I’ve received quite a few messages from you gals asking about how I’ve dealt with/deal with anxiety. So, I’m going to talk about here! Now, my story is obviously different than yours and what I have done/do to combat my anxiety may not totally work for you BUT I’m hoping that after you read this, you won’t feel alone and that maybe, just maybe, something that worked for me, may work for you.
Ah, anxiety, you annoying nuisance you. My first bout of anxiety started in 8th grade. I still remember sitting at the lunch table when I had my first panic attack. I couldn’t breathe, the room was hazy, I couldn’t hear my friend talking across the table and I felt like I couldn’t swallow. As an eighth grader, I totally thought I was dying. I mean, this had to be the end of me. I remember feeling so scared and confused as to what the heck was happening to me.
I bottled up those feelings for years (which I don’t suggest doing). As I went into high school, the anxiety did seem to pass. So woohoo for me, my anxiety was gone forever. Wrong. When I turned 21, life took a 180. My parent’s divorced, I moved in with my grandma and papa, I had ZERO idea as to what I wanted to do with my life, I didn’t know who I was and my brother and I were both having a really difficult time understanding our new family dynamic. And with all that, my anxiety came flooding back. This time it hit me differently. I had no appetite, I was constantly tired and my stomach always hurt. I ended up getting myself so worked up and sick, I ended up in the hosptial. When the doctor told me it was all stress, I was shocked and so annoyed. Like really?? I didn’t know that stress could make me that sick. I did know that once I stepped out of that hospital, I had to change.
Life is hard, life throws unexpected curve-balls and life can downright stink sometimes. And you know what? That’s ok. You know what else? Those hard times WILL pass. & you know what else? You WILL be ok. I promise you. With my personal story involving anxiety, I knew I had to deal with the problems in my life, I couldn’t run from them anymore. I had to face them straight on, no matter how much it hurt me or how much it sucked. My health depended on it. I spent so much time praying, asking God for wisdom, strength, discernment and help. Lots and lots of help. I cried and I cried and I cried some more. But with each new day, I started to learn what was truly bringing on my anxiety. I had to deal with deep rooted issues that I thought I could stuff way down forever. I had to feel the hurt and I had to move on. It took me years to filter through my brain, my thoughts and my emotions. But tackling my problems head on and not running away was the best decision I ever made for myself.
Now that’s the short version & my story may not be the same as yours, but I hope it gives you hope that you don’t have to live with anxiety forever. I still get anxious here and there, but I know what it is, I don’t let it scare me and I’m now able to sit down, figure out why I’m feeling anxious and work on that problem. Jesus didn’t put you on this earth to feel anxious. He put you on this earth to have PEACE, JOY and UNDERSTANDING. He loves you so much! A few verses that helped me tremendously were:
Philippians 4:6-7, Psalm 62:8, Psalm 55:22, Psalm 61:2, 1 Peter 5:7, Joshua 1:9, Matthew 11:28
If you have to read these verses and then re-read them 84882849039 times until you believe them, then that’s what you should do! These are God’s promises to you and He will never fail you!
I also wanted to share some everyday tips that you can do to keep your anxiety at bay. If you start feeling that pesky anxious feeling creeping back, these will help calm your mind
- PRAY and then pray again
- Breathe. When you feel those anxious feelings taking over, sit down and just breathe. It will pass.
- Figure out your triggers. What triggers your anxiety?
- Work out or go for a walk. Sometimes you just need some fresh air to clear your mind and help work through those feelings
- Focus on what you can control and know what you can’t
- Drink plenty of water & make sure you’re eating healthy. What you’re putting in your body can affect your mind and your nerves. I had to go a whole year without coffee because it made my anxiety worse and I loooooove coffee
- Talk to someone you trust
- Don’t live in the past. Everyday is a fresh start to live in the now, to forgive, to love and to be better than you were yesterday
- Manage your time well
- Work on or say goodbye to toxic relationships
- Learn to say “no” to people
- Write in a journal or start blogging
- Prepare for the morning the night before
- Focus on your blessings not your stressors
- Take time for yourself!
Anxiety is a liar and it does not define you! Don’t let anxiety make you feel less than, unworthy, unloved or weak. You are worthy, so loved, strong, unique and made in God’s image. God makes NO mistakes.
You’re never alone in this world. We’re all trying to find our way, we’re all making mistakes and we’re all making wrong turns. Life is about growth and change. We can’t be so hard on ourselves. You’re amazing just the way you are and bring things to the table that only YOU can bring!
I love you guys and think you’re so awesome!! xoxo Kristi