We all experience anxiety in different forms, but when you experience it for a sustained period of time it can turn into a disorder — it can lead to other problems if not addressed or taken care of early. Problem is, we barely give ourselves a moment to check-in with ourselves; to see where we’re at, health-wise. We kind of push through as much as we can, until the problem becomes something that interferes with our daily lives (which an anxiety disorder will do).
Believe it or not, you most likely know someone dealing with an anxiety disorder, but we become so good at hiding it until we can’t. I was there. I was in denial and then I tried to hide it from others, until I just couldn’t anymore. Point here is, don’t be ashamed to admit what it is you’re going through.
Stop and breathe
Try to stop what you’re doing the moment you feel the anxiety rise, because oftentimes we’re in such a rush to get things done that we don’t give ourselves enough of a moment to actually check-in. Sometimes the only way our bodies, intuition, or Spirit can get our attention is thru uncomfortable sensations because let’s be honest, nobody wants to experience pain right? So by stopping for a moment and assessing what’s happening you give yourself an opportunity to tune-in. Take a moment to pause and take some deep breaths — in through your nose and out through your mouth, if you’re able to, or breathe as it feels most comfortable for you.
The breath will help you connect to the moment. The breath will help you connect as well to Spirit; if you are someone who considers yourself spiritual this would be an ideal moment to pray for help. Pray for discernment and healing.
Now the assessment part. This is what’s going to help you address what triggered this moment of anxiousness; is it a specific moment? Is it a specific circumstance? Is it something you’re doing? Maybe it’s something you overlooked. For example, maybe you forgot to eat and were in such a rush in the morning to get to work, and rushing to catch the train that you forgot to have something to eat. Maybe your body needed some sustenance to get you through the day and the only way that it could get your attention was with that little anxious feeling. And if you’re someone who’s experienced anxiety or panic attacks before it’s something that can feel really, really terrifying, so in those moments of being triggered you might think that you’re about to experience some kind of attack that can lead you down a negative thought-spiral.
Stopping, breathing, and assessing also gives you an opportunity to bring in your logical and rational mind — your logical and rational thoughts to the situation. This way you can ask yourself, am I actually in danger or am I just feeling triggered? And my actually in danger or am I just feeling insecure? It gives you an opportunity to see the situation for what it is. This gives you a little window of opportunity before you shutdown into “survival mode”; you get a little bit more handle on the situation than before — you kind of grab the reins on those wild horses.
Designate some safe spaces for yourself. Your body, when it is in that frame of anxiety, is seeking safety; it is seeking security. So think about what spaces you feel safe in — maybe it’s your home, your office, a church, the park. Make a list of places and have it readily available so you have a place to stop, breathe, and assess when possible.
You’ll want to cultivate a list of multiple safe spaces for when you are outside of your home. Your home may be your #1 safe space but when dealing with anxiety, that can easily turn into something like agoraphobia which can make the situation worse for you. Even if it’s just one other place outside of your home; it could be the front of your building, the park across the street, a neighbor’s house…this list is especially useful if you work from home, or spend most of your time in the house.
Rest is preventative care
Give yourself more time to pause; more breaks throughout the day. I know how hard that can be when you’re running around for work, with your other obligations, maybe children. — but you have to take care of yourself because no one else will. You have to be the main person in charge of your health. Health is wealth and is more important than anything, including mental health which is so tricky to navigate.
I recommend addressing the anxiety when it starts to manifest. I urge you to take preventative measures now; don’t wait until you’re in too deep, and let me just say this…I’ve been in too deep. I didn’t listen to the signs when they were presenting themselves to me and that’s why I urge all people now, being on this other side and seeing things from a different perspective. And if you are in too deep right now you can get out of it; there is hope! Trust me I’ve been through hell and back. But if you’re someone that’s on the cusp, let this blog post serve as a warning to you to take those preventative measures and take care of your health, and wellness.
Health is a lifestyle choice
That daily pause I mentioned? It’s called Meditation. It’s so important to cultivate a daily meditative practice. Daily meditation, in whatever form that looks like for you — it could be an actual mindfulness meditation, a guided meditation, walking meditation, chanting, praying, journaling, whatever meditation looks like for you — it’s a moment between you and yourself to pause. To breathe. To check-in with your body.
One of the things you’ll start to notice when you cultivate this meditative practice is a greater sense of awareness, which is going to be so helpful for you when it comes to those moments of anxiety and panic. Why? Because when you are in a state of awareness that’s when your higher self, your more logical/rational self can can come through and give you the guidance that you need in the moment.
So let’s go back to the original example of the person who missed their breakfast — they were running late and trying to catch the morning train to work. They catch the train and as soon as they sit begin to notice a rapidly beating heart; they feel hot. This person is already familiar with anxiety in their body so they start to experience it building up and they’re not sure what happened. They wonder why it’s happening and why it’s coming up now. They start to feel upset and inconvenienced.
In a greater state of awareness this person could easily stop, breathe, and assess. They will listen to their intuition that tells them “oh it’s because I didn’t eat breakfast and I’m running low on energy. I’m running low on steam. I’m tired”. And with that level of understanding she can tell herself “okay I’m going to make sure to at least have a breakfast bar or something in my purse to eat when I’m in a rush”.
So once you can ground yourself in the fact that this is happening, this is real you ground yourself in acceptance. Denial is real folks, and I get it. I was in denial about my condition for about two years. I couldn’t accept what was happening to me; what I was experiencing and going through. It wasn’t until things got really bad that I had no choice but to stop and assess. This is another reason why I wrote this blog post, so you can some guidance on what to do from where you’re at (especially if dealing with anxiety is a new experience for you).
Once you’ve come out of denial into the truth of the situation, this is where you begin to reclaim your power. From this place you can assess what getting help looks like for you. There are many things that you’re going to need to do on your own but I highly recommend that you not take this journey just by yourself. Again I’ve been there before, and I tried as much as possible to deal with this on my own. I quickly realized having a supportive community greatly amplified my healing.
Community could look like counseling, group therapy, talking to a trusted friend, joining online communities, speaking to a spiritual counselor. You also want to cultivate a sense of connecting with your spiritual family because that’s another community — you’ll have your folks here in the 3D and the 5D, if that’s your thing.
For those of you who feel like you have no one that you can turn to or talk to, there are plenty of free resources to connect. I am working on a post of free resources, but in the meantime check-out NAMI and Reddit. Even with plenty of people around me I felt very much alone in my struggles. Connecting with other people who are experiencing exactly what you’re going thru is so helpful! Trust me when I tell you, dealing with mental illness can be (and feel) extremely isolating. Not only because we self isolate but also because sometimes the people around us don’t know how to deal with us in those moments when we’re in anguish — they may not know what to do, or say. Sometimes they end up making things worse. Reaching out for help will be a wonderful step towards recovery and restoration.