06/30/2016 05:32 am ET Updated Jul 01, 2017

Anxiety of What Other People Think of You

Struggling to keep up with appearances because of anxiety? Deep rooted anxiety that stems from your past can easily ruin your present moment experience. It's what happened to me when I decided to leave my past behind, only to find myself stuck in a whirlwind of emotions that kept dragging me down. Drugs and alcohol dominated my teenage life, and I was spending a lot of my time with people who shared similar interests. When the cord was cut for good, I found myself struggling to make new connections with people who have different interests.

This was the moment in my life where I began to learn about emotional patterns, and the way they influence my life, whether for good purposes or bad. We all have to start somewhere, and for me that was the process of recognizing the negative emotions within me, and gradually teaching myself to step out of my comfort zone and experience new things, like meeting new people and enjoying new passions in life. In many regards, the point of letting go of the past was what helped me to establish a much clearer picture for the future.

Coping with a new way of living

Since a new road had to be paved, it was only natural that I began to experience anxieties and fears in regards to how people perceived me. On one side, I had my past relationships that didn't fulfill the best version of me, and then I had new people who'd come into my life -- people who I knew very little about, and naturally felt guarded against. It makes a lot of sense that we get scared of new experiences, of new adventures in life.

A positive thing in my life that helped me to move forward was meditation. With the understanding of my emotional patterns and a lot of time on my hands to explore this new way of being -- meditation naturally became something that helped me to stay centered, focused on this process of coping with new experiences in life.

Forgiving yourself, your past

For the longest time, once I had left the toxic environment behind, I found myself struggling to forgive myself, and those who influenced my past. Blame and guilt kept arising in my emotional state of being, and for almost 2 years I was completely closed down from any external influences, perhaps that's a small amount of time compared to what some other people have to go through, but regardless it was a hugely ghastly period in my life.

Forgiveness helped me to understand that it isn't always the fault of myself, or the fault of others for the experiences that have presented themselves. In all fairness, some of the things we experience in life are for our greatest benefit, for the greater good. If it wasn't for my hectic behavior during my teenage years, I would have never developed a true understanding, a true compassionate point of view towards those who're still struggling with these problems themselves.

As much as I'd like to say to the contrary, it's unlikely that the people in my past had any idea of what they are doing, or the kind of influences they made in mine and other people's lives during this process of self-abuse and overstimulation of sensitive emotions. Forgiveness brought forward all these insights and knowledge about the openness of life, the beauty of life when it gracefully orchestrates so many of our pivotal and adamant experiences.

Less anxiety and more listening to your heart

I'm very keen to explore this topic in-depth during the next couple of years, and have already written a fairly concise introduction for understanding the multiple layers of emotional healing that are involved with treating anxiety without the help of medication, rather you could look in the direction of meditation which acts as a natural calming remedy for your nervous system.

The main point is that when we experience anxiety, we're actually dealing with some unresolved expectations within ourselves, which are often fears of rejection and fears of being seen as someone who isn't worthy of the attention of other people. But the heart knows best. If we've decided to change our lives for the better, or wish to experience new things, then the only thing standing in our way is going to be us ourselves.

Sometimes you have to give yourself the necessary amount of time to process your past, your hurts, and then when you're starting to feel much more comfortable with yourself -- that is when you can begin to experiment with openly sharing yourself with the world.