Hello beautiful people!
Today I wanted to talk a little bit about how you can battle anxiety. As May is Mental Health month, I figured hey, why not discuss it? I normally don’t go into detail about anxiety, since I’m sort of self-conscious about dealing with it, but who knows, there could be someone out there that needs to hear this.
For starters, I wanted to point out that these tips might not work 100% for everyone who struggles with anxiety. I realize it can be a serious mental health issue for a lot of people, so making these simple changes might not prove effective for everyone. These are only ways that I’ve found that help me and my personal experience with anxiety, so if you struggle with this and feel that these tips will not help you, I encourage you to seek help from a professional adult/councilor that can give you what you need to overcome it. But if you struggle with anxiety, I want you to know that you won’t have to go through it forever. I believe that you can overcome this. You got this.
1. Surround yourself with things that make you feel happy, or comforted.
For me, environments like these are either under the covers with Netflix and chocolate, or surrounded by family and friends at church or even at home. If you don’t have any environments like these available, the one main place that I encourage you to go to is church. (I know some of y’all might not be Christians, but even if you aren’t, it can help more than you know. Whenever I’m at church, I always get the feeling of peace. I can’t really explain it, but it’s like my mind is distracted from worry to whatever the sermon/lesson is on instead.)
2. Have an accountability person you can go to.
I don’t talk to many people about my anxiety, but when I do I come to people I feel I can keep accountable for what I confide to them. To me, these are close friends or family members, but for others it could be a preacher, a councilor, or even a teacher or parent if there’s no other options. Even if these people don’t personally experience anxiety, chances are they’ve had encounters with it through friends or events. One of my best friends is one of the people I go to whenever I feel a panic attack coming, and while she doesn’t personally have anxiety, she has had friends who have, so she knows how to react.
3. Write. Just write it out.
I keep a personal journal with me practically everywhere I go, so whenever I feel a panic attack or anxiety coming, I write down how I feel. It’s messy, and it’s really tiring for my hand, but it helps. This is also really useful for people who don’t necessarily like talking to others about what they’re going through, so sometimes it’s nice to have a journal or notebook to just pour your heart out in.
4. Sweat the worries.
I am so not big on workouts or exercising, but I read once that sweating and being active is really beneficial for treating anxiety. For me, that means either taking a walk, or horseback riding, or just a pumped-up yoga session. I don’t know how it works for different people, since it gets your heart racing (which is sometimes bad since anxiety already gets your blood levels running), but I guess it could work for most!
5. Read the Bible.
I know finding the time to actually sit down and read the Word might be hard for a lot of people, but even if it’s just one verse in the Bible app, just take a moment to read it. Even if you’re not in the Christian faith, one verse won’t hurt. It calms me down in a way, again, that I can’t entirely explain. And do you want to know something crazy? The Bible says “do not fear” 365 times. That’s a verse a day for an entire year. And if that isn’t a sign that you don’t need to worry, I don’t know what is.
6. Listen to music.
If you know me, you know I love dancing around in my room to my favorite bops, but when I’m feeling anxious, I don’t want to get my heart going more than it already is. I like listening to either nature sounds or calming music when I need to just chill out. The Spotify playlist “Country Coffeehouse” has some really beautiful and soft country music, or if you prefer worship music, “Calming Christian” is another playlist I really recommend!
7. Laugh it off.
Laughing is my medicine. Literally. Whenever I feel anxious, if a friend or meme makes me laugh, I feel 100x better. I don’t know if laughing is scientifically proven to help you feel better, or if it’s just me, but hey, when you get the chance to laugh, do it! Maybe you could watch a movie or TV show that you know makes you laugh, or just have a friend tell you horrible jokes (like I do..hehe…I have friends who can verify my horrible puns..).
Okay, now hear me out here. It HAS been scientifically proven that if you chew even a piece of gum, it hits a nerve in your brain that produces relaxation. I have this thing when, even if I’m sick, I’m always hungry, but when I have anxiety, that’s the one time I never feel like eating. But I’ve learned that it actually helps to eat when you start to feel anxious, even if you’re not that hungry.
9. Use essential oils.
In my April Favorites post, I mentioned that my family has been hopping on the craze of essential oils. Well, they are actually useful for those who have to deal with anxiety. Oils like Lavender, Valor, and even Stress Relief (Young Living) all have properties that gear towards symptoms of anxiety. I would suggest doing more research before you decide to use essential oils for this, though, since some could be more helpful than others.
10. Make sure you have a balanced sleep schedule.
I’m definitely guilty of having an irregular sleep pattern, primarily because I’m 99% night owl, but having a healthy sleep pattern actually helps reduce anxiety. Sleep is essential for your body, and if you don’t get enough, or have too much, of it, your body reacts in ways that can be harmful for both your physical and mental health.
I hope you all found some ways to help fight anxiety through these tips. Like I said, making a few changes here and there isn’t going to be effective for everyone. Healing from anxiety takes time, and effort, and it won’t go away just overnight. Be slow, and remember to keep having hope that this won’t last forever. God still has a plan for you, and even though He might not take your anxiety away at first, He’s going to use it to grow you, and to make you an even stronger person than you were.
Have a blessed week.
Much love, Sarah Beth