How to Cope with Anxiety

Hey guys, today I want to discuss something that SO many people are dealing with, including myself: Anxiety. My battle began when I was a preteen and it progressively got worse. I kept dealing with the panic and the internal battle day after day, but I didn’t do anything to stop it. I thought maybe it will just go away. As I reached my twenties it was out of control. I ended up having a nervous breakdown. After that point I knew I never ever wanted to feel like that again and I HAD to do something to stop this. I would not and could not live in fear anymore. I researched my little butt off for ways of coping with anxiety. I tried to many methods, some worked, other didn’t. So I wanted discuss some of the ways that have helped me cope with anxiety that can hopefully help some of you as well.

Anxiety can come in different forms. For some people it’s less severe and comes whenever they are in a situation that is nerve-wracking or fearful. For other people anxiety can come for no reason and really takes complete control of the person’s mind which can lead to nervous breakdowns. Anxiety is a serious problem in this world today. I don’t know one person who doesn’t have some form of anxiety. That is pretty sad to think about. The devil is really doing his job and we need to start fighting back. It’s time to get control of our mind again. It is ours after all!

There are different coping mechanisms for different people. I, myself, find that meditating on good thoughts and on a specific Bible verse (for example: “God has not given me the spirit of fear, but of power, love, self-discipline, and a sound mind”) works pretty well because it forces me focus on something else besides the bad thoughts swirling around in my head. I feel that the main way to attack anxiety and to put it in its place, is to smother it with God and positive thoughts. Whenever I feel those bad thoughts try to corrupt my happiness I stop and take deep breaths while repeating something positive, or telling those negative thoughts that they are lies and to get out of my head. Now, I can’t say that these techniques work 100% and that this is a cure-all for anxiety because it’s not, but it sure does take the edge off. I know there are just days when no matter what you try, the anxiety just won’t go away.

I’ve struggled with how to cope with anxiety for over 10 years and just recently have been fighting back at the anxiety. Before, I used to just deal with it, let it come into my mind and run its course, but not any longer. I had to put my foot down. I had to say NO. I had to fight for my mind back. Some battles I do lose, but at least I can say I didn’t go down without a fight. Don’t let anxiety use you, abuse you, and tear you down. There is a way out. You just have to fight for it. Yell at the anxiety, demand it to leave! When you start fighting back at it, it will subside. Show that you are stronger than it is and that you will not deal with it controlling you any longer!

Through my fight with anxiety I took up yoga and I LOVE it. It helps me to focus and relax, while getting in a workout. One aspect of it that really helped my anxiety was deep breathing; it helps me to focus on the present moment, momentarily keeping my mind from drifting into the future to worry about something that hasn’t even happened yet. It is crazy how quickly slowing and deepening your breath can calm you down. Every night I try to do some simple yoga moves to clear my mind and do some deep breathing. Not only does that help to calm me down, but it helps me to relax and wind down for bed.

             The main thing that really helps to soothe me during an onset attack of anxiety is Jesus. He is always there for me and since He lives within me He knows exactly what I am going through. It’s a comfort to know that the maker of the universe and creator of all things lives within me and loves me. It makes me feel like I can actually get through this with Him by my side. I know He only wants the best for me and loves me more than I could ever imagine, so there truthfully is no reason to worry. I honestly can’t win this battle of anxiety without God. He helps fight the anxiety within us and let me tell you, He is much stronger than we are. He will take the burden if we just let Him. Having anxiety can make us feel so lonely. A lot of people just don’t understand it and they just can’t wrap their heads around the fact that we really can’t stop it. So many people have told me to “Just relax, there’s nothing to worry about” or “It’s fine, stop freaking out” or “Calm down, you’re being irrational.” I know all of these things, I know that I shouldn’t be freaking out, I know that I need to calm down, but anyone with anxiety knows that it’s not that easy. If we could stop it on a dime then there wouldn’t be an issue. It’s the fact that we are so out of control in the matter and it makes us feel alone and scared. For me, it’s been nice knowing that I am NOT alone in this struggle. I vent to the Lord about it and there have been so many times that He has just calmed me down in an instant. Without the Lord, I have no idea how I would survive dealing with anxiety

Overall, I can’t say that I am truly over my fight with anxiety, it’s a daily fight. But I can say that from these coping mechanisms the fight continues to get easier. I never know what type of battle each day will bring, but it helps to me to know that I’m not truly alone on this battle because even on the really bad days I still have God with me to keep my head above the water. I hope these tips will help you as well. Please feel free to contact me if you need further advice or just someone to listen.