Poems About Anxiety To Help You Relax
Being anxious is a strong state to be in, and it can be hard to deal with at times. When things are hard, art can often help us express what's bothering us. Poems about anxiety may help you manage these difficult emotions. It can be such a relief when someone else expresses the feelings you've been trying to put into words for so long. Poetry can help you remember that you're not alone.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is common, but there are ways to manage it. Many people experience anxious moments, but if you have an anxiety disorder, fear, worry, and stress persist and can even increase over time.
If you've been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you may find that art helps you manage it. Poetry, in particular, can be a source of expression and comfort. If you deal with challenging levels of anxiety, we hope this poetry brings you calm and a sense of understanding.
Famous Poems About Anxiety
Believe it or not, there are many well-known poems about anxiety. Consider "The Teacher's Monologue" by Charlotte Bronte. You'll find a relevant stanza from this poem below:
My happiest hours, aye! all the time,
I love to keep in memory,
Lapsed among moors, ere life's first prime
Decayed to dark anxiety.
Here, Bronte says that, while she loves to remember the good things that have happened to her, dark anxiety always finds a way to creep in and cover everything she loves. If you have anxiety, you know all too well how it feels when that famous black cloud rolls in.
Some poets have overcome anxiety and, through their writing, attempt to show us that we, too, can overcome it with time. Take, for example, Stephen Dunn's "Poem for People that are Understandably Too Busy to Read Poetry." He sums it all up in his first two lines:
This won't last long.
It goes on to say:
You see, I want this poem to be nicer
than life. I want you to look at it
when anxiety zigzags your stomach
and the last tranquilizer is gone
and you need someone to tell you
I’ll be here when you want me
like the sound inside a shell.
This poem is a reminder that time heals all wounds and that this, too, shall pass. Sometimes, when your palms are sweaty, you can't breathe, and your heart is racing a hundred miles an hour, you think you will feel this way forever. Maybe you even feel like death may happen. But it's a comfort to have someone reminding you that this will all be over soon. Even in such a heightened state, you may be able to believe it if the poetry really speaks to you.
Sometimes, one of the best ways to ground yourself is to get in tune with nature so you can breathe. From a calm breeze and the carefree tweets of the birds to the warm sunshine and the peace of a leaf floating on the wind, nature can bring us back to our very core. It can turn down the noise and turn up the volume on what's most important in life.
Rose Styron catches these moments perfectly in her short poem, "Untitled [No One's Awake]":
No one's awake
but us, and a bird.
The day's too beautiful
to speak a word.
Styron captures the peace and beauty of the early morning and barely says anything at all. This poem is a great example of how less can be so much more.
Some of the greatest poets have had anxiety. It makes sense that they would write poems about it to express themselves, whether they felt uncomfortable talking to other people or felt that writing expressed their emotions better than anything they could say aloud.
If you've tried to find poems about anxiety, you know it's difficult. Perhaps it's because the stigma attached to anxiety disorders makes it hard for some people to discuss this topic. Or, perhaps poets characterize their feelings as something else, not realizing they have anxiety. Regardless, when you find a poem that strikes a chord with you, print it out or copy it down. Do whatever you can to save it because these are precious tools to help you manage your anxiety.
Take, for instance, the poem "Wait" by Galway Kinnell. Here, Kinnell harnesses the hopelessness that anxiety can bring and offers reasons why you should continue to hold onto hope.
Wait, for now.
Distrust everything if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven't they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become interesting.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again;
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. The desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.
Don't go too early.
You're tired. But everyone's tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a little and listen:
music of hair,
music of pain,
music of looms weaving our loves again.
Be there to hear it; it will be the only time,
most of all to hear your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.
Additional Help With Anxiety
If anxiety is a serious issue for you and your mental health, you may want to find a counselor to talk to to help you work through it. Talking to friends or reading poetry might help, but it may not be enough when things get challenging. With your therapist’s guidance, emotional support, and understanding, you will discover what might be causing your anxiety and find ways to resolve it.
Online therapy has many benefits, especially for those with anxiety. When you feel anxious, the thought of going to treatment can be overwhelming. With online therapy, you don’t have to worry about finding a local therapist with an open appointment, commuting to their office, and sitting down and talking face-to-face. When you sign up with BetterHelp, you’ll be matched with a qualified therapist and can start therapy from the comfort of your own home.
Research indicates that online therapy is effective, too, especially for anxiety. One study shows that online therapy had “significant and clinically meaningful improvements in depression and anxiety scores relative to baseline” at 12 weeks post-treatment and sustained for six months. If you're coping with anxiety, you don’t have to do it alone. Online therapy can help.
"Dr. Munyan was so helpful! I am dealing with a lot of anxiety and he provided so many amazing ways for me to handle it better. Definitely would recommend him."
"Natasha has been a truly amazing counselor! I now feel that I have the confidence to face challenges as they come. Natasha helped me to reflect on why I might be feeling a certain way, while providing me with some tools to cope with my anxiety as needed. She was incredibly understanding and helped me to set realistic goals with myself and others. Not only can I tell that our counseling sessions helped, but also others have commented on the positive changes I have made. She's awesome!"
When you live with anxiety, poems about it can help you relax because they let you know you’re not alone. Sometimes, though, the right poem might not be enough. If you’re ready to seek help for your anxiety symptoms, reach out to a BetterHelp therapist to get started.
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