Anxiety is a normal part of everyone’s life. When going to a job interview, speaking in front of a large group, or meeting your new boyfriend’s family for the first time, there is going to be some anxiety. However, when normal, every day activities fill you with anxiety, something is wrong!
In my case, anxiety stems from the way I was raised, and continues as a side effect from having Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. As a child, I had to learn early not to be a burden, not to upset my parents and to anticipate their emotional needs quickly. This made me grow into a sensitive adult, well tuned into the feelings and needs of others, which of course is a good thing. The bad side of this is I am hyper vigilant, which means extremely aware of my surroundings, including the moods and needs of other people. In fact, I even suffer with agoraphobia, which is a fear of leaving my home, thanks to anxiety.
I have learned some ways to cope with the anxiety, and will share them with you below.
For me, having a close relationship with God has been instrumental. The worse my anxiety is, the more I rely on Him, and the more He strengthens and comforts me. If you do not know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please check out this link: Salvation Through Jesus Christ.
Do you know what is the root cause of your anxiety? For many people, it stems from childhood abuse, like me. If it does for you as well, now is the time to start healing! Yes, it is scary and difficult, but it is so much easier than continuing to live in dysfunction! If you are unsure where your anxiety started, spend some quiet time alone with God and ask Him to show you where it started. And, ask Him to heal you, and show you what you need to do about it.
Medication works for many people. If you are interested in trying an anti-anxiety medication, then by all means, talk to your counselor or psychiatrist. General practitioners can prescribe it as well, but you may be better off with a psychiatrist – someone who works with psychiatric medications daily.
If you prefer more natural remedies like I do, valerian root, lemon balm, kava kava and chamomile are natural sedatives. The scent of lavender is as well. Place a little lavender scented oil on your pillowcases to help you sleep, in your bath water or use lavender scented lotion or perfume on your skin. Also, try warm showers or bubble baths, massages, listening to calming music such as Native American Indian pan flute music.
Try not to sweat the small stuff. Easier said than done, I know, but it does get easier the more you do it.
Talk about it. Pray and confide in safe, trustworthy friends or relatives. You want people who are honest and caring – that way if you are overreacting, they will let you know. And, if you are not, they will be there to support and comfort you.
Get a massage regularly, either by a professional or by your spouse.
Indulge in your favorite hobby or hobbies regularly. Don’t have a favorite hobby? Visit a local craft store. They sell all kinds of items. You are bound to find something that interests you.
Spend time outside. Nature is very restorative to the mind. Looking at the stars are a fall evening is one of my favorite activities.
If your anxiety is really bad, such as is common in cases of PTSD or C-PTSD, maybe a psychiatric service animal could help. They are trained to help calm anxiety, among many other things. Animals are wonderfully helpful with anxiety whether or not they are trained as service animals. Their very presence can be calming, and many seem to know just what to do to help calm an anxious person.