7 Ways I Overcome Anxiety
Overcoming anxiety is something we all have to face. I have found ways that have helped me over the years. I’ll share them with you.
1. Prayer – Taking the time to pray and realize that we are not in control of our lives, and that we don’t have to be in control of our lives is a huge relief. It takes the burden off of our shoulders and allows us to trust God with our unknown future. I start my day with prayer, and end my day with prayer. There is nothing better. When my Dad was first diagnosed with cancer I was walking and praying the rosary and it was an experience I will never forget. I went from sadness to hope, hope in the Resurrection of Christ and in our salvation.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
2. Scripture – Through prayer and scripture – the Word of God in the Bible – we can find our answers. When I was expecting my second child, my first child was only 5 months old. I was sitting on the couch, holding my little baby and hyperventilating and wondering how I was going to handle two little babies! Then I read this:
“…she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25
3. Laughter – Which brings us to another important life lesson. We need to laugh! As often as possible. We need to surround ourselves with people who love life and we may need to weed a few people out who drag us down (or at least see them less often). Our moods are contagious and we can brighten so many of the lives around us with just a smile. My husband loves to make people laugh. He is a blessing to me.
4. Community and Friends– God wants us to share our lives with other like-minded people who will support us. It isn’t always family who supports us, although that would be ideal. If there is something God is calling us to, He will give us the support to live it out. In my life, I have had support in my Chrisitanity, in homeschooling, in raising a large family, in starting a small business to name a few. Sharing with someone who can give you good advice that will enhance your life is important. And more laughter!
5. Rest – Getting proper sleep helps us. It also helps those around us when we’re less grumpy. It also helps us to live out point #3. As a mother, it is not always possible to get 8 hours of sleep a night. I found that when I finally stopped thinking “poor me” for not getting “enough” sleep and to just get up with the baby joyfully or sit with a sick child and think of them, I am more peaceful and therefore more happy. This is the life God has called me to, and my actions should show how grateful and happy I am in my chosen vocation.
6. Eat Right – I love to eat. The Bible talks about food a lot – about Jesus sharing food with those around Him. It helps to grow relationships when we take time to sit and eat, and share our lives together, and laugh. Eating right doesn’t have to be a burden. Listen to your body. If you have to drag yourself around, you may have to change what you are eating. When you eat what is right for your body, you feel better and feel better about yourself. The last couple of nights I’ve been eating almond bark before bed, but I feel icky today and will stop. It was a nice treat, but I already know that I don’t tolerate sugar or almonds very well and they cannot be a normal part of my diet. A treat only.
6. Exercise – We know we have to take care of ourselves. Research has proven that exercise releases endorphins that help ward off depression, relieve stress, and it also improves our self image. The challenge is figuring out how to incorporate it into our busy lives. With babies, we can take walks and play games. As my kids got a little older and I wasn’t pregnant every year, I joined karate with the kids, I shoveled horse poop at the stable with my daughter, and I started walking in the mornings and praying my rosary. I still need a reason to exercise. Just exercising is not enough of a motivation. Other ideas with kids would be to bike, swim, skate, play frisbee, garden or play sports.
7. A Hobby or Trying Something New – I love to read. Sometime I want to bake or create or watch a movie, but reading is really my ultimate de-stress-er. To lose myself in a story is rewarding to me and always has been.
What is your favourite way to relieve stress and rid your life of anxiety? Or maybe you have a scripture that has helped you that you’d like to share.