I vow to let go of all worries and anxiety in order to be light and free. – Thich Nhat Hanh
I just finished my make up and was about to put on my outfit when I froze. My breathing was shallow, my heart was racing, and my entire body started shaking. I crawled onto the couch shivering uncontrollably. I didn’t know what hit me. It came out of no where. I was supposed to leave the house in 30 minutes. I couldn’t move.
This was the first time I ever had a panic attack in front of my mom. I could see the helplessness in her eyes. She didn’t know what to do to comfort me. She couldn’t make the shivering stop, only I could.
At the time I struggled with how. I wasn’t sure what I needed to do to keep these attacks from happening. That night I had to cancel my plans because fear immobilized me. I felt like a crappy friend for canceling last minute. All of these emotions were going on inside of me and all I could do was shake.
Anxiety can feel overwhelming and debilitating. It can keep us from living, but it doesn’t have to. This inside battle can be conquered.
I am here to tell you that you have the power to control your anxiety. You have the ability to reduce your panic attacks, quiet your fears, and live the life you truly desire.
One thing I wish someone would have told me is to get comfortable being uncomfortable. It is in these moments that you can reduce your fears because you know you can handle anything. You are able to deal with all changes because you are strong and capable.
If I could do it, so can you.
On my journey, I have learned anxiety is most impacted by the foods we are eating, how we are managing our emotions/thoughts, and how often we are exercising.
5 Powerful Tools to Help You Kick Anxiety to The Curb
Here are 5 steps that helped me and will hopefully help you conquer your anxiety:
Buy yourself a journal so beautiful that you constantly catch yourself just reaching out to look at it. Whenever you feel an emotion coming up, grab a pen and just write. Make sure this journal is for your eyes only so you don’t sensor any of it. Let everything on your mind flow through your pen and then let the feelings and thoughts go. Allow the paper to now have it. It is no longer inside of you and is no longer consuming you. You can be done with it and move on.
2. Honor your feelings
Your feelings are real and valid. Acknowledge them and fully feel them. Only say yes to events that you actually want to go to. If there is something inside of you saying ‘I’d rather pass,’ then let them know that. You are not obligated to attend all events. This is your life and it is up to you to spend your time in a way that makes you feel good. Anyone who truly cares about you will understand if you want to pass. Be cautious of your fears though. Don’t stop yourself from having fun because you are scared. If it is something you want to do but you are a little bit scared, push through and know the fear will step aside.
3. Eat foods that serve you
Caffeine, sugar, salt, and alcohol can make your anxiety worse. Do a food journal and see what your diet is really like. Are you typically eating processed foods or buying out a lot? How much candy, cookies, muffins, chocolate and cakes are you consuming? Do you need a coffee at 3pm to pick you up or are you starting your morning with soda? How much alcohol are you drinking? All of these things matter. Anxiety is very much physical and the foods you eat make all the difference. Focus on eating more vegetables and fruits in their natural state. Increase your water intake and see how it helps flush toxins from your body, increases your energy and gives you glowing skin. You want to eat foods that make you feel good.
4. Consistently exercise
The secret to a successful workout routine in consistency. In order to reap the benefits you have to do something more than 1x a week. Science has proven that exercise reduces stress and anxiety. This is a result of endorphins being released in the brain when we work out. Find a workout that you love and will commit to doing it at minimum 3x a week. The byproducts could be weight loss, increased strength, reduced stress, and improved sleep. What do you really have to lose with working out consistently?
5. Play more often
It is easy to get caught up in the heaviness and drama of anxiety and life. Sometimes focusing too much on anxiety makes it seem like a much bigger deal than it may be. We can start to look at everything as being negative or dark. Be mindful of these thoughts and then think of something you love. When you have the chance, play and have fun. Act like a kid again and enjoy the world carefree. Sing at the top of your lungs. Dance to your favorite song. Skip to your parked car when you exit the store.
Create moments where you genuinely laugh and do your best to laugh all the time. Laughter is healing and it will help lighten all of this up. Everything is temporary and any fears or anxiety you are experiencing will not last forever.