I worry about things I shouldn’t. Everyone does this. So this post is for you and for me.
There are lots of ways we stress because of our jobs, difficult choices, mean people, and so on. (Mostly it’s mean people, but I digress.)
Some let go of stress more easily than others, while some can make BIG decisions easily but stress over the little details in life. It is different for everyone. There are a lot of moments that contribute to my current struggle with anxiety…having been a struggling married couple just out of college, our house getting robbed, and my general lack of confidence in certain situations.
The biggest eye roll moment of my life was when someone told me that my anxiety was un-Christian. That if I “just trusted in Jesus more…insert unrealistic expectation” cue never ending eye roll and most unhelpful advice ever.
Listen, let’s stop stigmatizing anxiety and mental health okay? My anxiety is NOT a sign of a lack of faith, it’s the result of unfortunate things happening and prolonged fear.
Here are a few things that cause me anxiety: I stress about my dog and our cats, a lot. I am constantly worried about them when I’m not at home. They are LITERALLY my babies.
The perfectionist in me also often worries about work, did I do that thing on my to-do list? Did I do it right? What will everyone think if I did it wrong? (And yes, I am always worried what people think about me and my work.)
And because our house was robbed, I’m constantly worried it will happen again.
Top Causes of anxiety include: stress at work/school, stress in a relationship, financial stress, stress from emotional trauama (example: death in the family), and stress from major medical illness.webmd.com
Can you relate to any of those? I can relate to most of them over the last 5 years, some of them linger.
So, what exactly does mindfulness have to do with anxiety?
When I’ve set aside my mental and emotional needs and let anxiety seep into my thoughts, it takes over everything. I can’t breathe or imagine the next hour without it crippling me.
Meditating, centering my thoughts, and relaxing have become essential to combating unnecessary stress and anxiety. When I become overwhelmed, I take a short walk outside, fresh air is always a good idea, and I take deep belly breathes. I learned to do this in yoga years ago and have found it to be incredibly relaxing. I often walk with my arms over my head which helps to expand my lungs. Some times a good cry is in order, I find I am much more clear headed after a cry and a shower. And lastly, if I really must get away from it being in my garden, hands in the dirt is my go-to cure all for an anxiety attack. Having my hands and my mind immersed in something other than myself refocuses me.
What are some ways you’ve dealt with anxiety? Are you currently going through a high stress time? You can email me shelbyclarkeblog at gmail if you’d like, I’d be happy to pray for you. I don’t believe that prayer is an end all action it’s one that invites community to support one another. Bringing us together.
If you struggle with anxiety, there is no shame in getting help from a licensed professional therapist. Both the numbers below are 24 hour hotlines for people struggling with anxiety.
CALL 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)