If you can’t tell, the first part of the title is total sarcasm. There is nothing glorified about anxiety, although I thought some humor would all do us some good. I’ve always been an “anxious” person. I didn’t really feel like it was a big problem in my life because it wasn’t overbearing in any way. That is, until about a year ago when I noticed some changes. I guess I felt like I didn’t know enough to write about it. I’ve yet to even tell some people in my life about it. I guess I feel that if I told people then it becomes real and something I have to deal with properly. Since I knew I didn’t have much information about how anxiety works I told myself I was overly stressed by changes in my life and that there are other people suffering way more. As time went on, it only got worse. So, I did some research, spoke to some people in my life about it, and even went to see a therapist.
I realized I had been under stress like most people. I was dealing until I started to get stomach issues (which is a symptom of anxiety–it could be in the form of constipation, diarrhea, or upset stomach). Soon after my mental health took a nosedive. I started to constantly overthink and second guess myself more than usual. Whenever it was night or when I was alone I began to feel powerless, this sudden fear- like something bad was going to happen for no reason. I constantly needed Eric to reassure me of any small problem or negative thought I had. I felt like I was living a different life– like I was walking on eggshells. I thought that was all that was bothering me until I started to have trouble falling asleep. During that time I would overthink and feel like there was a giant elephant on my chest. I would feel like I couldn’t breathe and yet my heart felt like it was racing. In some moments I felt like I was trembling and just felt this raw overbearing fear that I couldn’t shake. I kept Eric up on many nights until we figured out that background noise helps distract me, allowing me to fall asleep.
So, I went to see a therapist. This experience was not necessarily a good one. I had never been to see a therapist before so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and yet I found myself surprised. I wouldn’t say she didn’t help because she did teach me 1 useful thing I still use. She taught me how to control my breathing with this simple technique– Breathe in for 3 seconds, hold for 3 seconds and breath out for 3 seconds–repeat as often as you need.
This went on for about five months. I was tired, gained some weight and I just felt like I didn’t have much of a direction. Eric and I started to make small changes to help us both. We switched to organic food, I started to cook more, and we went on more walks with my dog Rocky. I found what my triggers were and I found ways to avoid them the best I could. I started to shift my focus from my fears to my goals. I started to read more and write again. I started to find the joy in everyday life. The more I started to get on a routine the better I began to feel. This is not something that just went away because it hasn’t. I’m learning to accept it and find ways to live my life healthier and more balanced.
I was never one to think that I would experience anxiety. I saw myself as strong and decisive. Through all this I began to see myself as weak and incapable–the more I began to read and get on a routine I found that was not the case about me. That I will come out stronger from this.
This is not something I am proud of but I used to think that people with anxiety or depression were not as strong to handle their problems. My experience has taught me otherwise.
From my experiences I thought something was wrong with me. I want to share with you that there is nothing wrong with you. You are strong, capable, loving, and deserving of good things. I know it might be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel but it’s there even if you can’t see it just yet. No two people are the same therefore anxiety looks different for each person. Here I am going to share what helped me get stronger and take control of my body and mind again.
I first started with healthier eating habits. I cut out all fast food from my life. I also cut out diary, red meat, and switched to organic foods. I also got on a routine to take vitamins and minerals to give my immune system a boost (when you experience anxiety constantly, your immune system weakens). Eating healthier also helps me determine if I am having anxiety symptoms or if I am actually sick.
Breathing exercises and positive affirmations. The moment I begin to feel fear I do my exercises and begin to ask myself why I am feeling this way? Once I answer the question I tell myself something positive and true to counteract it, which is helpful in determining my triggers so that I can either stay clear of them or find a way to prevent it from controlling me.
Good distractions! I either put on a funny show on the background or play upbeat music. I even play with my dog Rocky until my fear is gone. At night when I feel fear coming on I just put on nature noises or shows to keep my mind preoccupied. I remember watching a video of this boxer once (totally forgot his name) and he said the way he works through any of his negative mental health is by keeping busy. He will fill his days will mental and physical proactive activities and use all the energy for good instead of bad. At the end of the day he is too tired to think about any worries or go to any negative places. So, I took that advice and started to shift my focus from my fears to my goals. I focused in on action and before I knew it, most nights I am so tired that I don’t even remember falling asleep.
Movement! Going on walks with Rocky, playing, cleaning and organizing are all things that help keep my body healthy and happy. The more I work my body, the more tired I find myself at the end of the day. So, working out or taking a day to clean helps in keeping my worries at bay.
Lastly, I don’t keep worries to myself. I make sure to share them with those I trust. Even if my friends have nothing to say, it’s important for me to let it out instead of me overthinking on it. It’s a way of me letting it go and having it become normal. I share what I experienced and work on what we can do better. This is not about me ridding myself of my anxiety but to work through it and find the balance that works for me. Having my loved one’s feedback and support is important. The only way I can get that is through communicating what I feel.
I truly hope you gain something from this post and my experience. If you have any questions you can message me or reach me through instagram.
Have a lovely day!
Until next time,