Anxy aims to de-stigmatise mental health and encourage mental wellbeing by providing an area in which to discuss emotions. It does not aim to solve them, more create a safe space in which to consider them. Above all, it succeeds in taking the fear out of opening-up. When you can’t find the words, Anxy will speak for you. In its first issue it eases the lid off our most flammable emotion: anger.
It’s quite easy to remain silent. The stiff upper lip, ‘Keep Calm and Carry on’ attitude encouraged in society has become a cultural norm; unflattering emotions must be dealt with inwardly or ignored. We also have a habit of constantly comparing ourselves with each other, reminding ourselves that our feelings are insignificant, that everyone has their own problems, that there is always someone worse off than you. You should not complain, you should be grateful. You should ooze infinite kindness, tolerance and patience. These boundaries limit our ability and opportunity to release pent up feelings, and so they gather and gather until they finally boil over.
'The demonisation of anger as a rootless action of aggression has made it the most misunderstood of our emotions.'
The demonisation of anger as a rootless action of aggression has made it the most misunderstood of our emotions, laden with guilt and shame. Any feeling that is negative is instinctively scolded; we’re told to ‘cheer up’, ‘pull yourself together’, ‘calm down’. Because it is such an ignitable thing that can explode as if from nowhere it receives very little understanding. The aggressor is usually damned from the off without any consideration that it might have started out as, perhaps, one thought fixated upon or a wound that never healed. As they say in the magazine, it is often ‘an emotion of self-protection’.
Far from the confessions of celebrities, Anxy’s excavation uncovers ordinary people and their stories, bringing the topic onto a more relatable level. Anger can be a product of depression and anxiety, but also it can arise in those provoked by social constructs, enflamed by a ringtone, at the end of their tether with relationships. Some are angry because of how they have been treated, because expectations have been unfulfilled or raised too high. A variety of things set the fuse, some which are small and inexplicable, others stem from broader issues to do with inequality, homophobia and mental health. Each story is balanced, and none given more sympathy, empathy or attention than the other. Whilst it acknowledges struggle and hardship, it strictly maintains positivity at the forefront. Each person and their story is received with a non-biased stance and a calm atmosphere.
Anxy emulates peace and intelligence, its sources are reputable and honest, and that is crucial when delving into a very frenzied feeling. Doctor Aleks Krotoski explores the science behind it, and it has pockets of remedial articles and activities to try out without being too instructional. Kate Speer recreated herself after a long battle with her mental health, a furious outburst on which released her from a situation that was no longer serving her. Brian Frank’s photography in prisons in America explores the relationship between masculinity and hierarchy. These stories specifically sadden, embolden and encourage a reaction of acceptance, and allows you to see anger in a completely new light. Its content is comforting and grounding, and that is one of the keys to its success.
Anxy is neat and small, the pages are soft and tactile. It is unassuming and understated, perfectly packaged for its cause. It does not come cheap, although it is high quality in both its content and imagery, and that is justification enough for me. No one else out there that has truly addressed mental health with such a direct and personal approach, and it is only published biannually so would not necessarily break your bank.
It’s not bad to feel angry. It’s okay to talk about it. Whether it is something to do with the mind, your current state, your history, Anxy is about reaching out and supporting each other wordlessly. In the privacy of your own head you can read, learn, discover more about ourselves and yourself, and slowly, hopefully, feel less alone without having to part your lips.