Thursday, December 10, 2015

Three Things to Help with Anxiety

Anxiety is such a terrible feeling. Often times, you can't see it coming. The calm, peaceful presence that was residing in your soul suddenly wanes away. You are left grasping at things to help you get it back. You feel shaky on the you had too much caffeine. Your mind begins to flit from one thing to the next. You've lost focus and control. You fear there are things you are forgetting to do. Panic starts to set in. You find yourself forgetting to breath properly. Your head can spin and you might end up feeling like you are going to faint because of the lack of oxygen. You go through silly behaviors or routines trying to find the missing piece that will make you calm again.

It may take a long time to come down from an anxiety "high". Sometimes, you don't land softly. Sometimes, it's a hard crash down into depression.

What just happened? I often think hours, even days, later.

It's good to go back in time and try to figure out some initial anxiety triggers. For me, the best way to cure anxiety is to try and prevent the triggers.

But, that's not always possible. Much of this world we cannot my everyday disappointment. So, what can I do?

First, I found it is helpful to recognize my anxiety symptoms: irritability, obsessively cleaning unimportant things, obsessively making lists, doing things with unnecessary haste.

Second, after realizing that I am experiencing anxiety, I try to stop what I am doing, find a secluded, safe place, and sit down (this is the hardest part). Meanwhile, I take deep breaths as I try and turn my mind away from what I was doing. I repeat the Jesus Prayer, breathing in with "Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God" and breathing out with "have mercy on me, a sinner".

Third, I think of what it is right now, in this present moment, that I need the most. It might not be on my to-do list, but it's still important.

Taking better care of myself will help me avoid the crash of depression.

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