(Living with Anxiety) 12.1.15
Looking back, I can remember a time when I didn’t have much personal experience dealing with anxiety outside of the butterflies I would get when I was about to go on stage or speak in front of a crowd. There was a time, maybe 5 years ago, when I hadn’t used the word anxiety in a sentence more than a few times. And then life happened. Adult life. Shit got real. And before I knew it, I was always stressing. I could be sitting in class or at work and feel those same butterflies, nervousness, and even shortness of breath. What I was feeling was more than stress, it was chronic anxiety. Since then, life has gotten so much more real and my anxiety has gotten worse. I have to take control.
But it’s true, it’s always something. There will always be a reason to stress or something you wish was different. In the midst of life, I am learning to allow myself peace. How? By simply breathing. I’m working on being increasingly mindful of my body and the stress that lives within me on a daily basis. Every time I feel myself tensing up or getting anxious, I take 5 deep breaths and focus on nothing but my breathing. In that short period of time, I notice that I feel more calm. Whatever was stressing me out is suddenly put into perspective. If you really pay attention, you will notice that stressors in your daily life include things like rushing to work, road rage, someone cutting you in line, a coworker disagreeing with you. I am realizing that it’s really not worth it to stress over the small things. And holding onto even the smallest bit of anger from petty day-to-day interactions is not worth my peace. I am learning to let it all go. And for the bigger problems, I turn them over to God. And then breath.