MY SECRET TO HOW I GAINED CONTROL OVER MY ANXIETY
Updated: Oct 1, 2020
I'm not sure why I've never written about one of the things that so many of us deal with. Some suffer day to day, some situationally, and others rarely. I used to never hear people complain about being anxious, but now that is all I hear. I used to tell my sister, "YOU'RE FINE" when she wasn't. I never understood it, until I had it. People can't physically see it, but it's there and it feels just as real as something visible.
What sparked this desire to write about anxiety is that I still get it from time to time. Especially lately, having COVID-19 has freaked me out and made me feel worse because it's so unpredictable. Gaining control over your anxiety doesn't mean that it will never happen again. To me- gaining control over your anxiety means; not letting it effect your life, not letting it make you miss opportunities, and learning to calm yourself down instead of relying on medication. Ultimately, it means choosing to fight and take the hard route.
Every person is different and I can't say that this will work for every situation. It is a decision you need to make and commit to. It is a word you need to get power back from. It is something you need to stop using as a crutch in order to not consider it a struggle.
Now, my story!
I've heard the term anxiety my whole life. My dad has always had it pretty bad. My sister started getting it when she was younger and would have panic attacks. I never really understood it, because I couldn't see it.
My senior year of high school, I passed out for a silly reason (that is a funny story for another day) and got a concussion. As a result, I started feeling like I couldn't breathe or like I was going to pass out again. There was never anything visibly there and no explanation other than it sounded like anxiety. I was shocked that it felt this terrible and was real. I would explain time and time again that I was going to pass out, I was light headed, but nothing was actually wrong.
It had gotten to the point that I would have to leave mid-class cause I couldn't concentrate and felt so terrible. I wouldn't want to go to concerts or even to the movie theatre, because I would get anxiety attacks for no reason. It was insane how frequently it would happen and I always just tried to tell myself I was fine.
It came to the point my mom & dad suggested maybe seeing a psychiatrist and possibly asking about anxiety medication.
I'm anti-medicine if I don't think it is necessary. Anxiety is the biggest mental attack you can have. Your thoughts can make it worse or make it better. After hearing that suggestion, I refused and made the decision that I was going to get through this by myself.
It took me a year to see actual progress and notice a difference. It took part of my freshman year of college still dealing with this and missing out on concerts or fun times with my friends cause I was scared.
Here is how I gained control back from my anxiety!
GET THAT WORD OUT OF YOUR VOCABULARY
The first thing was get rid of that word.
Shout out to my step-dad Bill, some of the best advice he had given me was "Don't even speak that word into existence or over yourself". This was the start of gaining control over my anxiety. I fully believe you can speak things into existence. When you constantly use that word in a negative light, it makes it worse and gives that word a power in your life.
So- I stopped using that word. I stopped giving it power by speaking it. Even when I felt anxious and I felt like I was going to pass out or couldn't breathe- I didn't say it was an anxiety attack. I started to learn what calmed me down and I focused on that. I focused on the fact that I KNEW I was ok and that my mind was stronger.
LEARN TO BREATHE
Breathing is so simple yet so powerful. The biggest symptom of my anxiety is feeling like I can't breathe well or like I can't take a deep breath. It starts to get to my thoughts and makes me anxious that something is wrong.
One of the ways I calm myself down is just- breathing! I focus on taking deep breaths until I get a good one that reassures me everything is ok. I turn down my music, the tv, or just get to a quieter spot to relax. When you realize you are breathing fine, you will start to feel at ease knowing your lungs are getting air and nothing is actually wrong. Every breath of fresh air calms me down little by little.
CONQUER YOUR THOUGHTS
Your mind can be your biggest enemy in all of this. If you think the worst and fuel your body with thoughts that you aren't ok and something is wrong- your body naturally freaks out. Your thoughts can turn a little anxious feeling into a full blown anxiety attack - OR - your thoughts can reassure and calm you out of those anxious feelings.
This is not always easy. The first step in this is, stopping to take a moment to realize what thoughts your mind initially goes to. When you first feel anxious, what starts going through your head?
An answer of mine to many things! Words have power when they are spoken into the universe. Speak positivity into YOURSELF and YOUR LIFE. Say it out loud and say it proud. Anxiety has no power over you. You are fine. You are not letting this control you. You are living your LIFE and anxiety is no longer getting in your way.
Quit saying you struggle from anxiety and you are sad and you can't do anything and you just miss out on life. Start telling yourself you are a warrior, you are stronger than you know, and nothing can stop you!
Start to find what works best for you. What calms you down? What makes your anxiety attack go from 30 min to 5 min. Is it adding in a regular workout routine? Is it finding a quiet space to relax and breath? Is it staying away from overwhelming people and places that are too much for you?
Whatever it is, start applying what works. Everyone is different. Just because something works for me, doesn't mean it will work for you. Know your mind and your body. Even if it is lifestyle changes- make them.
THE LESS STRESS THE BETTER
Try and keep the stress to a minimum. Whatever is unnecessary in your life, get rid of it. If work stresses you out more than it should- think of a career change or a new company. If there are people in your life that just stress you out- distance yourself.
Not only do you want to get rid of the excessive stress in your life- try and minimize it. Work on yourself and take care of yourself. Become your own priority and put self-care higher on the to-do list.
Declare It & pray
Now, it is inevitable that God made his way into this post since I write about my own experiences. Something that helped me a lot was praying over my anxiety. Giving it up to the lord and asking him to help in this struggle. When you declare something in the name of the lord- speaking those words into existence becomes 100x stronger! When you make your troubles known to God, he can be with you every step of the way.
God doesn't always take away our hardships because we wouldn't learn and we wouldn't become who we were meant to be. Instead, he walks through it with you.
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find. knock, and it will be opened to you"
When you ask God for strength, it will be given to you.
When you seek God in the dark, a light will bring you through.
When you pray and knock on his door, he will answer you.
The biggest misconception about this though is that, strength may not be given to you in the way you thought. The light you are looking for might be shining from somewhere unexpected. The answer you are looking for, might not be the answer you are waiting to hear. Praying over your hardships, will bring you a sense of peace regardless what you find or ask for.
SPEAK IT OUT LOUD
Shoutout to my blogger babe @comfortablyRuthy for this one.
Sometimes you need to speak your thoughts out loud. Don't just keep them in your mind, especially when your mind might be going a mile a minute. If you keep developing a thought, it can end up leading to overthinking and jumping to conclusions. Hearing your thought out loud can ease your mind and bring clarity to the situation. You can avoid getting stuck on an unrealistic thought that causes you to get upset or anxious.
I hope you can apply some of my secrets to gain power over your own anxiety. I hope that if you suffer from being anxious too often that you find the power within yourself. I hope you speak the highest, most positive words over your life and you never accept less.
Until Next Time,