12 Things I Have Learned from My Anxiety this Year

Worth Living Ambassador Michele King

Hi! My name is Michele and I live with both depression and anxiety, I want to be a positive force of change to help end the stigma associated with mental illness, with hopes that what I share will help at least one person who comes across it.

 

12 Things I Have Learned from My Anxiety this Year

  1. Just because you make me FEEL like there will be impending doom doesn’t make it true.
  2. I can sit WITH you. I don’t have to avoid you or try to overpower you. In fact the more I sit WITH you the more I realize that I am safe and the more clarity I get.
  3. Never underestimate the power of taking slow deep breathes. Inhale for 4 counts exhale for 4 even slower counts (don’t forget to really push your belly out on the exhales—this is a calming technique, not a bikini competition).
  4. You do not play nice with physical symptoms from other medical issues. Actually, sometimes it feels like you guys are tag teaming against me.
  5. Speaking of medical issues…Because I am open about having you in my life, when I do have physical symptoms and medical things come up you are going to be blamed first and I am going to have to trust myself and advocate 10x more.
  6. Diet plays a large role with you. I recently found out I have Celiac Disease and have noticed a difference in you when I am eating gluten verses when I am not.
  7. Removing you isn’t the goal, learning to co-exist with you is.
  8. I don’t have to follow you down the catastrophizing thought cycle of worst case scenarios. I can get off this ride at any time—I just have to make the choice to.
  9. When you get really bad I need to, in my therapist’s words “Up the meditation”. Seriously, taking a few minutes to be present really takes away your power.
  10. Being in nature and “unplugged” really helps put you at ease.
  11. How to have Faith more and trust God. In my own personal experience the more you come at me, the more opportunities I have to lean on my faith and trust that God is in control.
  12. The more I am open about you, the more I am finding others who live with you too. It’s easy to want you out of my life but the reality is at some point everyone experiences anxiety to some degree. Talking about it helps.
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