I was thinking about my sign-off the other day: "Peace and Love". "Peace" can be such a cliche word and sometimes I think it can be used out of context. Peace is something that I am always seeking- peace of mind, peace in my heart, all of it. For about a year now I have been struggling with anxiety. I had never really had trouble with it in the past. Sure, I have had my struggles with perfectionism and ocd but I was never the type to get anxious about things. It started off where I would just notice it occasionally; I would feel my stomach start to hurt before big outings or projects at school. Then in December things started to get worse. I was having trouble with my heart racing where I couldn't breathe and I was getting horrible headaches. That's when I really started to worry. My anxiety had moved from the occasional event to me thinking that I was going to die every time I got into a car. Leading into 2014 things only went downhill: I was making myself feel sick every day to the point where it was debilitating. I won't go into the gritty details but let's just say it's been a big struggle and something that has been very hard for me to fight.
While on Spring Break a few weeks ago I had a lot of time to think. And it kind of just hit me: I can control this! I didn't want to have to rely on medications and deal with the horrible side-effects only to hope that at some point my anxiety would get better. It was all that was in my head that was making me sick and I have the power to choose and listen to that voice or to silence it. Another thing that has really been helping me is to realize that God already has a specific plan for my life; He has already written my story. When God says it is my time to die it is going to happen and there is nothing that I can do about it. I can't live life in fear of things that will most likely not happen. Like my therapist told me, we face risks every time that we get out of bed in the morning. Life is full of risks and we can't escape them.
I am happy to say that the past couple of weeks I have been doing really well. I have stopped taking my medication for now and am really working on fixing myself on the inside. I thought I would share a few things that I have been doing that have really helped. These are tips that I think would help anyone who deals with anxiety or even just the occasional stress.
1. Yoga- This is such a great way to get in touch with your body and to calm and relax yourself. I do yoga breathing every morning when I wake up and it puts me in a great place to start my day and has made a huge difference.
2. Diet- There are entire books on eating for anxiety and which foods help prevent it. Cashews and Blueberries are two foods that are pretty powerful in preventing anxiety. I have been snacking on both of those a lot recently!
3. Positive Thinking- Positive quotes or verses really help when it comes to negative or anxious thinking. I have alerts set up on my phone throughout the day so that I am constantly reminded of God's plan for me and the fact that he is always in control.
This isn't to say that my anxiety is completely gone. It's hard work but I am on my way to finding peace. It's also not to say that life will never be stressful but I want to get to a place where I am not constantly worrying and having that worry effect me physically.
If you read this whole post you deserve something special. Thanks for sticking by me and listening to me ramble on. I don't often get this honest on the blog but I felt like sharing something that has played a big role in my life lately.
I hope that you all have a wonderful Wednesday and I will be back on Friday with a more light-hearted post!
Peace and Love,