We are living in a time like never before. Even people who do not normally suffer from anxiety, could be experiencing it at some level. With all of the schools closing, toilet paper gone, food shortages, sickness, financial responsibilities, possible home renovation delays and just a lot of uncertainty, I began to feel it happening and coming on fast! Luckily, I taught myself how to handle these fears head on and how to cope with anxiety.
Anxiety is something I’ve dealt with as long as I can remember. Most of the time it’s even over things that most would consider unrealistic fears. But, in the moment the fear is definitely real and can be paralyzing!
I used to feel anxiety would control every decision I made. It would look like going to Walmart, but not being able to walk in because I was scared of being abducted. Sitting in my car scared to go inside my home, because what if someone was inside. Pumping gas, what if someone kidnapped me or stole my car with my kids in it. I would count my locked doors at home often and “keep everyone safe, inside” I was scared of doing the wrong thing. Disappointing others. Failing. Being a failure. But my fear was holding me back from so many things – joy, experiences, memories, relationships and peace.
How to Cope with Anixety in 5 Easy Steps:
- Take a Break – Stop what you’re doing, especially if it is the reason you are feeling anxious. Take a break for a minute and find something else to get your mind off of things.
- Take a Deep Breath – Often, when you get anxious, your breathing is affected. Make sure you are inhaling slowly and deeply through your nose and exhaling slowly through your mouth. Repeat this for a few minutes.
- Change your Enviroment. Set your mood! Light some candles, open a window, turn on worship music- or any music that calms you.
- Turn Off. Especially during this time of unknown, the media, news and social media can be very overwhelming. Turn off your phone or at least put it away for a minute. If you know these outlets make you anxious, limit the time you are on them. If it gets too overwhelming, try deleting the app or limiting when you look at it (not before bed, etc.).
- Turn to God. This is my most important step in my list of how to cope with anxiety. You can’t live in fear and faith at the same time. I do believe the Lord gives us wisdom, but not fear! By definition, anxiety: a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. When we have faith that God is in control of our future, and his plans are greater than our plans, our fears get smaller. Praise for what we know He has done and what He is doing, taking it one real moment at a time.
Anxiety still creeps up on me, just like it did earlier this month. It’s overwhelming and for a moment I may have to take a deep breath, get some fresh air, self talk that everything is going to be ok, pray, praise, light a candle, put on worship music, or let out a deep sigh. But ultimately I have to remind myself He is in control and that I trust God enough that I will not worry about circumstances I can’t control. The freedom you have when trusting Him is that instead of anxiety controlling you, you can take control by no longer living in fear. Make the little choices, it may be uncomfortable, but it gets easier each time.
How do you cope with anxiety? Be sure to follow along on my Pinterest, I’ll be pinning my favorite bible verses for anxiety and trying times. You can also check out this post with 10 Inspiring Quotes for Tough Times.