3 Ways I Reduced My Anxiety
“Cast your anxiety on Him; because He cares.” 1 Peter 5:7
I have been exactly in your shoes.
I remember the days where my anxiety and depression would weigh me into the springs of my bed, almost making it impossible to get out.
I remember wearing soully pajamas or sweatpants to school because I had no energy to put on “real clothes”, or get ready.
I remember at 17 waitressing late at night, babysitting early in the morning, completing high school a semester early, and struggling to pay the bills. My anxiety was at an all time high, and I spent almost every waking moment hating life, exhausted, and asking: Why me?
I remember my first pregnancy feeling so alone. I was in a different phase of life than all my old friends, and struggled to find my very own circle. I felt like an outsider in my very own life, which resulted in constant panic attacks.
I remember experiencing my first miscarriage, and unsure how I could move forward…
But then I made a shift…
I created systems, structure, and routines. I started to get help, and heal. I started to be aware of my very own toxic traits, bad habits, and destructive coping mechanisms. I started developing a self awareness, a love for myself, and compassion for myself and others. I focused on God, manifesting, practicing mindfulness, and adapted a positive mindset.
It sounds exactly like someone who struggled with anxiety wouldn’t say.
But, since when did we decide, culturally, that you had to continue to struggle in order to “have had” a certain struggle? I should mention, this was not an overnight process. This is going on an almost 3 year progression.
A 3 year progression of becoming self aware, and learning to call myself out my BS.
Here is what my journey looked like:
I seen a therapist on and off; more on than off, though! Having someone who was able to guide me through my struggles, without me feeling as if I was burdening them, was the first step in the right direction.
I was able to be a more loving fiance, care for myself better, and focus on my life more attentively. I had to switch counsellors a few times, but eventually found a wonderful lady who made me feel like we were on a coffee date!
I don’t even want to think where I would be without a counsellor. It makes me nauseous to imagine feeling the exact same way I did back in high school.
Praise. The. Lord.
Stay with a counsellor for 3 visits before you decide to move forward switching
Stay with a counsellor facility for 6 sessions, consistently, before deciding if you do or do not need it. Be in a clear mindset.
Do things outside of therapy for recovering.
I have included a PDF at the end of this blog post that has 8 questions that really make you reflect on yourself, your habits, your coping mechanisms, and your environment. You cannot heal in the same environment that made you sick
I know that self awareness sounds extremely taboo. But honestly; if you could be in tune with your body and understand when, why, and how you are anxious/ depressed/ down… wouldn’t you want the power to know?
Nutrition, exercise, + gut health.
There is a strong link between a leaky gut affecting your serotonin levels. Many researchers believe that a serotonin imbalance is in direct link with anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, panic attacks, and even access anger.
And quite obviously, you are what you eat.
I am not saying you cannot have cake, Mac + cheese, pasta, bread, amazing (and high sugar) Starbucks drinks- they are great, I know. But I challenge you to do this:
Try a 70% clean diet, 30% “not”
Focus on adding a TON of absolute favourite veggies to your diet
Focus on drinking 1/2 your body weight in lbs in oz of water. Example: Jane weighs 140 lbs. She will drink 70 oz of water, or more!
Go for a 5-10 minute walk a day.
I challenge you to do the above for 10 days. Just 10. I promise you will feel enlightened!
On top of nutrition, researchers state that working out produces and releases endorphins (chemicals in the brain that act like natural pain killers and natural antidepressant). This will increase your mood, and your self confidence!
Food for thought:
You know when you are feeling sad, alone, and anxious and you crave “comfort foods” like pasta, pizza, baked goods, potatoes? Eating these foods increases insulin levels and allows more tryptophan (this is a natural amino acid building block for serotonin) to enter the brain, where it is converted to serotonin. The calming effect of serotonin can often be felt in thirty minutes. It is a quick fix, but does not result in long terms results.
Science is cray cray.
Disclaimer: I do want to say, this information is not to be used in replacement of therapy, medication, or your doctor’s orders. This is just me, sharing my journey, backed up by a little bit of research. Below, I have some site’s that I got my information from to back up my opinions!
Have a wonderful day!