Home  >  Latest News  >  Hub World: Anxiety

Hub World: Anxiety

This August, our focus at Safe In Our World has shifted to the topic of anxiety and panic.

This month on Hub World, we wanted to look within our community for their stories, experiences, and coping mechanisms for anxiety. Anxiety is something we’ve covered a lot throughout various podcasts, personal stories, and games – so we wanted to bring it all together to highlight key stories within our theme.

What is anxiety?

Let’s start by looking at what anxiety is. Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel worried or anxious about sitting an exam or before a job interview. During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal.

However, anxiety can become abnormal if it interferes with your day-today activities.

heads of people walking within a crowd outside. Closer silhouettes are out of focus.

If being anxious means feeling more fearful and tenser than you would playing a game of high-intensity Mario Kart, than what physical symptoms should you look out for?

For example, you may experience:

  • a fast heart rate
  • a feeling of sickness (nausea)
  • the sensation of having a ‘thumping heart’, also known as palpitations
  • shaking (tremor)
  • sweating
  • dry mouth
  • chest pain
  • headache

Hub World Anxiety Stories

Lots of our Safe In Our World affiliates experience anxiety, and have been open in talking about their experiences. Let’s take a look at some:

Existential Anxiety & How FFIX Helped Liam Wilson – Safe Space Podcast

Ambassador Mxiety talks about how live-streaming a mental health talk show gave her purpose, after a particularly bad dip in depression and anxiety symptoms in 2017.

My mental illnesses, it seemed, had won and taken everything away from me. I left work defeated. I felt no control over my life anymore and saw no reason to keep going at all.

Ambassador Lara Jackson talks about her experience in playing Journey, how it eased her anxiety, and how she found importance in ‘walking simulators’.

There’s no anxiety over saying the right or wrong thing, trying to impress people or attempting to make small talk, because you simply don’t have that power.

Games & Anxiety

One of the reasons that Safe In Our World stands today is because of Emily Mitchell, and her game Fractured Minds. Emily won a Young Game Designers BAFTA competition at just 16 for her portrayal of her anxiety within Fractured Minds.

We have a number of games in our list relating to anxiety, check them out below!

  • SymSym aims to show the player what social anxiety is like. The game is challenging, as is navigating social anxiety, which reflects well as a daily struggle that many face.
  • Journey Journey is the embodiment of the phrase ‘it’s about the journey, not the destination’. This game is a highly meditative experience which follows the life cycle of a lone wanderer, who’s making a pilgrimage to a tall mountain peak.
  • Celeste Help Madeline survive her inner demons on her journey to the top of Celeste Mountain, in this super-tight, hand-crafted platformer
  • Kind WordsKind Words provides a safe space for you to write out these feelings, as you sit in a cosy virtual room and send anonymous letter requests to a vast community of players.
  • You Feel Like ShitYou Feel Like Shit is a website aimed at helping you ground yourself whilst practising self-care.

Thought Processes

We spoke to SariaSlays, one of our Ambassadors, who also experiences anxiety.

When I used to study Psychology there was something that really stuck out to me as an analogy that I try to use in my daily challenges with anxiety that I’d love to share. It’s based on CBT constructs, but I just always used to enjoy how it was explained!
“Anxiety puts blinkers on us, much like race horses whose only goal is to get to the finish line. With anxiety, these blinkers can block out a clearer view of how a situation should really be viewed, and instead forces us to zone in only on the threatening elements of a situation which can trigger the most anxiety. It’s basically a part of our instincts, our fight or flight response, but it’s not always a helpful way to look at things.
A great way to start removing these blinkers is to challenge yourself, challenge your thoughts – because thoughts are not always facts, and when we’re in an anxious state we are less likely to see that clearer picture. The best thought challenge for me is “What would someone else say about this situation?” because I am a champion at giving other people great advice, and not practicing what I preach!
Putting myself in someone else’s shoes really brings me back to reality and helps me see that things might not really be as terrible, scary, threatening as it may have initially seemed.
And it may not be easy, but working your way towards removing those blinkers will be a positive step not only towards winning your race against anxiety, but also being able to finally see everyone else who is cheering you on in the crowd!”
Check out previous Hub World articles below and find resources on anxiety here.