Are you struggling to manage your anxiety during a challenging time in your life or significant life transition?
You’re not alone! It’s quite common to be bombarded with a barrage of feelings and feel unsure about handling each one as they come and go. Often, it feels as though you are on a rollercoaster ride with your emotions – highs, lows, twists, and turns.
Throughout my life, I have faced several adversities and significant life transitions – infertility, divorce, financial hardship, job loss, and the loss of my dad, to name a few. The latter rocked my world, and I wasn’t quite sure I was going to find myself out of the depths of hell, but I did!
After my father’s passing, in December 2018, I was diagnosed with recurrent major depression, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It was a devastating blow to my ego, but it also answered many questions about myself.
I guess you could say it was a blessing in disguise, even though it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns to receive that diagnosis. While I graciously accepted the help of my doctor, I knew that deep down, this would only be temporary.
Here’s the thing though, anxiety, is a sneaky little bugger, and it likes to creep up on you when you least expect it!
No matter who you are anxiety is both annoying and challenging. I’m not exempt from the occasional flair up either. But let’s speak candidly for a moment, there likely have been days where you have felt like you were at your wit’s end and ready to give up – raise your white flag and surrender that this was simply how you were going to live for the rest of your life; I’ve been there too.
There were moments in my life that I woke to feel like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I laid there struggling to breathe, praying for the moment to pass. I would also myself picking at my cuticles until they were raw and bleeding, as well as eating more chocolate or comfort foods than I should.
I knew there had to be a better way to care for myself rather than throw a bandaid on it with some medication. With perseverance, grit, my faith, and a desire to holistically heal, I embarked on a transformative journey that helped me grow emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Overall, I experienced a profound life transformation!
I learned to embrace each moment with mindfulness, let go of what I cannot control, and find peace in the stillness of life. I began to delve deeper into mindfulness, meditation, and mindset to help support my mental health and dabbled with alternative healing methods. Overall my depression dissipated and my anxiety was finally under control.
Now, I must caveat this by saying that I am by no means telling you not to see a medical professional and only use holistic methods to support your mental health; please use your judgment here, but what I do want to share with you is alternative methods for healing that worked for me.
Here are some things you can do naturally to help you cope with the effects of anxiety (or depression) to minimize its negative impact on your life and what I have personally used to help me manage my symptoms:
I have grown to enjoy meditation despite how difficult I found it at first. There’s something in the simple pleasure of shutting the world out and tuning into your mind, body, and soul. Taking even 5-minutes to practice mindfulness with deep breathing exercises and redirecting your attention with meditation works wonderfully for anxiety because the goal is to slow down racing thoughts, release negative emotions or feelings, calm your mind and body.
I am a firm believer in aromatherapy and it’s many benefits. I use essential oils regularly, but I also will burn incense sticks or raw incense, sage, and palo santo. My personal favorites for essential oils are lavender, frankincense, and Balance® or Peace® from dōTERRA.
I love crystals and believe in their healing powers as I have experienced firsthand how my energy can shift almost instantly when near or holding one. I wear crystals as jewelry, carry them in my pocket or bra, or place them on my body while sitting or laying down. Some of my favorites that help ease my anxiety are amethyst, clear and rose quartz, tiger’s eye, and black onyx.
It’s no secret that exercise has insurmountable benefits, which is why I use it to help ease my anxiety. Sometimes that means I need to complete a good workout where I’m breaking a sweat, and other times it’s a simple walk to get my body moving.
As with exercise, it’s a well-known fact that taking care of yourself and listening to the needs of your mind, body, and soul is beneficial. Anxiety tends to use up a lot of my body’s natural energy, so I’m often feeling depleted, which is why I never feel guilty about resting. Sometimes that means I need to take a hot shower, do some energy healing or EFT tapping, watch Netflix and chill, take a nap, or lay down and be still for a moment. The important thing is that I’m being mindful about what I need and acting upon it healthily.
While having anxiety can often feel like a vampire is literally sucking the life out of you, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom either. Believe it or not, it does have some positive attributes!
Anxiety can be an inner GPS directing your attention and creating awareness for areas in your life that need some changes. It can also be a tool for motivation to face challenges and persevere despite the circumstances.
Those with anxiety tend to be more empathetic, patient, and understanding of others and their circumstances. Their empathy makes good leaders because they consider the possibility of all outcomes of a situation and its impact on others too.
See, anxiety isn’t always a bad thing.
Now, I’m not trying to downplay anyone’s anxiety because surely that would be ludicrous, but hopefully, my go-to methods for managing anxiety will help you too.
And, of course, if anxiety is preventing you from living your life the way you desire it to be, then it may be time to seek the support of a medical professional.
Share in the comments: What are your go-to methods to helping you reduce the effects anxiety has on you overall?