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If you’re anything like me, you know anxiety can be brutal and completely debilitating. It’s the thing that sends us to our rooms convinced we are alone and unsure if everything will get better. Anxiety is a vicious cycle, and if you’re not mindful of this, it can take over parts of your life, both mentally and physically.
Read this three step process when you’re ready to take control of your anxiety.
1. Remember that sometimes anxiety is born simply from your thoughts, and then remind yourself that not all thoughts are real and honest ones to begin with. Thoughts lie at times; they can stem from your fears and not your logic. Our minds wander down dark roads when we feel in the shade ourselves. It makes us vulnerable to filling in the blanks when we aren’t in a good place and believing things we don’t know to be absolutely certain.
2. In order to take control of your anxiety, you have to honor it, feel it, and be able to identify what makes you anxious. Be able to acknowledge your fears, uncertainties, and the things that send you into negative headspace. Don’t try to pretend these things don’t exist or overcompensate with outside forces. You’re not bad or wrong for feeling this way. You aren’t not growing or healing just because anxious feelings or old habits are brought up.
3. It’s very rare that you just wake up one morning and never experience anxiety again when it’s been haunting you for some time. Anxiety isn’t something that just disappears, it’s something that dissipates as we learn how to navigate it. Your power is getting into a habit of redirecting what you think, feel, and physically do when faced with these anxious thoughts and feelings. The exact moment that we choose how to navigate what makes us not feel our best is the same moment we have the opportunity to feel better.
This process looks like feeling something intense and asking yourself, “Is this real? Do I know this to be 100% true?” If it is true, then you know you have work to do with something specific. You know where the source of discomfort or pain is. If it’s not true and if some of your own fears and feelings are being projected onto the situation, you know you have some rewiring to do in order to target and release the pressure and anxiety you feel. It looks like acknowledging how you’re feeling before you judge yourself for it. It’s choosing to be on your own team. It’s choosing to believe the truth until you know differently. It’s having faith in the midst of uncertainty.
Take control of your anxiety by taking control of your thoughts, by taking control of your world enough to not blame yourself through it, but rather support yourself through it. Take control of your anxiety by learning how to sit with it. Take control of your anxiety by choosing what you’re going to believe, by choosing who you trust with all of you, by choosing how to speak to yourself, and by choosing where you’re going to move from the place you are currently.
Breathe. And remember the control is yours. You have the power inside of you, you just have to take a step back and decide what you’re going to choose to do with it.