There are surprises everyday. We got a nice one today. I woke up this morning and there’s this puppy whining and trying to get into the gate. She’s so little. And precious. My goodness. My weakness. We’re going to take care of her until we find her owners.
My anxiety has been high lately. It’s not knowing what’s going to happen or what I should do life-wise. I just don’t have the patience. That’s my problem. I need results immediately. Most of the things I usually do to calm my anxiety, I’ve done, and it’s still high. The next step is to do nothing. I go somewhere alone and let it consume me. That’s the only way I know how to say it. I honestly just let it take over. I don’t push it away. I let it flow. It’s what I should have done in the first place. But it’s not usually this high. I thought I would share a list of things I do to control my anxiety and maybe it might help you. And bonus – they’re all free! And things you can do yourself.
1.) Meditation. There was this quote on Tumblr I came across some time ago and it really put things in perspective for me. It’s by Lao Tzu, you might have heard it. “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” If I really just stop and pay attention to what I’m thinking about, I’m either worrying about something in the past that happened or I’m worrying about what’s going to happen in the future or I’m trying to push away or stop my thoughts so I don’t worry about anything (causing headaches and tension). That’s not helpful because when I try to stop my thoughts, they push even harder to be heard. When I meditate, I focus on my breathing or an object, something in the present. And when thoughts come, I let them flow. It takes practice but it helps calm the mind. Thoughts aren’t overwhelming. I can think more clearly without all that “chatter”. Those negative voices in my head.
2.) Prayer. I give my worries to God. And that requires faith and trust. Trust, something I lost a long time ago, but I’m getting better at it. I talk to God either aloud, in my mind, or on paper. I tell him what I’m worried about, what I’m afraid of, what I’m grateful for, whatever is on my mind. I ask questions if I need guidance and I’m completely lost. I don’t have a specific God. I do believe in a higher power though and I talk to him.
3.) Writing. I write in a journal. And I blog. But I write in a journal first. I usually do this in the morning. I write whatever comes to mind. I don’t pay attention to grammar, spelling, or whether it’s offensive. It’s a stream of consciousness.
4.) Nature. Nature heals me. If my anxiety is really high, if I feel alone, or disconnected, I go to a nature park. I live in a city and there is not much nature around unfortunately. Wherever there are trees and/or water I go. Water instantly calms me. Beaches, lakes, waterfalls, rivers, streams, baths, showers.
5.) Exercise. Walking/hiking is my favorite form of exercise. Hiking AND nature – that’s heaven for me. I like to swim also, but I can’t always be near a pool. It’s uplifting. Gets me energetic and moving.
6.) Affirmations. Recently, I’ve been listening to positive affirmations on Youtube. With anxiety, there are a lot of negative thoughts and it’s hard to think positively when all you know is negative. It’s uncomfortable at first because it’s not something I’m used to hearing in my head, but they help me. I notice a difference.
7.) Family/Friends. I talk to them. Only recently I began to be open with my feelings. I used to keep everything in. But it helps letting them know where I’m at mentally, emotionally, stuff like that.
8.) Let Go. I let go of anything in my life that was bringing me down. People, things, thoughts. My mind is already negative, I’m trying to let go of the negativity, not add more to it.
I hope this helps. I hate for people to feel like they are alone because I felt that way for a very long time. But never once was I alone. It was my mind telling me I was. And I used to think I’ll have to suffer for the rest of my life. I’ll never be able to get a job. I don’t have money for medication or to see a doctor. I’ll never be able to be happy. I’m doomed. But it’s not true. That was my mind too. You can learn to control your mind and not let it control you. It’s a journey though. And you have to want to get better. I’ve been on my journey for 3 years now and I’ve come a long way. It’s going to take time. You’re brain has been programmed to think a certain way for a long time. I’m 31. So you can say my brain has been thinking negatively for about 28 years. It’s going to take patience and work, but I know it can be done. Keeping the faith. ❤
-Sonja Jackson, OpenHeartTin