8 Simple Steps To Overcoming Anxiety/FearJanet Miller MA LPCC
Live the – “Instead-Of Anxiety” Life
Another word for anxiety is fear.
Fear is based on the unknown and no-control places of life.
There seems to be a lot of unknowns and things we don’t have control over right now.
When we are dealing with fear, our mind gets stuck in repeating loops of “what-ifs” and our body gets stuck in the increased cortisol of tight muscles, racing hearts, rapid breathing, headaches, stomach aches and intestinal issues, and more. Our outlook often becomes – “I just want to stay in bed.”
What can we do instead of living in fear and without joy?
Sometimes when we have fear and anxiety we first want to be heard. We want someone to say something like – “I’m sorry. That is really hard.” Which says – someone cares, and also affirms that I am not just crazy – this actually IS really hard.
But after that love and affirmation – what do we do?
- Regain perspective. Get out your Bible. A simple way to approach this is to google something like “Bible verses about fear” or “Bible verses about anxiety”. Or find your favorite passages. Pick one or two and write them down. Go over them. Memorize them. Say them out loud to yourself. When our brain hears words our DNA and our physiology change. If the words are positive – our body changes to positive physiology. If the words are the Word of God, even more positive changes happen in our body.
- Change what you are doing. Get up and move. Go for a walk, or start making dinner, or open a book, or go work out so you raise your heart rate over 120 beats per minute for 10 min to an hour (if your doctor says this is safe for you).
- Talk to a friend or professional support person. Sometimes just connecting makes all the difference.
- Go do something for someone else. Is there a family member, neighbor or friend, who needs yard work done, or a few freshly baked cookies, or a positive snail-mail note? Do something that would be helpful for you, for others.
- Play with a child or pet. Finding joy and laughter and making eye contact will have a significant impact on the amount of joy you have and it sure changes our mood!
- Take care of yourself. Remember to eat healthy and drink plenty of pure clean water. Get regular exercise. Soak in the tub with Epson salts and lavender or other oil. Learn about homeopathy for stress. Get out a hobby, or find a hobby where you make something. Listen to music that is calming. Watch an uplifting movie.
- Think about when things have been sad, or difficult or challenging in the past and how you have managed through them. If you managed through challenging places in your life before, then there is a good chance you can do it again, even if it feels like you cannot in the moment.
- If you are doing these things and still struggling, talk to a professional counselor who will coach you… give you homework, rather than just listen. This way you can actually begin to make changes in your life becoming more and more positive, functional, and joyful.