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How To Keep Anxiety From Ruining Your Life

Anxiety is, unfortunately, becoming much more prevalent in our modern society. Anxiety disorders are listed (statistically speaking) as the most common mental health issue currently in the US.

I’d like to re-frame this a bit to say,  anxiety does not define you. Nor is it a separate mental issue. It’s a whole-person-life-experience. Anxiety can impact all areas of your life : mind-body-emotions-soul-spirit. It impacts your relationships and your work too. Every aspect of life.

I know if you are here hanging out reading my stuff that you are looking to bring balance and harmony to your health journey. You want to feel more whole, more complete.

The truth is, you already are (we’ll get to that more in a bit or you can read more HERE).

But for right now, let’s clear some space for new mindsets and opportunities to emerge for you, shall we.

I believe something within you is likely ready for integration, ready to be healed.

If you struggle with anxiety in any way, I can relate.

I used think mental health issues, such as anxiety were so elusive and not something I personally struggled with. Boy was I wrong. I also deeply feared them. I had an unspoken belief that mental illness ruined lives. Perhaps it was the loss of control or the stigma surrounding them, but now I have a different perspective to share. Let me expound.

You may have read some of my story I’ve shared here already, but in case you haven’t here it is again, in a new way. 

After my split and at the start of my divorce, that’s when my entire health took a huge nose dive. Now mind you, it wasn’t in great shape before then. However as soon as I was out of the direct line of ‘fire’ of an abusive alcoholic, everything just started to crash.

I had gotten through one big obstacle, actually deciding to move on and get out of my marriage. I was now faced with the stark reality of making it on my own with 4 young kids, no job and in complete and utter burnout.

I went through many years of intense stress that led to severe physical, mental and emotional health issues. I was never diagnosed with any type of anxiety because I never went to seek out medical intervention. I also honestly didn’t believe I had anxiety. I also had a little bit of white coat syndrome and distrust of doctors quite frankly. Not to mention zero desire to take medications.

The truth is, I had extreme anxiety. It was a lifestyle induced anxiety. The kind that led to mild panic, insomnia, heart palpitations, breathing issues, extreme overthinking, terrifying worry, serious lack of patience, avoidance issues (big time) and needing so much reassurance it was a miracle I got anything done. Massive procrastination on even the most basic tasks was an enormous issue for me as well for a time. It was a real struggle. One I could not just ‘pull myself out of’. I often felt incredibly shameful that I couldn’t seem to do better.

I never recognized that those things were actually anxiety rearing it’s head. In fact, it took a long time to realize, so long that I’m sharing this now because I don’t want anyone else to have to wait as long as me to figure it out. Don’t wait to support yourself, it can take far too long to fully recover if you wait. Trust me, you deserve to heal now.

I felt so broken, disconnected from society at large and incredibly ashamed. I know now, those feelings are common in anyone who struggles with anxiety.

The biggest obstacles for me to move beyond living my life stuck in anxiety included feeling paralyzed, a lack of focus and getting side-tracked with going down research rabbit holes to self-treat my health. I tried about a million supplements. I had sensory overload so bad I got made fun of that I was so ADD by some people. That was embarrassing. I didn’t like feeling so scattered, so all over the place. It was entirely exhausting.

In order for me to work through this I had to be honest with myself about my struggles instead of avoiding them or throwing random shit at myself that would not get to the root. I had to stop wishing my struggles away and start making choices that would lead me through it all. I had to start to do the inner work, as scary as it seemed.

I was not good at living in reality, it felt too overwhelming. I had to reach out for help. I had to take personal responsibility even though I was scared. I had to admit I couldn’t keep it together anymore on my own.

I was tired of going around in circles. I had made some progress on my own with nutrition but it was time to address the emotional side of things. To me, that was frightening. I resisted digging in to my emotions because I had zero emotional support growing up, so it was an area of my life I never knew how to manage.

Thankfully, I found some amazing mentors and coaches to help guide me through this part of my journey. As I began to tap into the emotional piece I was surprised at how incredibly freeing it was. Why had I carried the pain for so long on my own?

One big reason, going through trauma and a lack of feeling safe to process the feelings. If you resonate, there are safe people and places you can seek help from.

Part of me was afraid of doing the inner work. I thought it would be hard and take too much time. I was used to staying in my ‘comfort zone’ of seeming safety in not addressing the pain I carried inside of me. But let me tell you, it was like a breath of fresh air to begin the process of release.

Sometimes just talking to someone about how you feel can be a huge release of pressure. Don't hold it inside it will destroy you -let it out -get the support you need. It's not a character flaw or something to be embarrassed about. Everyone struggles and everyone deserves to be heard and seen. Your struggles do not define you.

The More You Feel The More You Heal

What started to happen for me when I finally gave in and sought support was profound to say the least. When I finally began to allow myself to feel my feelings and emotionally detox, I started to feel freer, lighter and happier (read more HERE).

I began to feel more connected to myself, something I am not sure I ever felt in my life. I felt a sense of joyful belonging, first to myself but also in this world. I was reminded that it truly was a joy to be me. I began treat myself with love and compassion, instead of shrinking back and judging myself.

So you see, even in difficulties such as anxiety there is always an invitation to see what is behind it. To find your own internal sense of serenity. You may feel like it’s a huge mountain to climb, but I assure you that taking one step forward to support yourself more fully is indeed progress. Seeking perfection only induces more anxiety. Just take it one day, one step at a time. But please, keep moving forward. Staying stuck is not the answer.

And I get how it can feel like a giant powerful magnet may be holding you down in place, but I also know you are not a victim. You don’t have to stay stuck, you can choose to take the best care of yourself each and every day. If you feel like you can’t do this on your own, the bravest thing you can do is to ask for or get help.

Anxiety Doesn't Have To Ruin Your Life

If you are struggling and feel like your current level of anxiety is ruining your life, here are some key takeaways to consider:

1. You are not alone.

Current statistics show that anxiety is on the rise. It's a cultural epidemic. All the more reason to take your own health seriously and treat yourself with extra care.

2. You are not broken and you are not a failure.

It's that simple. You are a friggin' magical person - love yourself!

3. It's not your fault

Today's exposure to toxins, stressful lifestyle, poor diet, poverty, violence, abuse all make it incredibly challenging to feel your best. Don't beat yourself up for how you feel - just choose you because you deserve to feel good.

4. You can take responsibility and support yourself

Even you experienced trauma in the past or just weren't taught about healthy lifestyle, you don't have to be a victim you can take personal responsibility today.

5. Medication can help BUT don't stop there, get to the root cause

I think our cultural medical mindset can stop us at getting a diagnosis and treating medically with medications and not much more beyond that. In many cases medications can really be so helpful, but they never address the root cause. So use medications if you need to without feeling bad about it. But don't stop there, keep going and support yourself holistically : mind/body/soul. I've shared some on how physical imbalances can increase anxiety HERE and HERE.

So much more could be shared and said, but I hope this post brought up an 'aha' for you and gave you some courage to support yourself if you are struggling with anxiety.

If you need 1:1 individualized support, I help women to conquer their overwhelm for good with my mind-body coaching so they can live empowered vibrant lives. >>Book a breakthrough session with me today!

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