The word ‘anxiety’ has become a buzzword featured on memes and tossed around throughout social media as a universal emotion comparable to stress — likely a result from the high-technology, fast-paced world we live in. Yet while stress is a reaction we feel due to demanding or pressure-filled circumstances, anxiety is an ongoing emotion of nervousness that doesn’t necessarily leave when our stressors go away. The painful reality is that anxiety can be debilitating, so spinning it as an easily relatable (and, at times, laughable) feeling can be trivializing for those who are affected. And to play devil’s advocate, calling anxiety a ‘disorder’ can help feed into the stereotype that if you do feel perpetually uneasy, you aren’t ‘normal.’
It’s this kind of thinking that blurred my understanding of my own anxiety and can deter others from seeking help or taking the time to address their own feelings. Despite suffering since my teenage years, I struggled to admit and address my emotions until I was in my 30s. I assumed that my feelings were genetic: Since my mother and sister suffered from anxiety and depression, wasn’t it natural that I would, too?
What I know now is that having anxiety is normal, but what’s not normal is accepting your anxiety as it is and struggling in isolation. I learned that ignoring my problems wouldn’t make them go away — nor would masking my feelings with medication. With help from energy healing, meditation, and lot of self-realization work, I gained the confidence I needed to address the discomforts associated with my traumatic past so I could properly heal.
If you’re battling your own anxiety, know that you’re not alone — and solutions exist! To help everyone looking for ways to heal, I’m sharing the five tactics I used to regain control of my life.
1. I Educated Myself
Once I recognized my anxiety, I took the time to educate myself on why we experience these feelings and how to address them. After watching my mother and sister suffer from anxiety and depression, I had always assumed how I felt was genetic — yet learning more about anxiety, like that it’s fear-based, helped me realize there were other reasons as to why I was feeling a certain way that stemmed all the way back to my childhood. Armed with this newfound information, I felt empowered to confront my emotions and begin my true healing process.
2. I Adopted A Healthier Lifestyle
Sadly, I realized that years of taking prescribed medication was holding me back from actually addressing the root of my problems. I don’t discredit regular medication for those who need it, but in my situation I realized my meds were simply numbing my feelings, masking my anxiety and my larger problems. By hiding behind medication, I wasn’t getting to the root of my problems or actually confronting my fears.
I weaned myself off medication and started to lead a healthier life, both mentally and physically. I incorporated exercise and eating right into my daily routine, and sought mental clarity through an energy healer. By taking control of my health, I felt empowered to take control of my anxiety, too.
3. I Found A Wonderful Energy Healer
Once I gave myself permission to feel uncomfortable feelings and analyze the traumatic experiences I had been masking, I turned to energy healing to confront my trauma. I realized I needed a better understanding of where my anxiety was coming from in order to face my feelings head on.
Energy healing became a form of therapy that allowed me to confront my past and triggering moments, ultimately becoming the catalyst that led to my radical transformation. Though often painful, it allowed me to come to many “A-ha!” moments and piece together the reasons behind my anxiety, enabling me to move forward in a positive way.
4. I Treated Myself With Kindness
Perhaps most importantly, I finally allowed myself to actually feel and process my feelings — and then release them without passing judgement on myself. If I needed to feel a certain emotion in order to let go of a bad feeling, I owned it. I also gave myself permission to recognize opportunities to heal, whether that was confronting a relative about a lingering issue or standing up for myself when it mattered most.
5. I’m Paying It Forward
Today, I’m a mindful mama. My past experiences have empowered me to teach my son healthy ways to express himself — tactics I never learned growing up — like meditation and breathing techniques. As a life coach, I also help women experiencing anxiety, especially mothers, to realize that having overwhelming feelings of uneasiness doesn’t mean you are broken or damaged — just human.
At some point, anxiety affects everyone. I want women to know they are not alone. The more we speak up about our struggles (and more importantly, our survival tactics!) the more awareness and understanding will exist in the world — and the more we will thrive.