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Worry Bout' Yo'self: Conquering My Anxiety

Updated: Oct 13, 2022

No one told me this adulting thing was going to be this much of a struggle. However…here we are, and while we’re here I have to make the best life out of this thing called life. I won’t deprive or deny myself of happiness, peace and prosperity because it’s hard. I realized, rather late in life, that no one could save me from myself but me. So rather than continue and survive my life; constantly worrying about the future and regretting my past; I want to live.

Image by JIG Media/Films

It’s around 40 million adults (ranging from the ages 18 yrs and older); according to Anxiety & Depression Association for America; that suffer with anxiety. It’s the most common mental illness and I can imagine it’s probably so many of us that are undiagnosed. Honestly, I haven’t been diagnosed but I’m sure it wouldn’t be a question if I did. At the age of 16 I had high blood pressure. I wasn’t overweight, inactive or ate a bunch of high sodium foods (even though I didn’t have the best diet) it was literally stress.

What on earth could I be stressed about at 16?! I honestly had nothing to be stressed about but my own negative thoughts. I was overthinking, highly sensitive, insecure and bottled things inside. As a teenager I don’t think I could explain what was going on, because I didn’t understand what was going on. My life consisted of constant self doubt, uncertainty, feelings of failure and the fear of the unknown. Listen… over time this became too heavy to carry and I could feel myself breaking down. I also could feel myself breaking people down around me because of my dependency.
What on earth could I be stressed about at 16?! I honestly had nothing to be stressed about but my own negative thoughts.


I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was miserable. I’m grateful to this day for The Most High, igniting that fire and starting me on my way. At the time I didn’t realize I was conquering my anxiety. I thought I was just changing the things about myself that I didn’t like, or the things that were getting in my way. It wasn’t until I understood what it looked like when I started meditating and realized how difficult it was to be still for 5 minutes or less. My mind was constantly being operated in “multi-task mode” because I was trying to do everything.

Once I recognized what my anxiety looked like (because everyone’s anxiety doesn’t look the same) I began to seek knowledge and practice ways to rid my anxiety. I had to learn how to conquer my anxiety and not allow it to conquer me. It’s a daily practice for me. I understand that every day isn’t going to be smooth sailing. Some days will be more difficult than others but it allows me to practice using my tools and applying my knowledge. I’m given the space to tailor my tools and knowledge to what’s best and effective in my life. So here’s some ways I’m consistently conquering my anxiety:

RECOGNIZING AND ACKNOWLEDGING MY TRIGGERS


I started leaning in to understanding what triggered me into feeling anxious. However, I had to first be able to recognize when I was feeling anxious. I’d notice that when I felt a way about a particular person or situation, I’d go on and on about it. Rather I’m constantly going over the situation in my head or rambling out loud to myself. Or rambling to whoever listened and understood how I felt. When you recognize your triggers and when you’re triggered it allows you to have the ability to conquer that anxiety before it gets to you. You’re able to process and think a situation through before reacting off of your fear and/or worry.

UNWINDING AND CLEARING MY MIND


I talk about meditation and breathwork a lot because it really works. If it wasn’t working for me this wouldn’t be up for discussion. We have to recognize that there's a lot going on in this world and we believe because we become desensitized, we’re able to navigate through life this way. NOPE. It doesn’t just disappear. It buries itself somewhere within you and shows up in our bodies, minds and emotions. This causes our bodies, minds and our emotions to be at dis*ease. When you work on your breathwork and meditate, it helps to put your body at ease. You’re allowing your mind to free itself from the stresses of life which helps rid the anxiety. Which in turn allows your mind to be clear and your body to be relaxed. Your mind is constantly being active with all your thoughts of what if’s bringing on the anxiety.

LIFESTYLE AND HEALTH


Whether we want to recognize it or not, our food has a lot to do with not only the physical but the mental too. Have you ever eaten something and minutes after, you start feeling sluggish and blah? Or maybe you ate something afterwards and felt guilt, shame or melancholy? That’s not always by coincidence. I notice that when I feel really stressed or anxious, after I do a raw detox I feel so much better. Making healthier eating choices can keep your spirit upbeat, energized and motivated. Leaving less room for anxiety to creep in and keep you stuck and stagnant. Yoga is also a great way to release anxiety. I made a lifestyle change to commit to giving myself the life I deserve and with purpose. Me having goals and living for a purpose definitely promotes better self esteem and confidence. The more confident you are with yourself the less likely you have interrupted thoughts of worry and fear.

HEALTHY OUTLETS


I believe it’s extremely important to have a way to express yourself and release energy. Sometimes we’re going through things and don’t understand what to make of it or how to deal with it. We easily find coping mechanisms to help us survive and brush the problems under the rug. It’s unnatural to think we’re supposed to pin up emotions and the feelings will just dissolve somewhere else. Healthy outlets such as writing, crafting, fitness, dancing, etc. are all creative and healthy ways to pour into you and release whatever negative energy that you’re keeping confined. Anxiety can also look like restlessness and not being satisfied. However, when we use outlets like self expressions and creativity, we can channel a lot of that restlessness away. I love to write and create things using my hands, so when I’m feeling antsy that’s what I do, take what’s on my mind out of my mind. A lot of our anxiety starts with our own thoughts.

BEING PRESENT AND IN THE MOMENT


This is a task that I strive for daily. One thing I notice about dealing with my anxiety is that your focus is never in the moment. You’re constantly struggling with future or past thoughts but never dealing with the present time. Whenever I’m just enjoying myself in the moment, those are the times that are the most cherished. You’re really focusing on being grateful and enjoying what’s going with you right now. Honestly, that’s the only thing you can control. You can’t go back and change the past or into the future to change what’s about to happen. So why do we spend so much time worrying about what we can’t control? Being present allows that anxiety to take a back seat and put your energy towards what can contribute to your future and help to understand your past. The outcome of your future has everything to do with what you’re doing now. The understanding of your past is what you’ve learned presently.

It’s a journey for a reason because it’s always more to learn and more ways to grow. I know I’m going to eventually be in a place and space where I’m conquering my anxiety effortlessly. But until then I am going to continue to push and put in the work to rid myself of anxiety and live a happy peaceful life.

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