I’m not entirely sure why I am posting this, but I opened my dashboard for Living Satisfied to write a draft or two and I felt that how I cope with my anxiety could be helpful to some of my readers. People write what they know and post what is close to their heart. Dealing with anxiety is close to my heart and I want to write this post not only to motivate others, but to motivate myself.
I have dealt with anxiety for as long as I can remember and it goes through phases. At times I feel I can conquer the world and other times it takes everything in me to leave the house to run an errand. Anxiety isn’t logical. It doesn’t have a rhythm and can strike at any moment. Anxiety has been a battle that greatly impacts my life and I have become quite good at hiding it in public. I have always felt the need to hide my anxiety because it seems so illogical to me. Why would going out to dinner with close friends bring me anxiety? Why would running out to the grocery store cause me to have a panic attack? I don’t have answers to these questions. It is hard to explain to others why I am hesitant on making plans so I slap on a happy face and either move forward or at times I simply cancel the plans.
At this point let me take a few moments of your time to give you some tips that work for me.
How I overcome:
Self talk: This one is self-explanatory. Sometimes it is best to encourage yourself. At times I just have to tell myself over and over again “You are ok”, “You are strong and courageous”, “God is right beside you”. These words really can work and if you can’t talk yourself into a peaceful place ask someone close to you to encourage you. Sometimes I just give my mom or husband a call or text and ask them for some encouraging words and prayers.
Identifying the Trigger: What about this situation makes you anxious? What can you control about this situation? What can’t you control? Are you being triggered by anything?
Seek help: Seek help through a counselor, family, or friend and talk through what you are feeling.
Find someone who would be able to support or pray for you spur of the moment when you are feeling anxious. For me this is my husband, mother, grandmother, or a close friend. It really varies depending on what I am feeling and what kind of support I am looking for.
Take a step back: Take deep breaths. I know this sounds simple, but sometimes a few deep breaths can help clear your mind and help you restart.
Cold water: You always see on different movies or T.V. shows when someone slaps their friend in the face to snap them back to reality…This is very similar. Sometimes a splash of cold water can help you restart. Sounds weird I know, but has helped me in the past.
Be comfortable with where you are at:
It is OK to feel anxious. At times my anxiety makes me feel that I am not trusting God and am not being a good enough Christian, but that is far from the truth! God knows how we feel and will walk with us through it all. I know that my God is beside me even when I feel I can’t move one more step forward and I know he has grace for me. I don’t have to be perfect and brave all of the time. I am allowed to feel different emotions, but I have to remember that I am in charge of these emotions. I can choose to be happy and excited for life, but I also have to remember it is ok to not be ok and sometimes crying is the best option.
Care for yourself: It is ok to take some time for yourself. If you feel the need to cancel or adjust plans be honest. People may not fully understand, but honesty can go a far way.
Stay in the Word and pray often. Seeking God through your anxiety is the best advice I can give. He understands where you are at and is there to walk through it with you. Allow Him to give you the strength and peace you need.
I hope these quick tips encouraged you in your journey.