of carrying the weight on your own. You might be surprised that your secret just might help someone else too.

PS — Have you taken the Brave & Bold Challenge yet? Your life is waiting.

Originally published at www.bridgettepetrino.com on October 1, 2016.

Originally published at medium.com