So I promise this will not be a heavy post but I do just want to touch a little bit on my background with anxiety. I know everyones story when it comes to anxiety is very different while she causes are major and some are unknown. I hope that in sharing my story, you’re able to relate or feel less alone. So I suffered from random anxiety and panic attacks towards the end of middle school/beginning of high school. It was super unexpected and unexplained. If you’ve ever had a panic attack you know that its a feeling like no other. Your world comes crumbling down emotionally and sometimes there is absolutely no explanation for why. I always got very short of breath, felt faint and sick to my stomach and it was to the point where it would interfere with things socially. If I felt a panic attack coming on, being around people in a public setting made it so much worse and would escalate the feelings and emotion. It eventually got so bad that I went to the urgent care and was prescribed Xanax. Even back then it felt so wrong to me that the ONLY thing these doctors could do for me was to send me on my way with “it’s probably just hormonal” as my explanation and a bottle of pills. I remember staring at that bottle and thinking about how much I hated that they didn’t tell me more. This had to be happening for a reason and there had to be some alternative to these pills. I remember I took one and never touched them again because I hated how it made me feel. I felt numb and it was a terrible feeling and I decided that day I would find another way but it took awhile. After that year of off and on dealing with panic attacks, I luckily I was able to start reading the signs and through prayer and lifestyle change I had things under control for the most part. When I felt that twinge of panic I was able to talk myself out of it and calm my mind down. Until recently… You can read more about our Airbnb journey HERE!!!, but long story short, it took a pretty big toll on me. It was one of those situations where I held it together and thought I was fine until I wasn’t and everything came to the surface. Not being at home (when you work from home) is hard and my anxiety 100% came back during that time. I could honestly sit here and write a long list of all the reasons why that was so hard but I won’t because in the end, this experience required us to lean on God like we never had before and it taught me how to handle my anxiety in a way that I was never able to before which I feel like is a blessing because here I am able to share this with you and hopefully offer you help. Sometimes God gives you crazy ideas and puts you in strenuous situations simply so you’ll grow. This process grew us and for that I am so thankful.. but yes, and struggle (anxiety) was real y’all. Here is what I did and learned along the way that TRULY flipped my world upside down and allowed me to overcome this issue.
I want to preface this by saying that I believe the way I am able to handle my anxiety these days is mostly due to the fact that I went plant based a little over a year ago. When we get all the bad and all the inflammation out of our systems, our bodies and minds can start to function much better than they ever have which is usually enough to level out emotions, hormones, and eliminate so many issues that may have formed in our bodies. If you are wanting to take the steps to eliminate anxiety, I would highly recommend starting this journey by going plant based. You can read more about how to transition to a plant based diet here!
This is one of those things I was always reading about and hearing about but I never actually implemented it into my life until recently. I believe the Lord delights in our efforts to be calm, less anxious, and walking through life with a clearer mind. I know for me, meditation has allowed my relationship and connection with Him to deepen. Mediation is a way to get out of your current situation even if that’s just for 5 minutes, and give yourself permission to think about nothing but the fact that you’re breathing. When I first started to meditate it was almost like a last ditch option for me. Sort of a “ok let’s see if this actually works because I’m miserable” type of thing. The first time I meditated, I was listening to a guided meditation that instructed you to picture every inhale as relaxation and every exhale as tension.. so you were breathing in relaxation and calm, and breathing out tension and anxiety. For some reason picturing the tension and anxiety leaving my body through my breath totally worked for me! That experience completely opened my eyes to the blessing that meditation is and how much of a game changer it can be if you’re battling stress and anxiety or if you just need to clear your mind! After that day, I was meditating every single morning and every single night for 5-10 minutes (always guided with my “simple habit” app) and it significantly decreased my anxiety and made me feel more and more like myself again but an even better version. I was beginning to walk through my days in this calm state that was so foreign to me but so so amazing as well. I felt like I was starting to walk through my days calm no matter what simply because my mind was where it needed to be.
It’s so secret that nature is therapy. Just being outside can change my entire mindset and perspective. It’s been about a month now, but when I was going through the height of my anxiety in this past season, being outside was crucial for me to be able to combat it. Getting out into open space and breathing in fresh air truly works wonders on the mind and spirit. Going on walks and starting my day outside was the best way to start the day when I was dealing with anxiety.
No matter how many times you’re told that your severe anxiety cannot be cured and that you’ll need to take heavy medications for the rest of your life, IT ISN’T TRUE. God has given us everything we need for healing right here on this earth and so many of these healing plants have been extracted and distilled to their purest and most potent form in essential oils. When using CPTG (certified pure therapeutic grade) essential oils, you open your mind and body to a world of medicine that works and that supports our systems gently but effectively. These are the medicines we were meant to use from the very beginning and there’s a reason why. They work. It’s so simple. While some are waiting around for science to come out with new answers, to really bring out the big guns, we are missing that the true big guns are RIGHT HERE. If you are interested in learning more about essential oils for anxiety please contact me and we can chat more!
This was a huge one for me. When we are able to fully lean on, confide in, and lay our worries and anxieties down at the feet of God, something in our spirit shifts and we are finally to the point of full surrender. I don’t know about you but sometimes it takes me a while to get to a place of full surrender but it’s something I’m constantly working on and something that when it finally happens, it’s like I can breathe again. I know anxiety isn’t normal and I know He tells us to be anxious for nothing. I believe he sees it as a wasted emotion and a waste of time, so if we can hand it to Him, he WILL provide peace and meet us where we are. There is no peace like His presence. Stress and anxiety is something that is apart of this fallen world and is apart of life but it doesn’t have to be severe and it doesn’t have to be constant. We can train our minds how to combat and calm anxiety with new habits and prayer is one of the most accessible tools we have to be in constant connection and communication with the Lord to gain help throughout our day.
A lot of the time when we are super stressed and dealing with anxiety, it’s easier to reach for the packaged, fast, and sugary foods but as easy as that might be, it’s one of the worst things we can do when our health is already in a compromised. When dealing with anxiety we should be reaching for foods like apples, avocados, bananas, berries, cranberries, dates, and so many more incredible anxiety combating plant foods. To read more about eating a plant based diet, how food can effect your mood and which foods to eat for which issues, checkout Medical Medium Life Changing Foods book. This book has changed and saved lives and is such an awesome one to have on hand for you and your family.
One thing that helps keep my anxiety at bay is cutting my caffeine consumption in half. I don’t cut it completely because I don’t really have an issue with caffeine, I just don’t want it to heighten my anxiety symptoms so for a good 3 weeks during my last bought of anxiety, I cut coffee completely and was replacing it with kombucha which has a lower caffeine content and is tea originated which in my opinion is just all around easier on our bodies and nervous system. Somehow throughout that entire 3 week period, the boxes of single serving kombuchas were BOGO free which made this decision not as hard on my wallet. Its the little things right? Ha!
Like I said at the beginning, everyone’s anxiety story is different but if you are reading this and you suffer from anxiety please know you are NOT alone. There are other people who deal with this and we are all trying to figure it out together. I feel so blessed to be able to say that I feel like I have my anxiety under control after implementing these things over and over and over. We have to retrain our minds and create new thinking patterns and habits. Habits are everything and if our lives are full of unhealthy habits that are causing our anxiety (and we may not even know it), replacing those with positive and healthy habits is the first step.
If you want to chat more please leave a comment or feel free to reach out to me! When it comes to anxiety and just life in general, we are stronger together. Praying that this post will help at least one of you and give you hope for healing in this area!
Thanks so much for reading!