Anxiety can steal your joy. It comes up unexpectedly throughout the day and you have absolutely no control over it. You’re forced to be stuck with paralyzing thoughts that can effect your personal relationships and even your work. It seems there is no way out of the entrapment that’s going on in your mind. You think that people are judging you, you worry about every word that comes out of your mouth, you shut down and you don’t want to speak. The worst part is that you don’t know what’s happening, why it is happening or how to fix it. About 4 years ago, at the age of 22, I worked at a retail store and I remember getting such horrible anxiety that I would break down in tears. I had no idea why and this had never happened to me before. There wasn’t anything specifically that seemed to trigger it and I had no idea what to do to stop crying. I would go to the break room trying to collect my tears and my thoughts that seemed to be rapidly spiraling out of control. Suddenly, I would be called over the intercom that I was needed to help a customer. I became completely numb in order to NOT look like a crying mess in front of the person I had to help. I wasn’t sure if I was going through a quarter life crisis or if I was just an over emotional girl. “What is wrong with me?” I would always ask myself this question. I would have trouble getting up out of bed every morning. I would have melt downs throughout the day and would try to avoid people altogether. I would compare myself to others and judge myself very harshly. My heart would race and I was scared.
After spending some time researching my symptoms, I eventually realized I had anxiety. I was determined to beat it. I didn’t care if I was told I would need to take medication or if I was told that anxiety was something I could not beat. I knew that was all bullshit. I was simply determined. This was the very beginning of my spiritual/self love journey and I had no idea. My only concern was beating the anxiety and living a happier life. Anxiety became a blessing in disguise for me and what I learned along the way changed my life and changed me as a person. Fast forward to September of 2018. I am now 26 years old. Anxiety is very rare in my life & if I do get anxiety, I don’t have it for long. I am able to compassionately love myself so hard and so beautifully that the only reason I’m crying is because I’m overtaken by the love I feel for myself. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. I love myself–and self love ended up being the cure I needed for anxiety. Along with some other very important things I learned. Here are the steps I took to beat my anxiety.
- Be honest with yourself. This was the hardest step. Most people have a hard time confronting themselves, but I wanted to know myself on a deeper level. I asked my self the hard questions. What is and is not working in my life? What do I want out of my life? Am I happy? I chose to write all of these things down. Writing is very powerful as it works as a release rather than keeping these thoughts stuck in your head. Well, I found out that there was a lot that was not working. For starters, the very first thing I noticed was that I was very negative. This leads me to step # 2.
- Thinking positive. Might sound easy, right? Could seem like it won’t change anything? God, this was the step I worked on the longest! I had years of negative thinking and conditioning from society that was causing me to create patterns of thinking which were not doing me any good. Some examples are that I would compare myself to others, I was constantly expecting the worst thing to happen, I was letting one thing ruin my day, I was focused on the negative without realizing it! The tools I used to transform this thought process and these conditioning’s were:
- Positive quotes
- A good support system
Positive quotes were my go to!!!! I used Pinterest constantly. If I was feeling lonely I would search for positive quotes about being lonely. I would do this for feeling rejected, sadness, anger, boredom, hate, narcissists, you name it. I would do my research and I would find a positive way to look at the situation. Most importantly an empowered way. There are two different ways to look at a situation. One- from a lower vibration in a “victim” mode. As if good things do not come to you and things will not get better. Or you can choose option two from a higher vibration where you energies are the total opposite. You are happier and it is because you choose to say I will kick this situation in the ass. I will defeat it. I will rise above it. I will come out better and stronger. It is simply a choice.
Affirmations are also helpful. I would repeat things like, “Today will be a great day.” “I will get through this situation.” “I am amazing.”
Having a great support system is also very important because there are times you may feel so confused and no quotes or affirmations are helping. It is a great thing to have people who understand you and that are very positive themselves. It is also helpful to write, create, or use some type of outlet to cope with these feelings you may be having if your support system is not around.
After a while of using these positive quotes, repeating affirmations, and having a great support system to get advice from, thinking positively starts to become like second nature. Although, it is a process and does not happen quickly. So do not give up!
3.Creating new beliefs. Once you start to work through your negativity or actually conquer it, the next step is to begin creating new beliefs. This is extremely vital! In society we are all conditioned due to our upbringing/culture, those we surround ourselves with, what we see on TV and movies, and past family issues. How do we re-construct these beliefs to match the life we want?
- Conviction and Authenticity
Psychology has become something that I am absolutely fascinated with! It helped me to be able to transform my beliefs so that they were MINE and not others. For example; if I was having trouble with a certain situation in my life and could not find a good way to look at it or be empowered by it then I would find a way to look at it from a psychology stand point. I found that learning WHY and researching the subject- ultimately helped me to release the belief. In this case I will use being single as an example. I would simply type in “Psychology of being single” into the search engine and research the answers that came up. It helped me to understand why people hate being single. Why it is so hard to appreciate it and love it. A huge part of it is because we as humans are afraid to be alone. It is also because of the society we live in telling us that we should place success and importance on having a partner and therefore we begin to construct a belief in our minds that we need someone to complete us. So, I would find ways to flip the way I was looking at being single. Find ways to love it, instead of fearing it. And then I would be true to myself… Do I believe that I am only successful if I have a partner? Will I be okay if I don’t have a partner? Can I have the same amount of fun in life without a partner? As much as I would love to enjoy life with someone, I realized that someone else does not complete me. They can not define me. They can not make my life more fun. They do not make my life more successful. I have to create that within myself and someone who comes along will be the cherry on top and I can enjoy life with them even more. This would be a new belief and I would have conviction in it!
Creating new beliefs will help your anxiety because it will help you to feel less lost and sad in this world. You will be able to grow confidence and conviction in your thoughts and beliefs so that when you do get anxiety you can remind yourself of what is true and real to you.
4.Self love. Most of the time I was pretty good at being nice to myself. But, when I got anxiety I would start to compare myself to other people and feel very judged by others around me. I didn’t know how to stop this. I started practicing changing my perspective from others back on to myself. Who cares what those other people thought about me, I should care about how I am feeling and if they are good people for me. I would always try to flip this perspective when I got anxiety. I also had a hard time if people were rude or bullied me. Sometimes this was a trigger and would lead me into an anxiety attack. I learned to look at every situation as if I was my best friend. What would I say to my best friend if she was in this situation? Being hard on yourself and judging yourself is one of the worst things you can do. I still have trouble with this one, but it is really horrible to our self esteem and straight up cruel.
I decided to forgive myself and start a new chapter on how I would treat myself. I told myself I was beautiful, smart and strong, and talked to myself like I would my best friend, because I truly wanted to be my own best friend! I also did lots of self love exercises like taking bubble baths, painting my nails, getting all dressed up even if I was staying home for the night, taking walks and being in nature, writing, affirmation videos, music, the list goes on… I showered myself with love. If I felt like being lazy then I would be lazy. If I accomplished something- I would congratulate myself. The relationship you have with yourself is just as much important as any other relationship in your life, if not MORE important!
These are the 4 main steps I used to kick anxiety in the ass ;). Days are still not perfect and I still struggle with anxiety from time to time. But, when I look back at where I was 4 years ago, crying in that break room at work and feeling completely out of control and emotionally fucked up lol… I am now filled with joy. True joy. I have been able to overcome a hardship in my life that resulted in more confidence, higher self esteem, and I also treat others better as a result. I am so thankful for this journey in my life and I am sharing this to help others that may also be struggling with something similar. If you are, please remember that there is always a way to conquer the hardships in life. We have the ability to create anything we want. It starts in our hearts and then it really happens in our mind. This is why my mind is my favorite part about myself. My mind controls all the rest of me and every part of my life. I am gonna feed it and love it and make sure that I am authentic to myself.