Anxiety – a lifelong companion of many. With our fast-paced, perfectionist-praising culture, it’s no surprise that anxiety affects almost 1 in 5 people.
Disclaimer: If you purchase from any of the products I’ve linked below, I’ll earn a portion of the sale. You can read the full disclosure here.
Is your mind racing? Are you fatigued often? Do you feel like something’s off?
Is the sentence “I don’t know what’s wrong with me” all too familiar?
I have experienced generalized anxiety disorder and its crippling effects throughout my life. Each season, it manifested itself differently. Every time anxiety rears its ugly head in a new way, I am forced to start back at square one and learn how to cope all over again. It seems like each time I am exiting one season of anxiety, I am entering another.
But – there is hope. If there’s anything I’ve learned from anxiety, it’s that it doesn’t have the last word. There ARE ways to lower anxiety levels and return to a peaceful state of mind.
You’re not in control – and that’s GOOD.
When we feel a wave of anxiety coming over us, we tend to try to control it and force it to stop. I used to do this all the time. I would shut myself down and make sure I didn’t ever let anyone know what I was dealing with inside.
- This was absolutely deadly because it only increased my anxiety levels. Over time, I learned to let the feeling run its course while focusing on deep breaths. I also learned to talk to someone about my problems instead of bottling them up.
- Realizing you’re not in control of the way your body reacts and focusing on breathing while talking to someone about your problems is most effective.
This, too, shall pass.
Have you ever felt consumed by your anxiety? Same. When you’re in the thick of it, anxious thoughts and feelings can seem overwhelming. It’s hard to see an end to the painful, isolating experience.
- In these moments, focus on slow, deep breaths. Though you may not see an end to the anxiety, remind yourself that this too shall pass. You’ll get through this with your own coping mechanisms and help from others.
Pay attention to your feelings.
Do emotions arise when you’re experiencing anxiety? For me, there is always a background feeling of something, be it anger, sadness or tiredness. That’s my indicator that my body needs to deal with a particular feeling.
- Am I angry? Who am I angry with? How can I manage that anger? What concrete (healthy) steps can I take to deal with the anger?
- Am I tired? Did I get enough sleep last night? Should I take a nap? Usually this one just means I need to rest a little more.
Notice new insights.
A lot of times my anxiety is triggered by a place, person or event. When you feel anxious, ask yourself what may have triggered the anxiety. When I identify a new trigger, I always talk about it with my counselor or trusted pal. They can help me take the next step in dealing with that trigger.
Here are the best tips for comforting yourself when dealing with anxiety (with my suggestions included):
- Drink your favorite hot tea.
- Speak to yourself as you would a close friend. Treat yourself with compassion and love.
- Write it out. Journal about what you’re experiencing.
- I love buying cute journals, too, because it makes me want to write in them more often! Here’s a link to my gold foil embellished journal.
- Break out the coloring books. Childhood nostalgia helps!
- Call a local counseling service and schedule an appointment.
- Listen to your favorite feel-good music.
- Bake a dessert.
- Ask a friend to remind you of a hilarious time. Laughter is the best medicine.
- Light a candle.
- Go for a run, lift some weights, or do a yoga routine.
- Read a good book.
- I’m reading “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” rn & it’s SO GOOD.
- Make a list of the things that make you happy.
- Take a day off of social media.
- Get out in nature.
- Buy a weighted blanket.
- Here’s an Amazon’s Choice weighted blanket the size of a queen bed. These are an anxiety game-changer.
- Ask for help from a trusted friend or family member.
- Plan your next week’s schedule.
- Weekly calendars help get my mind sorted.
- Share your feelings with a friend.
- Take a fat nap.
- PRAY. Jesus is the ultimate healer & wants you to be happy.
- Eat some ice cream.
- You literally can never go wrong here.
So – what do you do when “I don’t know what’s wrong with me” pops into your head? I do all of the above, and at least one thing works. If one thing doesn’t work for you, move on to the next. What helps me may be different for you.
Just know that you aren’t alone when struggling with mental health. I’m right along side you, praying for you.
P.S. Are you dealing with side effects of anxiety such as acne? Check out my healing story here!
Where I got my 1 in 5 statistic: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322877#Is-anxiety-more-prevalent-in-the-West?