Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year. Don’t be held back by indecision, move forward in faith.
Several years ago due to having stressful situations in my work life, social life, and personal life I developed terrible anxiety, which led to panic attacks — resulting in loss of sleep, problems with eating, which in turn affected my overall health.
I went from a very social person to someone that hardly left the house. At one point I thought I would never recover which only fueled my anxiety.
Today I would like to share the top 7 ways I used to overcome my anxiety.
1. Remember to Breathe
Pay attention to your breathing. Most people take their breathing for granted. Breath is by far the most important of all the steps, as we breathe in a completely different way when anxious than we do when calm.
So if you breathe in a way that calms the body, nature will do the rest.
When we are anxious our ‘fight or flight response’ is triggered — originally named for its ability to enable us to fight, or run away when faced with danger physically.
Fight or flight was essential for our ancestors, but now it’s activated in situations where neither response is appropriate, like in traffic or during a stressful day at work.
Symptoms include dry mouth, fast breathing, heart pounding, tense muscles, and slow digestion. These symptoms create more anxiety which leads to an anxiety loop. Anyone that has had anxiety knows how quickly this anxiety loop can lead to a panic attack.
Remember to breathe
When you begin to feel anxious, do some diaphragmatic breathing. When people are anxious, they take shallow breaths reducing the oxygen intake. Diaphragmatic breathing takes in maximum oxygen which signals to the body that the threat is gone so it will return to normal functioning
To check if your doing it properly simply put a hand on your chest and stomach while breathing. When you breathe in your stomach should rise, as if filling up with air, and when you breathe out the stomach will fall.
2. Move Your Body In Any Way You Can
Walking, running, riding a bike, dancing, swimming or Zumba. Step two is also linked to breathing but has the added effect of taking your mind off your problem or worry. Step two may lead to more of step three.
3. Sleep You know You Need It
Studies show that sleep loss is associated with higher levels of depression and anxiety—but it’s not completely clear if anxiety keeps you up at night or if dealing with insomnia increases your risk for anxiety. Either way, the vicious cycle can put your brain on edge.
4. Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine can exacerbate anxiety as it acts as a central nervous system stimulant. It is making your body more aware of the feelings of anxiety. Plus, caffeine keeps the body awake which can affect sleep, which is essential to help overcome anxiety.
5. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Simply keeping a gratitude journal—regularly writing brief reflections on moments for which we’re thankful—can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction.
6. Expand Your Social Support
Social support is a core component in managing stress and coping with anxiety. So, reach out, call someone you haven’t talked to in a while. It is all about connection.
7. Stay away from drugs or alcohol
Perhaps they work in the short term, but they often do the opposite in the long term.especially with panic attacks. Talk your doctor if you feel you cannot stop using.
Having suffered from anxiety myself, I highly recommend diaphragmatic breathing, more exercise, more sleep, and less caffeine.
The main lesson I learnt in my recovery was patience.
We all want instant results, but like learning to drive a car, you don’t just jump in and drive. You take lessons and the more lessons you take, the better you get.
Similarly when you want to recover from anxiety, after a few days using the above tips you might not see that much change, but after a few weeks, if you record your progress in your gratitude journal, you will see a massive difference.
I wish you all the best on your journey.
Thanks for reading.
If this post has inspired you in any way, please share. You may help someone in the deepest of despair.
The journey can seem hard, but anything worth getting never comes easy. Plus, anything attained with hardwork stays with you forever.
Take the weekend to rest your mind and body so you approach the coming week with energy and strenght.
Just do it is probably one of the most recognisable slogans there is. It is a direct command. Sometimes that is what we need. Someone to say, just do it.
I can only speak for myself, but I often think about doing something for weeks or even months before I start.
We all have things that we would like to do, things that would improve our mental and physical health, but we talk ourselves out of it with excuses.
Starting is the hardest part. Attending that first meeting or making that first phone call, or puting them running shoes on for the first time. Once that is out of the way though, it’s so much easier to follow through.
So, whatever you have been putting off for weeks, months, or even years. Take the first step today. Send the email, make the call. Invest in some running gear. it could be as simple as getting some information.
What holds most people back is they get a burst of faith and decide to climb a mountain before they have walked a mile.
I will use weight as a relatable example.
If you want to lose 10 pounds, eating nothing but salads and milkshakes is not a good starting point. You might keep it up for a week, but chances are you will crash and end up upset which will lead to binge eating and ending up heavier than before.
Instead, start by replacing the slice of cake with a handful of nuts and an orange. Park the car 10 minutes away from work; a few small changes like this will get better results.
Then, when you see the improvement, it will give you the faith that you can do better. So, you slowly cut out unhealthy foods and replace them with healthier options.
Most challenges that we face can be broken down into a series of steps. And when you do this, the challenge seems more manageable; fearful thoughts change to thoughts of faith, which in turn shift to feelings of accomplishment when you start completing each step.
Now, instead of a vicious circle of fear leading to worry and doubt, you have a circle of faith, expanded awareness, and peace of mind.
Whatever is the main thing that is holding you back take the first step today, just do it. And remember that one small step forward is better than staying where you are.
Enjoy your week.
Fear can take many forms. Fear to you could be a natural disaster or an economic collapse, something significant that will affect your life and those around you.
But fear to some can be as severe as unable to be alone or afraid of people; unable to fit in with others.
It’s very easy to imagine how fear can mould and shape lives.
What most people do to overcome their fears is to avoid the situation that causes the fear. This method can be effective but doesn’t solve the problem. In effect, all it does is make your world smaller.
When fear is limiting your life, you must face it.
At first, this can seem daunting, maybe even causing anxiety, but this is where faith comes in.
When I was younger, I was bullied at my part-time job. Then, one day on the way to work I got a mild panic attack. The next weekend I phoned in sick and told my doctor what was going on, and she wrote work-related stress on the sick note, telling me it was something I had to face. I agreed.
However, the thought that I had to face management to discuss the matter just escalated my anxiety, so I didn’t go back.
I didn’t go near the area of town where I worked as I feared meeting the people that I worked with, I didn’t want to explain to them why I left.; I felt that I was somehow responsible for the abuse. Bullying affects everyone differently.
Many other personal problems hit me around the same time, so I decided to go to see a counsellor.
As we got into conversation, he spoke about reading the Bible 2-3 times a year; he talked about it with so much passion that I started to read it myself. And the more I read, the more my faith grew within. Knowing that God is with us at all times helped me to surrender to His will.
I realised that I had let fear escalate the problem. By avoiding the part of town I used to work I was giving fear control of my life.
When I started to return to the places I used to go many of the people that I worked with didn’t even recognise me, others just said hi. Fear had built up a story that was not close to reality.
Fear makes problems more significant than they are.
Faith and fear are simply vibrations. One has positive energy the other negative.
When a lot of negative things happen, it is easy to get into a negative vibration, and it may seem like you will never get out, but when you work on your faith daily, it will give you the ability to change a negative vibration to a positive one.
Faith is simple, yet we like to make it complicated.
Now I’m not saying that it is simple to make prayer and devotion a part of your day, but if you can make it a habit, then you will see massive results.
Ask God to give you the desire and discipline to spend time with Him each day.
A simple practice that has worked well for me during busy times is to take 30-60seconds during the day. Close your eyes for 30-60seconds now. Listen to the world around you and feel the presence of God.
This practice sounds almost too simple to have an impact, but do it often, and within a short time you will see and feel the difference in your life.
I wish you a stress-free week. Take a step of faith today.
My new book, Live a Life Without Fear, is currently on free promotion on Amazon, if you could download and leave me some feedback it would be very much appreciated. Click on the image below.
Thanks for your time.
Rev J Martin