The Letter Series: A
I’ve taken a major break from blogging because I just needed to get into a healthy mental state, figure out what exactly I want this blog to be about, what topics I can really write on, and just think through things a bit more. Good news is that I’ve gotten my ish together and so….
Without further a do (drum roll please) the letter “A” is for…ANXIETY!
I often find when people are in a situation that makes them feel a little bit uncomfortable they say, “Oh, this is giving me anxiety” and it’s said in a joking manner. Let me just tell you…anxiety is NOTHING to joke about! If anxiety was something you truly struggled with you would never make it into a joke. So please, whether this is something you do or don’t deal with, just don’t joke about it in a negative manner.
Another thing that bothers me about anxiety is when people say “Just get over it”. Ummm okay. If I could “just get over it” then I freaking would you silly goose!
My point is, anxiety is a serious issue and if you are someone who doesn’t struggle with it then please do your best to be considerate of the person who does struggle with it. There is nothing worse than when someone you would typically confide in makes one of the above comments to you. All that does is create a barrier, overthinking, and even more anxiety.
As far as my personal journey with anxiety, it is something I’ve really only struggled with for the past two to three years with last year and this year being the worse of them. Not only do I struggle with anxiety, but my anxiety is accompanied with panic attacks and depression. You could say I’m an “all or nothing” kind of girl. LOL Although my experience may differ from yours, I hope these tips I’ve learned will help you.
Some of the things I have found to be helpful with my anxiety are:
Pray about it.
But really, have you? I don’t believe that God intends us to live in a state of fear and worry. He wants to know our troubles and take those from us, but we have to give Him the opportunity to do so. I know some will roll their eyes at this but it’s my number one for a reason. Just try it before you question it
Write it down.
The moment you begin to have anxiety or a panic attack you should write down what it is that you are feeling, what you were doing, and anything you can think of that might have triggered your anxiety. Over time, this will help you put some pieces of the puzzle together to possibly figure out what it is that makes you tick. It will also shift your mind away from the situation and will remove some of the anxiety.
Not only should you track your experience, but write down your three things you are grateful for. This will really help you shift your mind to more positive things instead of worry or fear. You can write this down through out the day, first thing in the morning, or reflect on the day before you catch some z’s.
I once heard someone make the comment “Action removes anxiety” and it is SO VERY TRUE! Go for a walk and get some fresh air and Vitamin D, enjoy a bike ride with a friend, join that yoga class you’ve wanted to try out, lift heavy at the gym. This isn’t something you have to put a ton of time or money into, but just take 20-30 minutes a day to get up and move!
“Take a chill pill.”
Everyone has an idea of how they like to relax. For me, it’s laying on a beach with a butler bringing me a Mai Tai every hour, but I live in Texas and am balling on a budget so that isn’t a realistic way for me to relax at the drop of a hat so I had to get creative. I found that something as small as lighting a candle will help me relax. Some days that doesn’t do the trick and I need to go on a long bike ride, spend time with my family, drink a glass of wine, or just binge watch chick shows on Netflix. Whatever your “thing” is, pursue it, but make sure it’s something that is healthy and will benefit you rather than harm you.
Seek out a therapist.
This option is the vulnerable option and I resisted it for a long time. My husband had to really push me to go this route, but when I did, it really helped to talk with someone who understood what anxiety is and how it can affect ones daily life. During this process I was against medication and really wanted to go the holistic route and so I found a therapist that agreed with trying out those things first instead of just putting me on medication to solve the problem. If you are willing to dive deep and be honest about what’s going on in your life, or what happened in your past, a therapist will be able to help you nail down what exactly it is that causes your anxiety and can help you find ways to conquer it. If you’re worried about expenses, then find a therapist that is covered by your insurance. My best advice on searching for a therapist is to find someone that has the same beliefs as you and someone that you are comfortable with, You might have to see a few before you fine “The One”, but it’s like marriage, when you know you know!
Get an Rx.
I purposefully put this last on my list because I don’t believe it should be first. I do believe anxiety can be conquered without medication, but it’s easier said than done. For me, I’ve figured out that my anxiety is a side effect of depression, so I will say that Zoloft has helped tremendously with my anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. I’m an entirely better person with it and will never knock you down for taking this route. I will say this isn’t something that I want to do for the long haul and my doctor agrees, but we all have different life experiences and different chemical makeups, so do what is best for you.
I hope you never feel ashamed of your struggles, rather I hope this post helps you find your release from anxiety. I hope that my experience helps you better yourself or helps you find a route that helps lessen the daily burden of anxiety. During this process, be sure you are surrounding yourself with positive people who will invest in you during your time of need. Be sure to take care of YOU, because it’s difficult to help another broken person when you are completely broken yourself.
If you have questions for me or want to chat, leave a comment below! You never know who you could help by doing so. If that feels to vulnerable, then send me an email and we’ll connect!